God as Unity and Trinity
Christians believe that there is only one God (God's Unity) who is in the world in three persons (Holy Trinity). Such a belief is called monotheism and is also typical of other religions e.g. Islam and Judaism. Christians believe that God is One because everything in the universe show that it is made by one God.
Importance of God's Unity- The importance of this is shown through the fact that belief in God is the first of the Ten Commandments and is written in both the Catechism and Creeds. Christians believe that God is omnipotent and only if God is Unity can God be all-powerful as otherwise the power would be shared.
Importance of God's Trinity- The Trinity helps Christians understand the different ways in which God can and has show his presence in the world. Examples of such times are shown in the Bible. The most famous is Jesus' baptism when the Father speaks, the Son is baptised and the Spirit forms as a dove. Belief in the Trinity is the teaching of Church through the Creeds and Catechism and is part of the Apostolic Tradition which all Christians should believe.
God as the Father
Believing in God as father means that Christians can have a relationship with God like they can with a human father. It also means that God will love, care and provide for them. Because God is the Father, Christians can turn to him when they are in need as stated in the 'Our Father' where Christians learn that God provides daily bread and protection.
Importance of God as the Father- Jesus called God his Father and told his disciples to call God, Father and it is Jesus' teachings which form the basis of the Christian faith. If God had not been our Father, he would not have sent Jesus to explain how Christians should live and to save people from sin if he did not care for us, like a father. By believing in God Christians are able to have a personal relationship with God. This is further emphasised by the teachings of the Creeds and Catechism.
God as the Creator
Christians believe that God created the universe and all that is in it. This shows that God is all-powerful and that because he created it, everything in it has a meaning and purpose. The universe is thus good and human beings are special because they were created in God's image.
Importance of God as Creator- Believing in God as Creator is important because it shows that the universe wasn’t an accident but was created for a specific purpose, for humans to love and give them purpose in living. It shows that life is sacred because God created it and what God creates must be holy, so we need to treat creation carefully and with respect. It also shows God’s power as only an omnipotent God could create the universe
Jesus as the Son of God
Christian belief in Jesus as the Son of God means that Jesus was both man and God; he is God incarnated or God on Earth. This explains why he was able to perform miracles, he had God’s powers. As the Son of God, Jesus’ death was a sacrifice for the sins of the world, bringing God’s salvation and, by rising from the dead, God’s Son also brought eternal life.
Importance of Jesus as the Son of the God- Only the Son of God could bring salvation from sin and give people the chance to enter heaven and believing in Jesus as the Son of God gives Christians the chance to see the love shown by God’s Son, inspiring them to share God’s love with their neighbours just as Jesus did. It is the teaching of the Creeds and Catechism and only God’s Son could institute the Mass which brings Christ into lives today.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and is the means by which God communicates with humans, bringing God’s presence, love and strength into the world. The Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit and it is how God helps the Church to keep the Apostolic Tradition and to give true teaching in the Magisterium.
Importance of the Holy Spirit- Through baptism and reconciliation, it removes people’s sin, allowing them to have eternal life and it inspires the teachings of the Church so the teachings of the Church should be obeyed as if they were the teachings of God. Its gifts enable Christians to live lives full of joy, love and peace, helping Christians live the lives Jesus wants them to live.
Salvation from Sin
Sin is an action that breaks God’s law and makes it difficult to be in contact with God because sin separates a person from God. This sin can be removed through salvation. The sacrifice of Jesus brought salvation from sin and today Catholics receive salvation from sin by receiving the sacraments and leading a Christian life.
Importance of Salvation from Sin- Salvation from sin is important because it saves people from hell and leads to eternal life with God. It was the purpose for the death of Jesus and explains why Christians have sacraments. It gives a reason and incentive for Christians to lead a holy life.
Love of God
Love of God is central to Christian beliefs as Jesus said it was the greatest commandment. Christians show love of God by attending Mass and praying, receiving the sacraments, using their talents in the service of God and following the teachings of the Church.
Importance of Loving God- Loving God is a way for Christians to thank for his love that he showed by sacrificing his Son to give humans eternal life. It was commanded by Jesus and he is the Son of God and it enables you to live a good life, thinking of other before yourself and leads to salvation.
How Love of God affects Christians’ lives- Using their abilities and talents as God intends so that others benefit from them will affect a Christian’s choice of career, use of money etc as will following the rules set by God, the Ten Commandments and Sermon on the Mount. Showing respect towards God’s creations will affect a Christians life because they will have to make sure that the Earth and all the creatures on it are cared for.
The second commandment states that you should love your neighbour as you love yourself so Christians love for each other should be strong, second only to their love of God. Loving other means helping anyone in trouble, as seen in the Good Samaritan where the Samaritan helped an enemy in trouble, and in the Sheep and the Goats where Jesus said that those who do not help people in trouble will go to hell.
Importance of Loving Others- By loving their neighbours, Christians are carrying out God’s will which is not easy to do but leads to eternal life.
How Love of Others is shown in a Religious Communi
Contemplative Order- Carmelite nuns show their love of God by separating themselves from the world and taking the evangelical vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to show their complete love of God. They spend most of their lives in prayer and worship including daily Mass and following the Carmelite Rule.
Active Order- The Missionaries of Charity are a religious community founded by Mother Teresa. They express their love of others by taking an extra vow to help the poorest of the poor and in their daily work of caring for the dying left on the streets of slums and caring for orphans, AIDS victims and lepers.
*** Love of Others is shown in the Church
A Catholic Church shows love of God by being a place of worship of God and by providing the Mass and the sacraments. It also provides regular Bible readings and homilies explaining those readings so that people can learn more about God and how to show their love for him.
A Catholic Church shows love of others by making sure that a Catholic grows up surrounded by people who not only share the same beliefs but also love them as brothers and sisters in Christ. They often provide social services such as youth clubs and toddler groups as well as providing help for the needy through groups such as the St Vincent de Paul Society, CAFOD, lunch clubs for the elderly etc.