What We Believe
Key questions about Christianity
Perhaps you find yourself on this page because you have got questions about who Jesus is, whether the Bible is trustworthy or what it is that Christians actually believe. Below are answers to some of those questions; they are not definitive but hopefully will help you begin to find the answers you are looking for.
We would like to invite you on an Alpha course where you will be able to continue to explore these questions in depth with a group of people asking the same questions. If you are interested in finding out more about the Alpha course then please do contact our church offices (details are in the bottom right hand corner of this page).
Who is Jesus?
Historically, Jesus was a man who lived 2000 years ago and preached about God and salvation; so much so that he angered the authorities of the time, the Romans and the Jews, and was put to death on a cross.
So why do so many people follow this man? Because this is not all that Jesus was. He is not ‘just’ an historical man – he is the Son of God. Jesus taught with authority, performed miracles and in dying on the cross and coming back to life three days later, he paid for our sins so that we can now come before God. Without Jesus’s work on the cross we are too unclean with our sin to come before a perfect, unblemished God. Jesus makes us clean again. He does this for EVERYONE who will accept his gift of salvation.
What is Christianity and what do Christians believe?
Christianity is often thought of as a list of rules to follow to gain God’s favour but really it is a relationship between people and God. It is a way of life that puts God at the centre and trusts in his will for our lives.
Christian is the name given to those who follow Jesus – The Christ. Christians believe in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Christians believe that God is all powerful, loving and knows everything about us, yet still loves us. They believe that God wants what is best for us, like a loving parent does, but that he does not want to force us into a relationship with him. He gave us freewill to make our own choices; unfortunately we often make the wrong ones and, outside of his will, we are broken and suffering.
Christians believe that God sent his only Son to this world to die in our place as a way of bridging the divide that had been made by our disobedience and selfishness.
Christians believe that Jesus is still alive today, seated with God in heaven and so God sent us his Holy Spirit so that we might be able to do the work he has given us. The Holy Spirit helps to direct us, comforts us and guides us.
How do I become a Christian?
It isn’t complicated to become a Christian but it can be difficult for people for a variety of reasons. Below is a prayer you could pray, known as the Prayer of Salvation, and an explanation of what it means.
Lord Jesus, for too long I’ve kept you out of my life. I know that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. No longer will I close the door when I hear you knocking. By faith I gratefully receive your gift of salvation. I am ready to trust you as my Lord and Saviour. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to earth. I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank you for bearing my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life. Help me to forgive those who have wronged me. I believe your words are true. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and be my Saviour. Amen.
– Accept that Jesus died on the cross for your sins. This means admitting that you are sinful and need God in your life. You may not have committed terrible crimes but all of us have done things that take us away from perfection.
– Ask God to forgive your sins. This may mean that you are prompted to admit, maybe for the first time, the wrong things you have done. This is difficult but believing that God can take away the guilt and make you a new person makes it possible. This step may also mean that you need to ask others for forgiveness, if that is appropriate, which may also be difficult for some.
– Ask God to help you forgive those who have sinned against you. The world is a place where lots of bad things happen to people, young or old, rich or poor. When we come to God in humility and realise that we have wronged others and ask for his forgiveness, we need to also forgive those who have hurt us. This does not mean that we ‘let them off the hook’ but it does mean that we give them to God and allow him to judge them on their actions; it takes the responsibility for judgement off of our shoulders and it is liberating!
– Ask Jesus into your life as your Lord and Saviour. When you choose to accept the gift of salvation from Jesus, you also need to acknowledge that he knows you best; that without him you went astray and so now you wish to have him at the helm, guiding you. This means that you are willing, although it may take some time, to give up old habits, to make different choices in line with God’s will and to allow God to make you into the person he wants you to be.
This is just the first step in your journey. You will not change overnight; you will likely make mistakes and fall into old habits. But remember that God is a forgiving God and that he loves you regardless. This does not mean you are free to sin and simply ask him for forgiveness with no intention of changing. It means that, if your motives are true, God will forgive you – and show you the impact of your sin and the freedom of living apart from it.
If you want to know more about becoming a Christian, or have prayed the prayer of salvation please get in touch with us. We would love to pray with you and help you in your journey with God.
Who wrote the Bible?
The short answer is God. But how did a God who is not human write the books of the Bible?
The Bible is not just one book, although it tells one story; it is a collection of 66 books spanning thousands of years and around 40 different authors from various backgrounds. This is what makes the Bible so amazing.
For the human authors to have come from such very different times and cultures you would not expect there to be such agreement on who God is and his plan of salvation through Jesus, yet there is. The human authors refer to the same things, often when they would not have been aware of each other, and the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation tells the story of the Christ, the Messiah and God’s plan to save his people from sin.
This is why Christians believe that something has to be behind all 66 books – the eternal author – God.
Why are there so many Christian denominations?
Christians believe in the same core beliefs – that God is all-powerful, that he sent his Son Jesus to the world to die for our sins and be resurrected so that we might have eternal life and that his Holy Spirit is now with us on earth.
However, they do disagree with other issues such as how we should worship, the roles of men and women in the Church, whether spiritual gifts are still around in our times or a thing for a particular time in history and whether Christians should drink alcohol, to name a few. These disagreements have, over the course of history, caused some to break off and form their own denominations with different approaches to the same God.
Where can I learn more?
The best place to go to learn more about God is to read his word in the Bible. If you do not own a Bible but would like one then please contact us, we would be happy to gift you a Bible.
However, that may sound a bit boring or daunting for some and so we would also recommend that you go on a course such as the Alpha course where you will be able to meet others who are asking the same sort of questions, and discuss them with a group of open-minded Christians to help you to understand who God is. If a group setup is not for you then you can also do the Alpha course one-to-one. There is no agenda to these meetings, apart from learning about God. You come as you are and ask whatever questions you have and together we trust God to answer them through our discussions.
To find out when the next Alpha course will be starting, please contact the church office on 01743 272465 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.