RE Christ

Nature of God

Omnipotent - all powerful: he gives all people free will. 

Omnibenevolent - all loving: "For God so loved the world that he gave his One and Only Son" - Christians try and follow his examples through actions. 

Just Judge - God judges people's actions fairly. those who reject him and sin will be punished like in the Parable of the Sheeps and Goats. However, the story of the Prodigal Son shows how he also forgives anyone who become faithful to him.

Omniscient - God knows everything 

Eternal - God is immortal 

Transcendent - God is beyond this time.

Immanent - God is present in the human world (he takes an active role in humanity)

Personal - God is a 'person'. If God is personal, then a relationship is possible through prayer (a conversation with God).

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The Trinity

God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Before being mentioned in the Nicene Creed, not everyone had agreed that the Son of God was one with God. Now, because of the Nicene Creed, they see Jesus as equally important (they will also follow the teachings of Jesus). The importance the Nicene Creed has put on the Trinity makes Christians see this as a key belief (but Christadelphians don't believe in the Trinity.

Quotes:
Christians believe that the Father supports them and is the creator of Heaven and the Earth. He is the transcendent part of God. "your heavenly Father is perfect" - Father is a mark of respect and is used by Jesus. 

Christians believe Jesus is the incarnation (flesh and blood) of God. He is the immanent and personal form of God (who understands human suffering). Christians believes that Jesus provides a model and guidance for Christian life and behaviour in obedience to God the Father.

Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is the presence of God in the World. Jesus promised that God "will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever - the Spirit of Truth". Some Christians believe that the Holy Spirit guides them personally in being good Christians. "By the power of the spirit, God's children can bear much fruit"

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Creation Story in Genesis Chapter 1

Christians believe that God created everything in 6 days and on the seventh, he rested. First day: light and darkness, Second day: the sky, Third Day: oceans, land and plants. Fourth: sun, moon and stars, Fifth: creatures of the sea and sky, Sixth day: land animals and people. 

Quotes: 

Christians believe that God the Father was the creator and is omnipotent as "God said 'let there be light' and there was light". 

Christians believe God the Father created the world through the Holy Spirit "the spirit of God was hovering over the waters".

The Son was vital for creation as "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us". 

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Creation Story: How Humans Were Created

As God created humans in his image, Christians believe humans are special. They are influenced by this because they think humans (Including themselves) should be like God by being loving and fair. They also believe that because everyone is important to God, everyone should be treated with respect. 

Christians also believe they have stewardship over the Earth (it's there duty to take care of it). However, some Christians believe that God gave them dominion (power) over animals and so they can use them however they like. 

Quotes:

  • "in the image of God he created them: male and female he created them"
  • God told Adam and Eve to "rule over the fish...the bird...every living creature that moves on the ground"
  • God "put him in the Garden of Eden to...take care of it"
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Different Ways to Interpret the Creation Story

Some Christians take the story literally (Creationists): God created the world in six days and that humans descended from Adam and Eve. 

Other Christians are more liberal as they view the Creation Story as a parable - they are open about other theories like the Big Bang theory and evolution as these can offer more information of how God created the universe. The Roman Catholic Church has accepted both theories.

The Creation Story makes Christians further understand God's nature - God is eternal (he made time), omnipotent as he was able to create the universe in just 6 days and benevolent because he brought life to Earth. 

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Evil and Suffering

Adam and Eve gave intp temptation by eating the forbidden fruit which brought evil into the Earth. After the Fall, every human was born with flawed nature,capable of causing suffering (this is original sin). Christians believe that God gave them free will. 

Moral evil - when suffering is brought about by the cruel actions of people. The person causing evil is able to make a choice as to what is morally right and wrong.

Natural evil - when evil is caused by the natural hazards (the Earth) and this includes tornados and volcanoes. But many natural disasters can be caused by human interference which raises the question whether natural evil is human-made. 

People could question their religion because God cannot be omnipotent and benevolent if he can't stop evilness from happening - which would mean he doesn't exist or he doesn't have the characteristics. But others argue that God doesn't want to interfere because he gave us free will or that he isn't powerful enough. Suffering is seen by some as a test of faith (God's plan) and therefore Christians might believe that it brings them closer to God. Others say that Earth isn't meant to be perfect and that they should focus on reaching Heaven. Christians believe that they should try and help people who are suffering by prayering or charity.

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Evil and Suffering Match Up

"the Lord is compassionate and gracious...abounding in love" Christians believe that....

"May your unfailing love be my comfort" Christians are influenced by this to....

The Book of Job is about the suffering Job ensures and how he questions God. In the end, the conclusion he comes to is that suffering must be accepted because people will never be able to understand God's plan. "though he slay me, yet will I hope in him". This will influence a Christian today to....

"...whatever you did for one of...these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me"

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Afterlife

Christians believe in: life after death, immortality of the soul and resurrected on the 'Judgement Day'. 

Heaven is portrayed as a beautiful place where you will spend eternity with God as long as you believe in God and have followed his teachings, you can be saved by God's grace. 

Hell is a place full of torment and pain - the final destination for non-believers and those who are bad. 

Some Christians believe that heaven and hell is a state of mind - in heaven you will be happy because you know God's eternal love and in hell, you'll be unable to know God's love. Pope John Paul 2nd said hell was a metaphor for people who feel rejected by God.

Roman Catholics believes that in hell, all ties with God will be severed forever. 

Some Christians believe that the people who God find unacceptable will be annihilated. 

However, some disagree with this because they believe that God is omnibenevolent and so wouldn't let anyone go to hell. 

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Afterlife Quotes

"The ones who believe in me will live, even though they die"

"they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life"

"This state of definitive self-exclusion from the Communium with God...is called 'hell'"

"The only end is total non-being"

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Resurrection on the Last Judgement

Many Christians believe that Jesus will return to Earth on the Second Coming (Parousia) and people will be resurrected. 

Some believe all of humanity will be judged on the Last Judgement and they will either go heaven or hell. 

Roman Catholics believe in a personal day of Judgement (being judged straight after you die" and then you will be judged again and will re-enter heaven or hell in your resurrected forms". However, others believe that the soul myst wait to be judged on the Last Judgement.

Quotes:

  • "Christ ascended to Heaven...until he return to judge all Men at the last day"
  • "For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ"
  • "in Christ, all will be made alive"
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Incarnation

Incarnation - when God became a human being (Jesus).

Christians believe that Jesus' time on Earth was God's way of showing how much he loved the world. They are influenced to study the Gospels to find out about Jesus' life and see how they should live their own. 

Jesus' teachings in the Sermon on the Mount: he taught how the poor are highly valued by God, how peacemakers are blessed, the importance of kindness (such as in the story of the Samritan and he performed miracles to demonstrate God's love. 

This will influence Christians today because they will be kind and be peacemakers to follow the teachings of Jesus.

Quotes:

  • God "appeared in flesh"
  • "the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God"
  • "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us"
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Crucifixion and Resurrection

Before Jesus' death, Jesus and his disciples ate their Passover meal - it was the last meal and is called the Last Supper. At the meal, Jesus gave bread and said "this is my body" and gave the wine and said "this is my blood". Christians today are influenced as they remember Jesus with bread and wine in the Eucharist. Jesus washed his disciples' feet which teaches Christians to serve others. He then was arrested whilst praying and flogged. 

In his suffering when he was crucified, he cried "my god, why have you foresaken me?" - this shows that Jesus understands people's feelings of abandonment in suffering.

Christians believe the crucifixion helped repair the relationship between God and mankind. 

Resurrection shows Christians that there is life after death - and this would influence Christians because they will not fear death.

It also shows how powerful God is; the power that resurrected Jesus gives the people strength to live Christian lives. 

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Salvation

Salvation - when the soul is saved from death and sin

"Salvation is found in no one else..." - Christians believe that you can only have salvation if you believe in God.

God's grace can only give you salvation: "for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith...it is the gift of God"  

Christians believe that you can't just say you believe in God, you have to live a Christian life. This means following the rules of the bible like the Ten Commandments: "honor thy father and thy mother" - this provides Christians gudance on how they should behave. Everyone will sin but the laws mean they will 'become conscious of...sin" and with "turn to God for repentance".

Christian's believe the Holy Spirit helps Christians to follow the teachings of God and kept their faith, helping them find salvation. 

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