We want you to know as much about Canvas as possible (or as much as you want). Take a look through some of these important points about who we are and how we operate. Of course, you can always message us with your questions.
What is the Bible?
The Bible can be summarized with two basic commandments: Love God and love other people. In fact, that’s the way Jesus chose to make the summary.
The Bible is the God-inspired narrative of God’s people. As Christians, we are continuing the story of God’s creation, human sin, God’s relationship with the Jewish people, His son Jesus, and the lives of past Jesus followers. We look forward to when God fully and permanently brings the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth.
Because the Bible is a collection of God-inspired writings, we trust its words to speak Truth about who God is and what he has done.
Who is God?
God is the creator of all things visible and invisible. He is the creative force behind the world and the loving force behind human existence.
When we talk about God, we can speak about him as a “three-in-one” person. This is because God interacts with creation through three distinct, but equal manifestations of who he is: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit.
In a way, God is relationship. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are united in love. Creation was intended to exemplify that relationship. This is especially true for humans, since we were created to live in a loving relationship with God and with each other.
Who is Jesus?
When Jesus came to earth as a human, he showed that it was possible for people to live the way they were created to live: to be in community with God and with others, living a sinless life.
Jesus was more than a good man or a good teacher. He came to bring the world back into a relationship with God. Through words and action, he taught what life is really all about.
When he was crucified by the Romans, his death wasn’t a normal one. Being a sort of “God-man,” he did what no law, no earthly sacrifice, no prayer could do. He took all past, present, and future human sin on himself so that we can live in community with God.
Through Jesus, the whole world was forgiven.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
An equal part of the “three-in-one” God, the Holy Spirit is one manifestation of how God interacts with the world.
When Jesus left the earth, he promised he would leave us with the Holy Spirit so that followers of Jesus could have a constant connection with God. The Holy Spirit, according to Jesus and some of the people who first experienced him, reveals Truth to the world. He comforts, convicts, counsels, and guides God’s people in the Truth.
The Holy Spirit also interacts in many of the same ways with people who don’t know God.
What is “Salvation?”
Humans were created to live in perfect community with each other and with God. We were also created with free will, the choice to behave in the character of God or not. Humanity decided that it wanted to be its own god, decide on its own what is right and wrong, and break its perfect relationship with its loving creator.
A perfect God cannot be in perfect community with people who have decided they don’t need communion with their creator. In fact, God’s character is just, and he could have rightfully decided to turn his back on the humans who turned away from him.
But, Jesus, “God in the flesh,” filled the gap between creation and God. Instead of God turning his back, he sent himself into the world to remind us of our creator, what we were created for, and to sacrifice himself on a cross so that we may be looked at like God saw his creation at the beginning: good.
The death of Jesus brought all creation back into relationship with God. Maybe you could say, Jesus “saved” the world. As Christians, our hope is that everybody hears and believes this Jesus story and lives to follow him.
What is “following Jesus?”
Following Jesus means learning to live the way God created us to live in the first place: in community with Him and with others.
A life in Jesus can be described as a holy life on its way to becoming holy. This means that following Jesus is a growing process.
The piece of our narrative we call the Bible contains some expectations that Jesus has for his followers. Part of the growing process is applying his words to our every day life. This life will involve failures and second chances because Jesus’ expectations for us are so challenging.
Thankfully, there is a group of people called the Church, full of men and women trying to live like God wants them to live. When one person fails, another follower is there to pick him up. When someone succeeds, other believers are there to celebrate with her.
In the Bible, the church is referred to as the “body of Christ.” That means when people see the church, they are seeing Jesus. As a group of people who are trying to perfect the “love God, love others” summary, he church is the hands and feet of Jesus.
That is what the process of transformation looks like. We are made holy when we accept the Jesus story, but look forward to living more like Jesus as we are loved and encouraged by the Church.