What is Christianity?
Christianity is a religion based upon the teachings and miracles of Jesus. Christianity stretches to all corners of the globe and is the largest religion in the world. Christianity is a relationship with the true and living God through the person of Jesus Christ by whom we are forgiven of our sins and escape the righteous judgment of God.
Who is Jesus?
Jesus is the Christ. The word "Christ" means anointed one. Christ is not Jesus' last name. Jesus is the anointed one from God the Father who came to this world, fulfilled the Old Testament laws and prophecies, died on the cross, and rose from the dead physically. He performed many miracles which were recorded in the Gospels in the New Testament by the eyewitnesses. He is divine in nature as well as human. Thus, He has two natures and is worthy of worship and prayer.
What do Christians believe?
Christianity teaches that God is a Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, not three Gods), that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity, that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead physically, and that all people are under the righteous judgment of God because all people have sinned against God. It teaches that Jesus is the only way to be saved from the coming judgment of God and that salvation is received by faith in the work of Christ on the cross and not by anything that we can do to please God.
Where all other religions in the world teach that we must do some sort of good in cooperation with God in order to achieve the right to be in God's presence, Christianity is the only religion that teaches salvation by grace. This means that we are not made right before God by our efforts, sincerity, or works. Instead, we are made right before God by faith in what Christ did on the cross.
Christianity further teaches that once a person is "born again" (becomes saved) that the Holy Spirit lives in that person and the person is changed: "Therefore if any person is in Christ, they are a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come," (2 Corinthians 5:17). This means that God actually lives in the person and the Christian then experiences a true and living relationship with God.
So, a Christian's good works or deeds are done in response to God's grace in our lives, not to earn grace: "Therefore, in view of God's mercy, offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will," (Romans 1:1-2).
How does one become a Christian?
By professing faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Baptism is a response to claiming faith in what Christ has done for you. Being baptized does not happen because you are perfect. Professing faith in Christ and being baptized is the beginning of faith. Through baptism we are joined with Christians everywhere who seek to follow Christ.
If you have questions about Christianity or what it means to be a Christian, please email Pastor David. He would love to visit with you. Also, visit here to learn more about the basic beliefs of Rockbridge as part of the United Methodist Church.