What Do Christians Believe?

Believing did not originally mean believing in a set of doctrines or teachings; in both the Greek and Latin its roots mean ”to give one’s heart to.” The “heart” is the self at the deepest level.

Believing, therefore, does not consist of giving one’s mental assent to something, but involves a much deeper level of one’s self. Believing in Jesus does not mean believing doctrines about him. Rather, it means to give ones heart, one’s self at the deepest level, to the post-Easter Jesus who is the living Lord, the side of God turned toward us, the face of God, the Lord who is also Spirit.
- Marcus J. Borg Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time




Bible Basics Custom Google Site Search!

If you have any difficulty in finding what you’re looking for
on this Bible Basics Site
use the “Bible Basics Custom Google Site Search”
on the top of every page!






What do Christians Believe?
Before we get started....
Let's get some "Layers of Understanding!"

We please God by what we do
and not only what we believe.
James 2:24 CEV

The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.

Aiden Wilson Tozer



It's More Like Falling in Love...

"More Like Falling In Love" Lyrics By Jason Gray

Give me rules, I will break them
Show me lines, I will cross them
I need more than a truth to believe
I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes
To sweep me off my feet, it’s gotta be

More like falling in love than something to believe in
More like losing my heart than giving my allegiance


Caught up, called out, come take a look at me now
It’s like I’m falling, oh
It’s like I’m falling in love

Give me words, I’ll misuse them
Obligations, I’ll misplace them
‘Cause all religion ever made of me
Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet
It never set me free, it’s gotta be

More like falling in love than something to believe in
More like losing my heart than giving my allegiance


Caught up, called out, come take a look at me now
It’s like I’m falling, oh
It’s like I’m falling in love, love, love

Deeper and deeper
It was love that made me a believer
In more than a name, a faith, a creed
Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me,
it’s gotta be

More like falling in love than something to believe in
More like losing my heart than giving my allegiance


Caught up, called out, come take a look at me now
It’s like I’m falling, oh
It’s like I’m falling in love




“More Like Falling in Love” By Jason Gray


Being a Christian is much more than a laundry list of things
that you have to believe in to be a Christian!




Affirmation of Faith

What do Christians believe?
Explore the Affirmation of Faith:
The Apostle’s Creed, The Nicene Creed,
Monotheism, and more...
More like Falling in Love!


What do Christians Believe?

What do Christians believe? Explore the Affirmation of Faith: The Apostle’s Creed, The Nicene Creed, Monotheism, and more!


Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study

Study manual * Second Edition

Written by
Richard Byrd Wilke and Julia Kitchens Wilke


Without this study manual writing Bible Basics would have been impossible! Taking the Disciple Classes has been one of the most influential studies that I have ever done and has had a huge impact on my life.
– Osten Aune



Reprinted from Disciple Becoming Disciples
Through Bible Study.

· The word Bible means, “Book.” It is the book. All others pale beside it. Yet it is not a single book but a library of sixty-six books, written over a period of a thousand years. But the experiences that are recalled, analyzed, evaluated, and celebrated occurred over a much longer period.

· The Bible tells about the Hebrew people struggling always to be God’s people. (Just like us).

· The Bible, inspired by God, is both human and divine.

· Scripture simply means “writing” But the writing is of every conceivable variety: poetry, laws, historical narratives, liturgies, songs, prophetic utterances, wise sayings, short stores, parables, Gospels, letters, sermons, and apocalypses.

· When we read the Bible and God speaks to us, we hear the Bible as God’s Word.

. The Jewish Torah, The Law, the first five books in the Old Testament (also called the Pentateuch) was written by Moses.

· Pentateuch means 5 volume Book.

· The Torah canon was authoritative for all Jews and later for all Christians.

· The Hebrew Scriptures, known later to Christians as the Old Testament, were originally written in Hebrew, but when they were translated into Greek-language this translation was called the Septuagint.

· The Septuagint differs from the Hebrew Bible in language, in the order of books, and in the inclusion of those books known as the Apocrypha found in the Roman Catholic Old Testament.

*Titles in italics are not in the Protestant Old Testament. They are from the Apocrypha.

· None of the books of the Apocrypha was ever included in the Hebrew Bible.

· The New Testament canon developed gradually. The earliest listing of books identical to our present New Testament canon was prepared by Athanasius of Alexandria in A.D. 367.

Reprinted from Disciple Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study.




A closing excerpt from “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time” by Marcus J. Borg: It is a vision of the Christian life as a journey of transformation, exemplified by the story of discipleship as well as the exodus and exile stories. It leads from life under the lordship of culture to the life of companionship with God.

It is an image of the Christian life not primarily as believing or being good but a Relationship with God.

I want to close by talking about a very familiar Christian phrase-believing in Jesus- and how it is related to the image of the Christian life that had emerged in this book. For those of us who grew up in the church, believing in Jesus was important. For me, what that phrase used to mean, in my childhood and into my early adulthood, was ”believing in things about Jesus.” To believe in Jesus meant to believe what the gospels and the church said about Jesus. That was easy when I was a child, and became more and more difficult as I grew older.

But now I see that believing in Jesus can (and does) mean something very different from that. The change is pointed to by the root meaning of the word believe.

Believing did not originally mean believing in a set of doctrines or teachings; in both the Greek and Latin its roots mean ”to give one’s heart to.” The “heart” is the self at the deepest level.

Believing, therefore, does not consist of giving one’s mental assent to something, but involves a much deeper level of one’s self. Believing in Jesus does not mean believing doctrines about him. Rather, it means to give ones heart, one’s self at the deepest level, to the post-Easter Jesus who is the living Lord, the side of God turned toward us, the face of God, the Lord who is also Spirit.

Believing in Jesus in the sense of giving one’s heart to Jesus is the movement from secondhand religion *(being told by others) to firsthand religion, (*close intimate relationship with God.) from having heard about Jesus with the hearing of the ear to being in relationship with the Spirit of Christ.

For ultimately, Jesus is not simply a figure of the past, but a figure of the present. Meeting that Jesus--- the living Jesus who comes to us even now--- will be like meeting Jesus again for the first time.

* added by Bible Basics.



Luminous Web: Essays on Science and Religion

By Barbara Brown Taylor

In these essays on the dialogue between science and Christian faith, Barbara Brown Taylor describes her journey as a preacher learning what the insights of quantum physics, the new biology, and chaos theory can teach a person of faith. She seeks to discover why scientists sound like poets and why physicists use the language of imagination, ambiguity, and mystery also found in scripture. In explaining why the church should care about the new insights of science, Taylor suggests ways we might close the gap between spirit and matter, between the sacred and the secular. We live in the midst of a web of creation where nothing is without consequence and where all things coexist, even in such a way that each of us changes the world, whether we know it or not. In this luminous web faith and science join on a single path, seeking to learn the same truths about life in the universe. For a moment, Taylor writes, we see through a glass darkly. We live in the illusion that we are all separate I ams. When the fog finally clears, we shall know there is only One.

Between Faith and Science

Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather with the voice of compassion, its message becomes meaningless. - ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL

Why are there so many different churches?

Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian....
Alphabetical order

Why are there so many different religions?

Why are there so many different churches?

Why are there so many different ways to worship?

Why are there so many different people?

Why are their 4 Gospels telling the “Good News”
the life, suffering, death,
and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

For the same reason God is the Triune God: The Holy Father, His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost).

Remember God loves all of us despite our sins and with no regard to our nationality, our race, our wealth, our profession, or our social status. God loves all the people you don’t like!

God created individuals; not clones.
God loves diversity in his creation!




Monotheism

There is only one God!

Monotheism adapted definitions are reprinted from:
Theological Diversity in the Bible by Lindsey P. Pherigo


· Originally people were: Polytheistic – worshipped many gods.

· Henotheism - “Heno” comes from the Greek word “one” but Henotheism is not the belief that there is only one god. It means that one worships only one’s own god or gods. Other peoples have their gods, but one should not worship them.

· The Jewish prophets forbade the worship any other gods, other than “Yahvey” / “Yahweh” the Jewish word for God.

MONOTHEISM IS THE BELIEF IN ONLY ONE TRUE GOD.

· Yahweh will be the God for all of the other nations.

Yahweh is God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

· Since there is only one God, then all of the peoples of the world will eventually acknowledge and worship the one and only God.

· Orthodox Christianity, in all three of its major forms

(Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant), has acknowledged that monotheism means there is only one God. When Moslems call on their god Allah that is the one god by another name.

Since there is only one God who created all of us and loves all of his creations consider: all denominations, religion, all faiths, nationalities, all races, the homeless, the hungry, the poor, the sick, the broken hearted. The Bible even says to “Love Your Enemy.”



You may ask yourself, “why all of the YouTube videos” in this Bible Basics Lesson? During the year in the Bible Basics Bible Study Class we often referred to these prayers and others throughout the year. On the Internet these YouTube videos are to SLOW you down! This is NOT a Prayer Speed Reading Lesson! Slow Down!

Treasure and Ponder the Words of God. Each and every Word of God is perfect. Dwell on the Word, Meditate on the Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to understand the Word.

Are you obedient to God’s Word? How are these Words of God meaningful in your life? How can you apply God’s living Word to your Life?

Please read the Prayers. Enjoy the videos and the Bible Basics presentations, but truly meditate on every Word that comes from the mouth of God.




YouTube - The Nicene Creed


What do Christians Believe?
The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
Amen.


YouTube - Nicene Creed: Faith Of The Ages
The Nicene Creed was formulated among the teachings of the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.. The word Creed comes from the latin word Credo, which means I believe. The Nicene Creed is a 2,000 year old prayer that has been said among Catholics and Orthodox alike in their Masses which profess their faith! Here, the creed is cited in latin with english translations on the bottom.



Affirmation of Faith
The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth;
and in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
he descended into hell:
the third day he rose from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick
(living) and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic* church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.

Amen

*universal
Presbyterian


YouTube - The Apostle's Creed

Affirmation of Faith
The Apostles’ Creed

Traditional

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth;
and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate
was crucified, dead, and buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick (living)
and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.

Amen

*universal
Methodist


YouTube - The Apostle’s Creed
An old man and a young boy both say the Apostle's Creed
in two different ways.

THE ATHANASIAN CREED



Membership Vows

At Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church Dallas, Texas

· Trusting in the gracious mercy of God, do you turn from the ways of sin and renounce evil and its power in the world?
I do.

· Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your Lord and Savior, trusting in his grace and love?
I do.

· With God’s help, will you be Christ faithful disciple, obeying his Word and showing his love?
I will.

· With God’s help, will you be a faithful member of this congregation, share in its worship and ministry through your prayers and gifts, your study and service, and so fulfill your calling to be a disciple of Jesus Christ?
I will.

When a child is baptized or adult you renounce sin and the entire congregation collectively responds the Affirmation of Faith: The Apostle’s Creed. There is the Thanksgiving Over the Water, The Act of Baptizing and Blessing, the Giving of the Baptismal Candle (to be lighted every year on your Baptism.) Then the congregation responds: With joy and thanksgiving we welcome you into Christ’s Church; for we are all one is Christ. We promise to love, encourage, and support you, to share the good news of the gospel with you, and to help you know and follow Christ.

Baptism is the outward sign of an inward work of grace.




Christian Religion & History: The Christian Religion, from the beginning ministry of Jesus, to the diverse traditions and Doctrines of the three main branches of Christianity, as well as the many other denominations.



What are Christians
Supoosed to Do?

We please God by what we do
and not only what we believe.
James 2:24 CEV

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8








Humble Service in the Body of Christ

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith;
7 if it is serving, then serve;
if it is teaching, then teach;
8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement;
if it is giving, then give generously;
if it is to lead, do it diligently;
if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.


Love in Action

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:1-21




Living Hope Press Ralph Bass: I write Christian theology books. Why? Well, I became a Christian when I was 14 years old. For the next 33 years I was a Baptist. But at age 47 I did the unthinkable—I began to question the theology and practice of all these years.

Presbyterian Doctrine – Tell Me About Presbyterians Presbyterian Doctrine – I was raised a Baptist. I became a Presbyterian rather late in life. As a result, I did not have a cohesive understanding of all the new elements I found in Presbyterianism.





Next: Tithing

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