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Basic Christianity

 


A. Introduction: For Christians, it is absolutely essential to know what we believe and why. To be sure our system of thinking is accurate, we must base it on the Word of God rather than on habit, culture, or family heritage.

  • Why is it important to understand scriptural truth (1 Peter 3:15)?
  • What are some other reasons Christians should know how to explain their beliefs?

B. Let’s consider a list of absolute truths that should be a foundational part of your belief system.

1. The Bible

The Bible is a record of God revealing Himself. It explains His intervention in history and nature, and His arrival in this world as the God-man, Jesus Christ.

  • Do you believe the Bible is reliable? Why or why not?

The Word of the living God is our instruction book for life and the final authority for what we believe.

2. The Godhead

God consists of three distinct persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—but is one in essence. All three members of this Godhead (which is known as the “Trinity”) have the same character traits but different functions.

  • Describe how you see all three members of the Trinity in each passage below. (Refer to the surrounding text if necessary.)

John 14:16-17

Matthew 3:16-17

The following is a brief overview of the Godhead’s different roles: Our heavenly Father is the Creator and is sovereign over everything (Rom. 8:28). God the Son is Jesus Christ, who took on human flesh and came to earth to die for the sins of mankind (John 14:9). Currently, these two members of the Trinity are in heaven (Eph. 1:20).

God the Holy Spirit dwells within each believer from the moment of salvation. He enables us to fellowship with God, transforms the life of the believer, and produces good fruit through our lives (Gal. 5:22-23).

3. Satan

The Bible teaches that Satan is real. The Devil was once an angel who rebelled against the Creator. Satan instigates pain, sorrow, and spiritual death. He tries to lure people into his counterfeit kingdom by tempting them to do what feels good rather than what is right.

4. Man

God created man in His image in order to love and fellowship with us. But when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, our relationship with the Creator changed.

  • Why can’t a person just be good enough to make up for his or her sin (Is. 64:6)?

5. Salvation

The simplest definition of salvation is the gift of God’s grace, whereby He provides forgiveness for our sins. Throughout the Old Testament, God-fearing people sacrificed animals to atone for their sins. This practice foreshadowed Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice (1 Peter 2:24).

  • Why is it impossible for someone to reject Jesus and still go to heaven (1 John 2:23)?
  • Why should believers do good works (Eph. 2:10)?

6. The Church

The church is the whole body of Christ—believers from every part of the globe. It has nothing to do with being part of a denomination. If you have trusted Jesus as your personal Savior, you are in the body of Christ.

  • Read Romans 12:3-16. Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal one or two things He would have you do.
  • What are three things the church should be doing, according to Matthew 28:19-20?
  • How do you help your church “make disciples of all the nations”?

In the church, we practice baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which is also known as Communion.

  • What does baptism represent (Rom. 6:4)?

Through Communion, we celebrate the forgiveness Christ gave us, His resurrection, and His future return.

  • What did Christ say is the purpose of Communion (Luke 22:19-20)?

C. Closing: Every one of these issues is a vital part of the Christian’s belief system, and they are all found in one place—the Word of God. If we know what this precious book says, we will know how to live for His glory.

Prayer: Father, thank You for giving us the marvelous library we call the Bible. We can have clear answers about why we are on earth and what the future holds for Your children. Please help us to diligently study and obey Your Word, that we may live in a way that glorifies You. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

(Adapted from Living the Extraordinary Life by Charles F. Stanley, 2005.)