It’s a bit of a mouthful, but the word ‘Christadelphian’ just means “brothers and sisters in Christ” in Greek (the language of the first-century church). The Christadelphians are a world-wide community of Christians whose fellowship is based on a common understanding of the Bible’s message, and a desire to keep things simple in the way we worship, with as little ritual or ceremony as possible – true to the original, first-century church. We have no central organisation telling us what to do or what to believe. What we do believe in is the importance of making up your own mind.
It’s the world’s best-selling book, and at around 1,200 pages the Bible is a big read! So let’s try and summarise what we believe its main message to be:
- There is one God, the source and sustainer of all lifeThe Bible is God’s message to us
- Jesus is the Son of God but was also human, demonstrating his Father’s love in a way we could understand
- Jesus died on the cross to show that there’s nothing God wouldn’t do to bring us back to Him
- Jesus was resurrected and will return to establish God’s righteous kingdom here on earth
- You can be a part of that coming kingdom through faith, and a belief in Jesus
To put it another way, we all fall short of what God wants us to be, but Jesus bridges that gap, ultimately bringing us back to God. He helps us understand God’s nature (pretty difficult otherwise, as we’re human and God isn’t) and came to fulfill the promises God made to humankind in the Old Testament of the Bible. Jesus was tempted just as we are, and yet he resisted wrongdoing even to the point of death by crucifixion at the hands of the Romans. Three days later he was raised to eternal life, ascending to be with his Father until the time set for his return, to establish a new kingdom characterised by justice, equality, and peace. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
We embrace the hope of resurrection to new life in this kingdom when Jesus returns, although there’s nothing we can do to earn that. It’s attained by grace and through faith. We see baptism as a public confession of this faith, and the first step in participating in the promise God made to us – originally through Abraham in the Old Testament, then to all humankind through Jesus – that we would “inherit the earth”.
God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”John 3, verse 16
That really is good news!