2. Individual human lives are seriously distorted by varying levels of irrationality, imperceptiveness, selfishness, callousness, hostility and injustice, as shown in people’s behaviour. The social structures in which we live manifest similar defects at a collective level. Our own problems and those of our society are bound up with the fact that human beings have wronged God in various ways, and alienated themselves from him. We are accountable to God for doing so. Left to ourselves, we are incapable of dealing effectively with this situation.
3. God has freely, lovingly and generously taken the initiative. The centre of his strategy has involved God the Son’s becoming a human being, the particular man Jesus of Nazareth. As a result his life in 1st century Palestine, his death to deal with human wrongdoing, and his resurrection, God has made a way for a restoration of a good relationship with human beings, and has offered help to us in bringing about the right changes to how we live.
4. These things do not happen whether we want it or not: we must actively seek them. More specifically, we must turn away from wrong ways of thinking and acting, must trust in Jesus as the one through whom God has acted to rescue us from our present predicament, and must be willing to yield to Jesus’ living authority.
5. Putting right the broken relationship between humans and God is very important. It involves our being freed from obstacles to fellowship with God, created by objective guilt for our failures in relating to God and to other people. God is utterly opposed to human wrongdoing and to the distortions in human lives, and will eventually act to put a complete, public end to them. There will be life beyond death which, as a result of the activity of Jesus, a great many human beings will attain, and in which both human beings and nature will flourish. There is also the prospect of final divine condemnation and rejection of some human beings.
6. God has constituted Jesus’ followers as a worldwide community, the Church. Its core mission involves proclaiming these truths to the world, so that people may seek the right kind of relationship with God and trust Jesus. It also involves pursuing key Christian values – e.g., by being peacemakers, working for justice, feeding the hungry, and healing the sick.
7. God is active in many ways in the world today. The Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity, is directly involved in establishing and maintaining the right kind of relationship between us and God – one based on openness, trust, and mutual love, and one which fosters commitment to the good of other people. He guides Christians in a large part through the Bible, which is authoritative as a revelation of God’s character, of the meaning of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, and of basic Christian principles and values. Furthermore, God’s interest in the universe, and his future activity in it, extend beyond human beings to a renewal of cosmic proportions.