Christian Beliefs

  • Created by: kati
  • Created on: 10-05-19 19:58

The Trinity

The Trinity in worship and belief: Christians bless themselves by making the sign of the cross and offer prayers 'in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit'. Prayers such as the Lord's Prayer, Nicene Creed and Apostles' Creed refer to the Trinity. Some Chruch hymns refer to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The belief in the Trinity is intended to be at the centre of each Christian's individual daily relationship with God.

The Trinity helps Christians understand the three ways God can be understood - the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Christians can understand God better by relating to these three aspects.

The Nicene Creed states that: the Father is the powerful creator of everything - 'maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen'. The Son is Jesus Christ, who came to earth as God in human form and was crucified to redeem humanity's sins - 'For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven'. The Holy Spirit is the invisible power of God that guides and inspires us - 'the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son'.

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The Incarnation

Jesus' birth fulfilled the prophecy of Christ coming to earth as the Saviour who was promised by God - so God took human form to be present within the world. He also makes up the 'Son' part of the Trinity.

Though Jesus was human, he was divine, which means he was God, examples of this within the Bible include: Jesus is omnipotent (Matthew 28:18) and omniscient (John 21:17). Jesus forgave sins (Mark 2:5-7). Jesus performed miracles (John 21:25). People worshipped and prayed to Jesus (Matthew 2:11). Jesus was resurrected after death (Mark 16:1-20).

It is easier for Christians to understand and relate to Jesus as he was human and therefore experienced similar things: he was born to a human mother as a 'normal' baby (Luke 2:7). He had a human body (Luke 24:39). He got tired, thirsty, and hungry (John 4:6, John 19:28, Matthew 4:2). He showed amazement (Matthew 8:10) and sorrow (John 11:35). He prayed to God (John 17) and he died (Romans 5:8).

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The last days of Jesus' life

The Passion: The Last Supper (Jesus shared his last meal with his disciples where bread and wine was drunk and broken, Jesus predicted one disciple would betray him), Betrayal and arrest (Soldiers came to arrest Jesus, Judas betrayed him by informing the soldiers he could be found at the Garden of Gethsemane), Crucifixion (Jesus was sentenced to death on a cross as he was accused of blasphemy, tried and found guilty), Resurrection (Jesus was brought back to life three days after his crucifixion), Ascension (resurrected Jesus ascended to heaven 40 days after his resurrection).

Importance: the events provide evidence that Jesus was the son of God, they show that he was special and is worthy of respect and obdience. They demonstrate the Christian belief in life after death, which offers hope. Christians believe that through the death of Jesus, God save or redeemed humanity, and it is through Jesus' example that God can forgive them. They help understand the sacrifice Jesus made and reinforce the importance of Jesus within Christianity. The Eucharist is taken from the Last supper, a traditon at the centre of Christianity today.

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Solutions to Evil and Suffering

The Bible says that: God created a perfect world (Genesis), the Fall allowed evil and suffering to enter the world, evil came into the world through the devil, Jesus was sent to overcome the evil.

Book of Psalms - this offers reassurance that evil and suffering have a purpose in the world, they give people the oppotunity to follow the example of Jesus in order to live as God intended.

Job - the Bible describes how Job endured many examples of suffering but didn't lose his faith as he believed it was apart of God's plan. Christians believe that they may not understand why they suffer but they need to trust God and they will be rewarded. 

Free will - God gave humans free will, so it is their own choice to turn away from God, hence moral evil. Theories as such are in St Augustine's Theodicy. 

Prayer - respond to evil in the world by prayer so that God will give them strength to cope, if their prayers arent answered as they want, they know God has a plan.

Charity -  many Christians have been inspired by their own suffering to try and help others, for example, Chad Varah set up the Samaritans due to the suffering he witnessed in London as a Priest.

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Sources of Authority and Wisdom

The Trinity: Matthew 3:13-17, "...This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased."

The Incarnation: John 1:14, "...and the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us..."

The Last Supper: Luke 22:14-16, "...I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the Kingdom of God."

Betrayal and Arrest: Matthew 26:47, "...With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs."

Crucifixion: John 19:17, "Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place if the skull."

Resurrection: Luke 24:6, "He is not here; he has risen!"

Ascension: Mark 16:19, "he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God."

Book of Psalm: Psalm 46.1, "God is our refuge and our strength."

Job: Job 1:22, "In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing."

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