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What is at the core of Christianity?

A friend recently wrote…

Surely we should be concentrating on the core issue of our salvation: Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins – once and for all. He knew the sins I would commit before I was even born, and His death on the cross paid for those sins – even though they were all in the future at that time.

What is at the core of the Christian faith?

The position my friend described seems to be too man-centric to be at the core.

Romans 11:36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.

That verse seems to be better describe the core of our faith. That is, it is not primarily or even mostly about what God did for us but what He has done for Himself. He created all things (including us) for Himself. Even the redemption of our souls was to His glory.

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