Christian doctrine - What are the basics?
It is important as a Christian to know the basic Christian doctrines in order to answer those questions that arise about why you believe what you believe. Most people who come to know Jesus know little more than the idea that they are sinners and Jesus is their Savior, but we must know more than these two truths in order to grow in our Christian walk. The following are six of the essential doctrines that we as Christians believe. It is up to you to learn these truths as well as many others in order to increase in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Human Beings - We believe we are created in the image of God. In the Garden of Eden, God created the first man, Adam, who was formed from the dust of earth and brought to life by the breath of God. God also created the first woman, Eve, by taking a rib from Adam. This is creation of man, so we are all descendants of Adam and Eve.
The Bible - We as Christians believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, which came about by Holy inspiration. This means that even though men, starting with Moses and ending with the disciple John, wrote the 66 books contained in the Bible, they were inspired by God and guided by the Holy Spirit to put to papyrus those truths that God wanted us to know. The Bible is the Word of God made know to us, and is good for preaching, teaching, and instructing men and women in the truth.
God - I do not have enough time to explain in detail the beliefs that we as Christians have about God. Let it suffice to say that as Christians we believe in one God, but in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which we refer to as the Trinity or the Godhead. The Three Persons of the Trinity appear to work separately from each other, but when you realize that God is omnipresent, everywhere at once, you can see how He can be with us now in the form of the Holy Spirit, and as Jesus when He walked the earth, and still be in Heaven in the form of the Father. This is one doctrine that you would be advised to make yourself more familiar with because it is one of the most questioned Christian doctrines.
Jesus - As Christians, we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, part of the Trinity. What this means to us is that God came to this earth in the form of a man, in order to die on a cross and take our punishment. Jesus is often referred to as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world because of His death on the cross. It is important to our faith that we believe in Jesus' death and resurrection, because if not for that sacrifice we would still be lost in our sin. C.S. Lewis once said that in deciding who Jesus is, you have three choices, "lunatic, liar, or Savior." That choice is up to you.
The Holy Spirit - The Holy Spirit is the third part of the Godhead or Trinity: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is fully God and comes to inhabit the believer forever when we accept Christ as our Savior, to guide us into truth, to teach us, and to help us carry on the ministry of Jesus Christ here on earth. It is through the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we are able to interpret Scripture and learn what God wants us to know from His Word. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be given to all believers. In Acts chapter 2, we see the arrival of the Holy Spirit, which is the fulfillment of both the prophecy of His arrival written in Joel 2:28-29 and of Jesus' promise to His disciples in John 7:37-39.
We are sinners. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." We as Christians believe that because of one man, Adam, sin came into this world, and as a result of that sin, death. We may not like the idea, but each generation after Adam, up to and including ours, was born into sin. This is what we believe and hold to, and this is why God, in the form of Jesus, had to come to take our punishment on the cross.
Salvation. There is only one way to Heaven, and that is through the person of Jesus Christ. The Bible says that Jesus died once for all that we may be saved. The Bible says that salvation can be found in no one else and not by works, lest any man boast. This means we must, through faith and belief in our hearts of what Jesus did for us, confess our sins to Christ and offer up to Him our lives as living sacrifices, at which time we are forgiven and enter into an eternal relationship with Christ. This is the only way to salvation.
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