Since Christianity is the world’s largest religion, most people know it by name. Maybe you have Christian friends or colleagues or have become curious after reading about certain Christian beliefs. This article summarizes what Christianity is about in 7 basics. If you want to delve deeper, please browse our articles by category or search for a specific question.
- Christianity is monotheistic, which means that there is only one God. But this one God exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We call this “trinity”
- God is eternal, which means that He is beyond time. He has always been and will always remain the same.
- God is the creator of the universe and of every single individual. This gives Him the right to be our Lord.
- God is holy and righteous. He is absolutely good.
- God is almighty and omniscient, which means that He knows everything and has the power to do anything He wants to do.
- God is full of love and invites people to become his children.
There is an enormous problem that disrupts our relationship with God. The Bible calls it “sin”. Sin basically means that we humans do not accept God as our Lord. We prefer to go our own way, slapping Him in the face by our disobedience. This problem started with the first human couple believing the lies of God’s enemy and following his suggestion to disobey God. Since then, all humans are born with a corrupted heart and are not even able to love and honor God properly. Sin has also distorted creation, and we see its consequences every day: illness, hatred, poverty, and even death.
Despite the seriousness of sin, our situation is not hopeless. “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) The Lord provided a way to get right with Him again. God the Son paid the price for human sin Himself! All we need to do is accept his offer of forgiveness and his lordship over our lives. Believing in Jesus Christ as our Savior saves us from the punishment of sin and restores our relationship with God. Instead of eternal death, we receive eternal life.
4. Jesus Christ
In order to pay the price for human sin, God the Son took on human form. He was born as a human baby, grew up in a normal family, and began preaching at age 30. His name was Jesus, meaning “the one who saves”. Jesus’ mother Mary was an ordinary woman, but his Father was… God! As an angel told Mary: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy — the Son of God.”
During his ministry on earth, Jesus proclaimed the good news of God’s salvation plan. His message was accompanied by signs and miracles showing his supernatural power. However, the religious leaders did not accept his claims. They rejected him and even plotted his death. When Jesus was about 33 years old, He was crucified. This was the most horrible moment in human history, but nevertheless part of God’s plan and announced centuries before. “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3) Jesus’ death was an atoning death, meaning that He died not for his own sins (He never committed any sin), but for the sins of everybody who believes in Him.
Jesus’ death was not the end of the story. After three days, He rose from the grave! He appeared to his disciples on various occasions and then returned to his Father in heaven. There He remains till the end of the world when He will come back to judge humanity and to create a new, perfect world for his children.
5. Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the trinity, besides God the Father and God the Son. He was involved in the creation of the world, but also in the re-creation of humans. When someone comes to faith, he or she is transformed and renewed. This process is called “being born again”, and is brought about by the Holy Spirit. He dwells in believers and transforms them into people after God’s heart. He also guides and protects the church and equips us for the tasks God has in store for us.
6. Eternal life
The Bible makes clear that this world is only temporary. It will pass away, and God will create new heavens and a new earth. In this new world, there will be no more sin and death. Only people who have accepted God’s offer of forgiveness and have thus been cleansed from sin will be allowed to live there forever in God’s presence. Whoever rejects God will be cast out and face eternal punishment. It is thus literally of life importance to know God and to surrender to Him.
The main source of information about the Christian faith is the Bible. This is God’s message to us, written down by human authors and transmitted over the centuries. It teaches us all we need to know about God and about living as a Christian.
This article is just a quick summary. But we have a lot of articles to give you more information!