What is Christianity and what do Christians believe?
Who is God
The Bible says that God has always existed; that God is from everlasting to everlasting. With our finite minds it is difficult to understand that God had no beginning and will have no end, but that He always was. God did not come from somewhere, He just always was. We use the term 'eternity' to describe the concept of something that has no end, because we live in terms of time and cannot understand a realm without time.
God exists as one God but God is also three distinct persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; which make up what we call the 'trinity'. Each person of the trinity is distinct from the other, is fully divine in nature, yet identical. The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Spirit who is not the Father or the Son. It should be noted that the Bible never refers to God as mother but only as 'Father God'. The three persons of the Trinity are divine, distinct and equal but there are not three gods, but only one God. The Bible teaches us that the Trinity exists as a single God who is self-existent and unchangeable.
God created the unending universe and everything in it down to the smallest particle imaginable. God also created time, not for Himself but for us; as God exists eternally where time has no meaning or purpose.
A variety of properties are attributed to God including omniscience -all knowing, omnipotence -all powerful and omnipresence - present everywhere.
In living the Christian life we need to understand that God is love but God also desires justice and righteousness. Justice and equity are who God is, but how much more is God's grace and mercy. God holds every person accountable for their own lives but He extends His unsearchable mercy and grace to every sinner. God gave us Himself in the person of Jesus Christ who paid the penalty for all sin and gives eternal life to all who accept Him as Lord and Saviour.
The basic message of Christianity from the Bible says that the Son of God is Jesus Christ who came to this earth, born to a virgin, lived a sinless life and from about 30 years of age He spent the next 3 years teaching about God's ways. Then He was crucified and rose again on the third day. No mere man would go through such an agonizing death on the cross simply for another person, and especially for sinners. He was not just an ordinary man but He was and is God himself, sinless and the only one that could take away sin.
WHERE - is the presence of God
The Bible is a great place to begin looking for God's presence. The answer to where God may be is more to do with His presence in our lives. The evidence of God is in His creation. Genesis 1:1 says, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Also in Psalm 19:1-2 "The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge." God has revealed Himself to us through His creation and His Word.
God desired for us to know Him so He took on the form of a man, in the person of His Son Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:6-8: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
We can see God in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to help us know God and to assure us Jesus declare the truth about God. The Bible tells us He is a person, and that He is near. The Bible says He longs to forgive you and we can read of His longsuffering nature in His word.
WHAT - is God's plan for His creation.
God gives us promises in the Bible that were true centuries ago, are true today, and will be true tomorrow. He has promised us ‘life and life more abundantly.’ So if His Word is true, He is Truth.
God is Grace and Mercy, for He has forgiven us for our past mistakes and sins. He is longsuffering, wanting that no one should perish.
We were made in the image of God that is we resemble His likeness. But man has been born in sin and has a tendency to sin; where as God is without sin, pure, and blameless. He cannot look upon sin, so He is also Judge.
Since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden back at the beginning of creation man has broken his fellowship with God. When Adam and Eve sinned they lost their right to live forever and were expelled from the garden; and became unfit to be in the presence of God. After this, death came to all mankind and all will die eventually, then find themselves in an awful place called Hell. No sin can ever enter Heaven and since everyone sins there is no other choice for fallen man except Hell. Man needs to be saved or born again so he can live in fellowship with God. Eternally it is far better to end up in Heaven than in Hell after you leave here, after all it is for ever and ever.
WHEN - did God Create the Heavens and the Earth
Though the Bible is very specific about who created the universe and somewhat specific about how and why he created, it is less specific about when. Certainly, the who question is crucial to one's salvation, the why somewhat less important and the when question hardly matters other than for curiousity purposes.
Though we believe from scripture of a young earth, as for its bearing on the evolution issue, whether the universe is billions of years old or only thousands of years old makes no difference in the case for or against life's evolving exclusively by random natural processes.
WHY - did God create man
God created man so He could love him and also for man to love God back in return. God expressed His love toward us in that while we were still sinners God in person of Jesus Christ died for us.
From Genesis through Revelation, we see a consistent picture of God who continues to offer forgiveness, up to the very end of time. He is not willing that any should perish, the Bible says, but that all should be saved. The reason He sent Jesus into the world is so that we could all be saved! (John 3:17). Religion teach us we need to earn God's favor. The Bible tells us God's forgiveness is a gift. All He is waiting for is for us to admit our need that we are a sinner and ask Him to forgive us. Once we confess our sin, His forgiveness is ours.
Near the end of the Gospel of John, just before He was crucified, Jesus told His disciples about a comforter He would send, to remind them of all the things He had taught. That comforter, the Holy Spirit of God, came at Pentecost, just a short time after Jesus ascended into heaven. In Acts 1 the we read about that event as His disciples were filled with His Spirit and began declaring the Gospel message.
What this means for you and me is that once we confess our sins, receive God's forgiveness and accept the gift of salvation through Christ, we can know the presence of that Comforter, too. With His Holy Spirit living in us, His nature gradually overtakes our own. As that happens, others will begin to discover where God is by knowing you.
I would highly recommend reading the Bible; ask God through His Holy Spirit to open the eyes of your heart, to help you to know who God truly is. Ask God to reveal the deep things of God to you. It will surface into your reality and you will never be the same again.
God was one step ahead of man's sin. He had a plan to restore man to Himself. The fact that so few choose this path is no fault of God, as if He made man sin. God wanted people to love and worship Him freely. If we were programmed to act and choose a certain way than there would be no love; so we would not be able to know what love is.
The Gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ. God knowing that man would fall and did fall, provided a means of reconciliation for man because there was nothing that man could do to make himself acceptable to God. God sent Jesus Christ, and with His own life and the shedding His own blood provided the only possible restoration for man.
What must a man do to be saved?
Here we conclude the basic message of christianity in that every human being on this earth could be saved because Jesus Christ died on the cross and provided salvation for all. Salvation has been provided to all; but it must be accepted individually by each person. Each one has to recognize they are a sinner against God, and realize that God has provided for their salvation through Jesus Christ, and then embrace it.
Salvation or becoming saved simply is the process of confessing and believing. You must confess that Jesus is Lord and that you are a sinner in need of salvation. Then you need to believe that God has given us His Son Jesus to die for your sin and also He raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Jesus has paid for all sin and provided man a life free from the penalty of sin.
The Bible says "For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
It is clear from the Bible that there are no works of any sort that can earn any right into Heaven. Grace here means to receive undeserved favor. We are saved because of our faith we have in Jesus Christ and faith alone.
It is impossible to get into heaven because of our works. Scripture also says " Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" and this tells us that it is only through Jesus Christ and not through anything else which includes any form of workes that salvation can be attained. Jesus also said in John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me".
Consider - The Basic Message of Christianity, learning about the attributes of God, living the Christian life in a way that draws people to Him and ' His Love, Mercy and Grace'.
Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
Luke 18:27 But He said, "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God."
Philippians 2:6-8 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Genesis 1:26,27 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Numbers 14:18 The LORD is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
Rom 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Eph. 2:8~10 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
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