Christianity Beliefs & Teachings (Afterlife (Judgement ( Christians…
Christianity Beliefs & Teachings
What do Christians believe about God?
There is only one God
Nicene Creed - 'we believe in one God'
God is the creator and sustainer of life
People have a relationship with God through prayer
God is holy
Qualities of God
He is omnipotent
God is the supreme being who is all-powerful
God has unlimited authority
He is benevolent
God uses his power to do good
God shows his love by creating humans and caring for them
God showed his love, by sending Jesus
He is just
God is a just judge of humankind
God will never support injustice, ill-treatment, prejudice or oppression
Problems of Evil and Suffering
The problems with evil and suffering challenge God's qualities:
If God is benevolent, why does God allow people to suffer, and to hurt others?
If God is omnipotent, why does God not prevent evil and suffering, such as the suffering caused by natural disasters?
If God is just, why does God allow injustice to take place?
Christians believe a just God treats people fairly, so they trust God even when things seem to be going wrong.
The Oneness of God &The Trinity
Christians believe there are three persons in the one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Each person of the Trinity is fully God
God is understood by Christians as a relationship of love between Father, Son and the Holy Spirit
In describing god as Trinity, 'person' does not mean a physical being, although Jesus did have a physical presence.
God the Father:
The creator of all life, acts as a good father towards his children.
He is all powerful (omnipotent), all loving (omnibenevolent), all knowing (omniscient) and present everywhere (omnipresent).
God the Son:
Became incarnate through Jesus who was both fully human while on Earth and fully God at all times.
God the Holy Spirit:
Unseen power of God, our influences, guide and sustain of life on Earth.
Christians believe in creation by God, the act by which God brought the Universe into being.
God, the Father, chose to design and create the earth and all life on it
The Holy Spirit was active in the creation (Genesis 1:1-3)
The Word, God the Son or Jesus, was active in the creation (Genesis 1: 1-3)
The Trinity therefore existed from the beginning
Creation: Genesis 1: 1-3
Many Christians believe that the story of the creation in Genesis, not scientifically accurate but contains religious truth.
Some Christians believe that God made the world in literally six days.
God created everything out of choice and created everything 'good'.
Christians believe that God continues to create new life today.
'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth'.
Creation: John 1: 1-3
In John's Gospel, everything was created through the Word, who was both with God and was God.
The Word refers to the Son of God, who entered history as Jesus.
Christians believe that the Son of God, the Word of God, was involved in the creation.
'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.'
The Incarnation of Jesus
Christians believe that Jesus was God in human form, a belief known as the incarnation (becoming flesh, taking a human form).
Christians believe that Jesus was the Son of God, one of the persons of the Trinity.
On separate occasions an angel appeared to Mary and Joseph explaining that it was not an ordinary conception and it was not to be an ordinary child.
The gospels of Matthew and Luke explain that Mary conceived Jesus without having sex.
The virgin conception is evidence for the Christian belief that Jesus was the Son of God, part of the Trinity.
Through the incarnation, God showed himself as a human being (Jesus) for around 30 years.
'This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit' Matthew 1:18
'The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.' John 1:14
Son Of God, Messiah, Christ
Jesus was fully God and fully human, which helps explain his miracles and resurrection (rising from the dead).
His words, deeds and promises have great authority because they are word of God.
Most Jews expected a Messiah who would come to save Israel and establish an age of peace, but do not believe that Jesus was that person.
Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah, but a spiritual rather than a political one.
Gospel writers refer to Jesus as the Christ ('anointed one' or Messiah), but Jesus warned his disciples not to use the term, possibly because his opponents would have him arrested for blasphemy.
Crucifixion of Jesus
Jesus was sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate, a death by crucifixion.
Jesus forgave those who crucified him and promised one of the men crucified with him that he would join God in paradise.
Jesus' body was buried in a cave-like tomb.
Although Jesus was fully God, he was also fully human so suffered pain and horror.
Jesus' last words before dying were: 'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit' Luke 23:46
A Roman centurion acknowledged Jesus was innocent, and said he was the Son of God (Mark 15:39)
The Roman guards made sure Jesus was dead
Joseph of Arimathea was permitted to bury Jesus in a cave-like tomb, rolling a large stone to block the entrance.
Why Is It Important?
Jesus' sacrifice on the cross gives hope to Christians that their sins will be forgiven if they sincerely repent
Christians believe that God understands human suffering, because Jesus who is god experienced it.
Christians accept that suffering is part of life, just as it was part of Jesus' life.
Resurrection of Jesus
The gospels say that after Jesus died and was buried, he rose from the dead. This event was known as the resurrection.
The Ascension of Jesus, took place 40 days after his resurrection, when he returned to God the Father in heaven.
There would be no Christian faith without his resurrection.
Early on Sunday morning, some of Jesus' female followers, including Mary Magdalene, visited the tomb to anoint Jesus' body
Jesus' body was not there
Either a man or two men, who may have been angels, told the women to spread the news that Jesus had risen from the dead
Over the next few days, Jesus appeared to several people including Mary Magdalene and his disciples. He told them he had risen from the dead, as he predicted he would before the crucifixion.
'And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead... For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive'
The Ascension - After meeting with his disciples Jesus returned to the heavens.
The Significance of these Events:
Shows the power of good over evil, life over death.
Christians sins will be forgiven if they follow God's laws.
No need to fear death.
Shows Jesus is with God in heaven.
Paves the way for God to provide Holy Spirit for guidance.
Christians believe in afterlife (life after death) that depends on faith in God.
After life begins at death or Day Of Judgement, when Jesus will come to judge the living and the dead.
Judgement will be based on how people behaved in their lives as well as their faith in God and Jesus
Christian beliefs about life after death vary:
They will be resurrected and receive eternal life after they die.
This is a gift from God, and dependent on faith in God.
They will be judged by God at some point after they die, and either rewarded by being sent to heaven or punished by being sent to hell.
This judgement will happen either very soon after death or on the Day of Judgement.
Christians believe that after they die, God will judge them on their behaviour and actions during their lifetime
Parable of the Sheep and The Goats
The state or place of eternal happiness and peace in the presence of God.
The place of eternal suffering or the state of being without God.
An intermediate state where souls are cleansed in order to enter Heaven.
To be saved from sin and its consequences and to be granted eternal life with God.
Salvation repairs the damage caused by sin.
Salvation Through Work
Salvation Through Grace