Christianity 101 - Essentials
What you will Learn
In this article you will learn the definition of a true Christian, what Christianity is and the essential doctrines of the Christian Faith. Some groups, organizations and individuals claim to be Christian and use similar terminology, yet they are not actually Christian. After reading this article you will be able to distinguish between those groups and true Christians. You will be able to recognize Christian cults and most importantly, you can examine your own beliefs to see where you stand.
Why this is Important
If Christianity is true, eternal life awaits all who believe in the person and work of Jesus Christ. If true it also means that eternal torment awaits all unbelievers. There is much evidence for the truth of Christianity but in this article, we simply touch on some fundamentals.
Who this is For
This article is for both Christians and non-Christians who want to gain a better understanding of the fundamentals of the Christian Faith.
When talking about important topics it is necessary to make sure everyone agrees on definitions to minimize any confusion. I cannot think of a more important topic than where you will spend eternity.
The word Christian has some interesting history and sometimes the true meaning is lost or obscured. However, for the purpose of this article we will strive to define it as it is currently understood and sometimes called a born again Christian or Bible believing Christian.
CHRISTIAN Follower of Jesus Christ. One who has repented (turned from their sins) and put their faith (trust) in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Below is a definition of Christianity according to The Lexham Bible Dictionary.
CHRISTIANITY The beliefs, practices, and socio-cultural expressions of the Jesus community and the wider Christian religion and culture. The key phenomenon of Christianity emerged from the early beginnings of the Jesus movement to the subsequent formation of Eastern and Western Christendom and its broader impacts on society and culture.
Essential Christian Doctrine
Let's put these in two categories, those that are clearly declared in scripture and those that are clearly implied by scripture. Keep in mind that any religion that contradicts these teachings is not Christian.
Clearly Declared in Scripture
- The Deity of Christ (1 John 4:2-3, John 1:1, John 1:14; John 8:58 John 10:30-33; John 20:28; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8)
- Salvation by Grace (Eph. 2:8-9, Gal. 2:21, al. 3:21, al. 5:4, Rom. 3:20, Rom. 4:5)
- Resurrection of Christ (John 2:19-21, 1 Cor. 15:14, 1 Cor. 15:17)
- The gospel (Gal. 1:8-9, 1 Cor. 15:1-4)
- Monotheism (Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 44:6,8)
Clearly Implied by Scripture
- God is a Trinity (Matt. 28:19, Matt. 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6)
- Jesus was born of a virgin (Matt. 1:23, John 8:24)
- Jesus is the only way to salvation (John 14:6, Acts 4:12)
To be clear, one cannot be saved and deny these central doctrines that define true Christianity. Stay tuned. We will build off these and go more in depth in the future.