What Do Christians Believe?

This is a short summary of what Christianity is all about. The information in this article can be backed up by Bible verses you can find by linking to selections of Bible passages on the Bible Topics page (linked to below).

Basically, Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ - the Son of God - died to take the punishment that God considers that the world's population deserves for the wrong things we have done, so that anyone who makes a commitment to him and stops doing things they know to be wrong will no longer have to be punished by him themselves, but will enjoy eternity with him.

Subjects covered here include:

The Godhead:

Christians believe that there is one God who is supremely powerful and knowing. Christian beliefs may sound bizarre to anyone unfamiliar with them, but if there is such a being, anything's possible! Christians believe God made the world and the first animals and humans through Jesus, who is also God, although Christians vary on the details of how much they believe God made and how much was achieved by natural processes.

Christians believe God the Father and Jesus are not separate gods. They are part of the same God, with the same perfect, sinless nature. It's as if God is a family, but with all three persons being one in nature, substance and purpose, but having different roles, the Father being the head of the hierarchy. But because they're one in nature and substance, they're called the same God.

The Bible says Jesus was not created. He is God's natural, spiritually-born son. The Holy Spirit is also part of the same God, although also a person in his own right. The Bible says that God is spirit.

God's Relationship With Humans

Even though God is the creator of the universe, people can still have a personal relationship with him, so powerful and knowing is he. The Bible indicates that he wants us to think of him as our father and talk to him like we'd talk to a loving father. Prayer is just the process of talking to God. The Bible says it can be very powerful, so if we have a request, we should not hesitate to ask God to help us, and he'll grant our request if it's in accordance with his will.

But the Bible says that selfish prayers will not be answered, and that God won't listen to people who do evil while thinking they can ask him for things. And God doesn't want us to just use him to answer requests.

Also, while people have a chance of helping themselves, they shouldn't just rely on prayer, hoping things will be solved for them, but should take active steps to improve their lot and those of other people themselves.

But the Bible says we should tell God our concerns, because he cares about us.

And the Bible says we should always be thankful to God for things. Having a grateful mind-set - looking on the bright side - will be good for us because it will improve our mood, as well as anything else.

What Sin is

The Bible says that everyone has sinned, and the types of things that are considered sin include:

  1. Any actions that have resulted in the deliberate harm of others, or their accidental harm through our negligence or indifference to the consequences of our actions;
  2. Any words we have spoken to hurt others or which have been likely to harm their reputation without good reason;
  3. Any thoughts we have had of harming others or seeking selfish pleasure, or doing anything else we know in our heart of hearts to be wrong;
  4. Any time we have acted from selfish motives;
  5. Any time we have not done good when we should have done -

Any time we did any of these things - we were sinning.

How Jesus Christ Came To Earth To Pay The Price For Our Sins:

The Bible indicates that because God is perfect, we can't be with him in heaven unless we, too, are made perfect. So anyone unwilling to be made perfect by God can't go to heaven.

Because God is a God of justice who considers that sins need to be punished, we would all be destined to go to hell in the natural course of events, which is a place where people will be punished with differing degrees of severity according to what we've done. However, God sent his son Jesus to earth, to live as a human being and die to take the punishment for our sins.

However, the Bible says God had actually planned that Jesus should be put to death long before he came to earth. Jesus was taking the punishment for sins, so that those who become his followers can receive forgiveness, since Jesus has paid the penalty. This is an indication of God's love for humans. Jesus wasn't forced into making the sacrifice. He is recorded as having said he had come of his own free will and was free to give his life up and take it back as he chose.

Because of Jesus' death, no one can accuse God of taking sin lightly when he offers to forgive those who make a commitment to turn away from sin. This is an especially important point when people turn away from serious sin. If the Bible said people could just be forgiven, without a penalty having been paid, people might think God doesn't consider sin a serious matter.

The fact that a penalty has been paid doesn't mean, however, that people aren't obligated to make amends for their sins themselves. It's a person's Christian duty to be caring and to make any reparations that are appropriate.

Getting To Heaven:

The death of Jesus to pay for sins does not mean that nobody will be punished for their sins any more and that everyone can go to heaven, because many people will want to hold onto their sinful nature, and only people who are willing to be made perfect can get to heaven. But it means that those who realise that they are sinners in need of a saviour and accept that Jesus died to take their punishment, and who turn away from everything they know to be wrong, can go to heaven, if they receive the Holy Spirit into their lives, who is part of God, living in Christians to make us better people.

The Life-Changing Power Of The Holy Spirit:

The Holy Spirit can produce qualities of love, patience, kindness, gentleness and other such things in people who want and ask him to. He can also give us joy. Christians are commanded to let the Holy Spirit direct our lives rather than obeying the demands of our sinful human nature.

Christians won't necessarily realise when they've been given the Holy Spirit. However, they may soon start to notice changes in their lives that they haven't consciously made. For instance, some soon realise that they just don't want to swear, drink or listen to dirty jokes any more.
After a while, when they look back on their lives since they've been Christians, they may realise that several changes for the better have taken place without them deliberately making an effort to change.

The Holy Spirit may also give some Christians supernatural gifts such as the gift of healing people miraculously through the power of God.

Sinning After Becoming A Christian:

All Christians will carry on being sinners while on earth. The Bible says there is no one who does not sin. But anyone who becomes a Christian and then makes a deliberate practice of doing things that they know conflict with God's commands cannot be expected to be allowed into heaven. They will be rejected.

However, any Christian who sins through ignorance or through a temporary loss of self-control or such a thing as that, but then realises they've done wrong and comes back to God, turning away from that sin and wanting forgiveness, will be forgiven. The Bible says that Jesus pleads with God the Father for us.

Telling People About Christianity

Christians believe that it's important to tell people about the death of Jesus for our sins and the need to turn away from doing everything we know to be wrong, as Jesus actually commanded his disciples to do. This could improve the welfare of others if it means people turn away from things that harm others, they may stop doing behaviours that harm themselves, such as drinking to excess, and it could mean they escape hell.

The Raising To Life And Rise To Heaven Of Jesus:

Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead three days after he was crucified and then appeared to his disciples, teaching them that the Old Testament prophets taught about him, and eating some fish, which showed he was a real person, as convincing proof that he was alive again and that his claims to be the son of God were really true.

Then after many days, he is reported to have risen into the air, and he was hidden by a cloud while the disciples were watching; and while they were staring into the sky after him, an angel appeared and told them that Jesus would one day return, as Jesus himself had also said he would.

The Return Of Jesus:

When Jesus returns, it will not be as a child again; he will come back to judge the world. People who have done evil and rejected him will go to hell, but people who have been reborn by accepting his death on the cross for their sins and being regenerated into better people by the Holy Spirit will go to be with him in his kingdom.

The main Bible pages on this site:

Bible Bible Part 1: Bible Quotations, The Holy Spirit, People And Their Stories
Bible Part 2: The Lives and Suffering of the Ancient Israelites
Bible Part 3: The Bible, Articles About Alleged Inaccuracies in it, And Stories of People who Became Christians.

Warning Against Believing Everything you Hear or Read

Don't be afraid to question the truth of what a religious authority figure tells you, or even the Bible or other holy books themselves, or certain people's interpretation of them. Nothing to do with religion or the supernatural is so well established in fact it shouldn't be questioned. To find out why caution is a good idea, visit:

The Beauty of the New Testament's Moral Teaching and Other Important Pages on this Website

Are you up to trying the challenges of the New Testament's moral guidelines, and would you like to know more of what it says about the love of Jesus? Here are some links to Bible quotes about the beautiful ideals the New Testament encourages Christians to try to live up to:

There are a lot of pages on this website with quotations from the Old Testament on them. Many of these are unfortunately rather gruesome, since the main theme of the Old Testament is warnings and stories about how it says societies were punished for mass lawless and hurtful behaviour, even to the extent of having war brought on them by God, that seem to have been designed to scare societies where crime and violence were rampant into behaving more ethically. In case there is any misunderstanding, it should be understood that this website does not endorse war as anything other than a last resort. The position of the website owner can be gleaned from the articles:

Fancy some light relief or laughter therapy? Then go to the first of our jokes pages:

If you have a problem affecting your mental health or well-being, like depression, a difficulty with life-damaging worry, panic attacks, phobias or OCD, marriage problems, an addiction, an eating disorder, recovering from the trauma of sexual abuse or domestic violence, coping with bullies in the workplace, or bullying and teasing at school, trying to lose weight, raising difficult teenagers, caring for someone with a disease like Alzheimer's, wanting to recover from anorexia or self-harm, or grieving for someone you were close to or feeling lonely, and you'd like some ideas on coping or getting past it, visit our Self-help series.

If this is the first page you have visited on this site, this is part of Broadcaster.org.uk, a website about social and psychological issues, what the Bible says about social problems and other topics, and how they affect people's lives today.

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