What is Foundations?
Who is God? What is God like? Does God care about me? If God is good, why is there evil? Why did Jesus have to die? What does it mean to have faith?
For thousands of years we have asked these questions, and it can be tough to get some clear answers. That's why we're doing Foundations.
What is Foundations?
Foundations is a way to ask questions and get answers to the essential elements of the Christian faith. It's for anyone who wants to learn about what it means to be a Christian and grow in his or her relationship with God. The answers are rooted in a story about a man named Jesus Christ who was also God. Here's the brief version:
Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, along with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, and that Jesus Christ became a man, lived a perfect life of obedience to God and of love to his neighbor. He then was unjustly put to death on the cross as a sacrifice for sin, only to rise from the dead three days later because death could not hold him. After appearing to his disciples, he ascended into heaven, where he waits to return and make the world right again through judgment and restoring all things. This is the Good News, the Gospel, and Christians believe that by faith in Jesus, that he is who he says he is and that he did what he said he did, we can enter into a loving restored relationship with God, adopted as a son or daughter who will live with God praising him and loving him for eternity.
We believe this story is true, but for many, they struggle to make sense of the story above. Foundations is a way to ask questions and get answers to the what, why, and how of the Gospel. We believe that Foundations offers four tremendous benefits. It is essential, practical, communal, and transformational.
To be a Christian is to be in a relationship with God and with his people. To be in a relationship with anyone, we must know about him or her! What is he or she like? What's his character? What does she want or not want? What is the vision for the good life? A Christian must know all of these things about God to be in relationship with God.
If I know who God is, who I am, what has gone wrong in the world, how God made it right, how I am supposed to live, what I am to care about, where history is going, and what family I belong to, that's invaluable for everyday life! The Gospel says that my identity is rooted in the perfection and faithfulness of Jesus Christ, who will not let me go. This informs everything, from how I study to who I date or marry and especially what I should do with my career and future.
A relationship with God means a relationship with his people. Christians are a communal people - there is no such thing as an isolated Christian. A Christian is united to Jesus Christ and a part of his church, meaning we are always together. Foundations is a way to work these questions and answers as a community in dialogue format. It is an ongoing conversation about who God is and how we should live at SMU.
When God's Word is taught and applied, lives change. Anxieties fall away, insecurities vanish, new relationships arise, and confidence emerges. As we grow in our understanding of the depth of God's love for us, we are changed. The undeserved favor of God's grace calls us to a pure and holy life, one full of joy and justice.
These elements will lead to Christ-like formation in three areas: