What Is Christianity?
Christianity, by definition, is the faith & beliefs regarding the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is known as the Gospel or Good News.
Christianity is a monotheistic worldview. Christians believe there’s only one true God, who is the Creator of the heavens and the earth. This divine Godhead consists of three parts: the father (God himself), the son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit, formally known in theological terms as the Trinity.
The Bible is the inspired word of God to all people. It was written by human authors under the supernatural leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. Because it was inspired by God, the Bible is truth without error and is completely relevant to our daily lives.
The Trinity is one of those mysteries of God we will never fully understand completely. But, from what we can see in scripture, it is plain that God has always existed in relationship with Himself for all eternity. Each member of the Trinity serves different functions, they each possess equal power and authority. The Trinity exists as one substance in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
God is the great “I Am”: He is all things, He is all powerful, all knowing, ever present, unchanging, completely Holy and worthy of our love, trust and devotion. It is in Him that we exist. He is a good Father. He is loving, compassionate, and faithful to His people and His promises.
Jesus Christ is both completely human and at the same time, completely God. He is plan A for bringing people who are far from God back into a right relationship with God; there is no plan B.
His death on the cross was substitution for our deserved punishment because of sin. His sacrifice satisfied our debt due to sin. He defeated death through rising from the dead, proving to us that he was indeed God. This was done for our sake. He paved the way to heaven redeeming both our eternity and providing hope for this life.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit’s presence assures us of our relationship with Christ. He guides believers into all truth, Holy living, and power. He convicts people of their sin, God’s righteousness, and the coming judgment. The Holy Spirit draws each person to God through conviction, empowers believers for holy living, and empowers the follower of Christ with spiritual gifts for a life of powerful ministry. He also comforts and counsels us when we are in need.
Man was created to exist forever. All of us will exist either, eternally separated from God by sin, or in relationship with God through the forgiveness of sin and salvation through Jesus alone. Hell is to be eternally separated from God. Heaven is to be in an eternal relationship with God. Heaven and Hell are very real places of eternal existence.
Man and Sin
Man is made in the image of God and is the supreme object of His creation and affection. Man was created for God with the purpose of a deep thriving relationship with Him. Man became separated from God, out of a relationship with Him, through sinful disobedience. Sin created a type of spiritual debt that is now applied to every human being. As a result, man cannot attain a right relationship with God through his own efforts. The cost of sin is a proper sacrifice and Jesus paid this spiritual debt in full. It’s only through Jesus that sin can be forgiven. Jesus’ work on the cross brought those who believe and follow Him back into right standing with God.
Every human is uniquely created by God and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Jesus’ sacrifice is the only payment that satisfies God’s anger toward sin. Jesus opened the door to repentance, healing and forgiveness. Salvation only occurs when people place their faith and trust in the death and resurrection of Christ as sufficient payment for their sin. Salvation is a gift from God, and it cannot be earned through our efforts.
The Christian Church
The Church is what is known as the Body of Christ. It consists of every person that has placed their faith in Jesus Christ. This spans beyond any denomination or affiliation, it is every Christ follower.
The term “church” is also used to describe a local community of believers unified through faith in Christ. It is committed to the teachings of Christ and obeying all of His commands, and it seeks to bring the Gospel to the world.
The Church is Jesus’ plan A for reaching the world with the Gospel message, there is no plan B. The Church works together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ. The Church is to be a community of grace and mercy that invites all people, however they come. Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. The Church’s work is to invite and share the message of hope.
HOW IS CHRISTIANITY DIFFERENT FROM OTHER WORLD RELIGIONS?
- Christianity is grounded in History
Christianity is a historical faith, grounded in human history. God has revealed Himself in history and His plan for salvation in History.
The Bible, in addition to being a book of faith, is also a historical document that is reliable and receives the highest achievable rating by any historical standard. It is said that archaeology is the Bible’s best friend. This statement references the fact that all things found in archaeology only substantiate the Bible’s historical claims.
- The claims of Jesus about Himself solidify Himself as the Son of God and the 2nd member of the Trinity (God himself).
- In John 8:58-59, Jesus unmistakably calls himself God by stating He is the “I AM”.
- In John 4:25-26, in the story of Jesus speaking with the woman at the well, He refers to Himself as the awaited Messiah & Christ.
- Claims about man .
- Every person who inhabits this planet was created by God (Acts 17:24-26).
- Every person has sinned against God (Romans 3:23).
- Every other religion teaches us to earn our way to God.
- Other religions have systems of rules to appease their god. Christianity is a relationship with God.
- Christianity isn’t about you.
Christianity is about Christ who loved us and saved us, without any merit or worthiness of our own.
- Christianity is an uneven exchange.
Christianity is about a marvelously uneven exchange, wherein Christ takes upon himself our sin, weakness, shortcomings, and sorrow and gives us His righteousness, holiness, power, and pardons us from our sin debt. We are forgiven, set free, and healed. We become made new, as new creations. We are given a fresh start and a new beginning.
The Christian faith is unlike any other religion. Every other religion says, “Work harder; pray harder; do this; do that and maybe just maybe you will be enough.” But Jesus says,
“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).
What a wonderful giftーJesus!
What is Christianity?ーIt is the only hope for salvation through Jesus alone.
How is it different from every other worldview? ーIt’s different in every way!