What are the basics of Christian Belief?
In finding Salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, you have already started learning some of the basic beliefs, which are detailed on our Roman’s Road page. (at some point we will most likely do some more in-depth lessons on many of these points)
Probably the MOST important belief is the belief that the Bible is the inspired and revealed Word of God. It is one of the main foundations for all of the other beliefs. The belief that the Bible in its entirety, Old and New Testaments, are the inerrant, infallible, and inspired Word of God is critical to the Christian belief system. God has inspired his Word, preserved and protected it through thousands of years, and even though it has around 80 different authors it fits together with amazing precision.
2 Timothy 3:15-17 (NIV) and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Christians believe that there is one God and that God is eternal, infinite and infallible. You may hear terms such as Omniscient (All-knowing) Omnipotent (All-powerful) Omnipresent (everywhere at all times) do not let these terms distract you, they are just terms used in the attempt of a finite human mind to understand an infinite God (which is impossible).
Christians believe that God reveals himself to mankind in three distinct persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God’s three manifestations to man are sometimes called the Trinity and can be difficult to comprehend. (again man’s finite mind issue).
God The Father (Jehovah is one of his many names)
The Father has many attributes a lot of which are similar to earthly fathers, but we must be careful with that idea. As God The Father is the example of what earthly fathers should be and we cannot let some of our earthly fathers faults skew our view of our heavenly Father.
In listing some of the attributes of God The Father you may notice that some of the other personages of God have the same attributes
- God is the creator of all things, the giver of life to everything. With that statement we can also conclude that God owns everything, as Psalms 50:10 (KJV) says “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills”
- God provides for our needs, he gives us what we need spiritually and physically. (it all belongs to Him anyway)
- God provides us with direction and advice through his word and spirit, and as such also lovingly disciplines us and corrects us. (like any good father would with his children.) Making us wiser as we progress on our journey. (Hebrews 12:4-12 (NIV))
- He forgives us, no matter what we have done, and welcomes us back into a relationship with him.
- God is Love.
Jesus (the Son)
To save a bit of space we will bullet point some of the most important beliefs concerning Jesus.
- Jesus was born to a virgin named Mary.
- Jesus was fully God and fully human. God incarnate born to reveal God to all mankind.
- Jesus lived a life that was perfect, free from all sin.
- Jesus gave his life on a cross, as a sacrifice to cover man’s sin
- Jesus is the only savior of mankind by his payment for our sin
- Jesus was raised from the dead 3 days after his death.
- Jesus ascended into heaven to take his seat at the right hand of the Father.
- Jesus will return to take his Church away, and later to fight a battle and rule on earth as The King
- Most of these have multiple references in the 4 Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Some can also
The Holy Spirit (some Christians will use the term Holy Ghost)
We believe that Holy Spirit of God has a personality and all characteristics of God. The Holy Spirit has always been present and has interacted with man, as evidenced in the old testament. However, in the old testament the Spirit of God would “come upon” men like Sampson and then depart from them. This changed at Pentecost after Jesus ascended into Heaven, the Comforter (another name for the Holy Spirit) came to dwell with all believers in Christ. He is our seal from our salvation until we are with Christ.
Ephesians 1:13-14 (NIV) And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
The Holy Spirit has some additional functions:
- Convicting us when we have sinned
- Leading us to righteousness, or guiding us to a right standing with God, to sanctify us.
- Supports us by renewing our own spirit.
- Comforts us by letting us know that God is always with us.
John 14:16 (KJV) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever
Heaven is a real place and is where the presence of God resides. It is the place where we will spend eternity with God when we die. Heaven is also the place where Jesus ascended to and took his place at the right hand of God. Where is it, we don’t really know for sure, but some verses suggest it is closer that most may think.
Psalm 33:13 (NIV) From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind;
Hell is a real place, a place full of suffering, a place of separation from God. It is the place where souls who have died without accepting Christ as their savior are held until judgment. The Lake of Fire is often confused and used as a reference to Hell, but it is a separate and distinct place. It is a place where all those in Hell, those who are have not accepted Christ, and Satan and his angels with be placed after the Judgement.
Revelation 20:14-15 (KJV) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
All of mankind since Adam have been born into sin, a sin nature inherited from Adam. Because of these natural sinful traits, we all choose to sin against God. The payment for sin is death, this is found throughout the Old and New Testaments, via sacrifice of anamails, sacrifice of Jesus, or we pay it with our own eternal death in Hell and/or eventually The Lake of Fire.
Romans 5:12 (NIV) Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned
As we all are sinners we are in need of Salvation. Salvation is gained by placing our faith in Jesus and excepting his free gift that is the payment for our sin. There is only one path to Salvation and the eternal life with God and that is through Jesus Christ. See our page on salvation (Romans Road) for some more info on the process.
Another aspect of salvation that many people debate is Once Saved Always Saved. It is our belief based on scripture that once a person accepts Jesus Christ as their savior then they are Eternally Saved, that means Forever. Food for thought, if you can do nothing to deserve Salvation, you can only accept it as a free gift, why would you think you can do something to lose it. I think John 10:28 (NIV) sums it up for me “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” which mean that no one (which includes you and everyone else) can get out of his hand once they have the gift of eternal life.