To be a Christian fundamentally means to believe in Christ, in the person of Jesus. There are many different types of Christians, including Baptists, Catholics, Evangelicals, and Lutherans.
Christians believe that there is only one God, and that God is a Trinity of God the Father, Christ the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This is not an example of three Gods (tri-theism), nor is it an example of one God changing forms (modalism). Instead, to Christians, God has eternally existed as one essence with three persons.
Since Christ is the second person of the Trinity, Christians believe that Christ has eternally existed as well. Jesus Christ was "God with skin on." He was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless and perfect life, was fully man and fully God, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified as a sacrifice for the sins of his people so that anyone who has faith in Christ shall be saved.
To Christians, Christ really and literally died in order to satisfy the demands of God. Christ was buried, and raised on the third day. He did not remain dead. His body literally came back to life. Jesus visited His disciples after His resurrection, and over 500 people witnessed Him, as according with the Scriptures. Christ then ascended into Heaven, where He sits at the right hand of God. Christ will also come again in an event called "The Second Coming of Christ."
Catholics traditionally believes in Jesus Christ as both God and Man. Christianity has teaches a triple thesis that Jesus Christ is truly man yet He is also truly
God, and that the Jesus Christ, is one and the same person.
Christology is that part of theology which deals with Jesus Christ. In its full extent, it addresses issues concerning both the person of Christ and His works. Christians believe that all of Jesus' words and work imply a Christology.
Christians often speak of "the precious blood of Christ" and it is true that Christianity would not exist if not for the blood that poured from Jesus' body when he was crucified.
At the beginning of every week since Christ died, Christians have gathered for a symbolic ceremony of remembrance. This is the Lord's Supper in which Christians meditate upon the poured-out blood of Christ.
Christians believe that Christ's body was killed, and his blood shed, as a perfect sacrifice for them. They believe in no other means by which their sins, which alienate them from God, can be forgiven and their guilt removed. They have "faith in his blood."
Jesus himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls."
Christians are a people returned to the possession of Christ. They are the redeemed property of God. Christ paid his own blood as the price to remove the sins of his people so that they could return into his possession. However, Christ did not buy their sins with His blood. Rather, Christ purchased the forgiveness of those sins so that His people could be restored to God's possession.
When Jesus was on earth, He was the physical Body of Christ. However, Christians relate to Him because of His humanity. He lived with self-imposed limitations. For example, he could only be in one place at a time. He could only see so many people in a day, could only have a few close friends, needed time to eat and pray, relax and sleep. Also, He would be on earth doing his ministry for a limited number of years.
After his death and resurrection into a new life, Jesus rose to heaven. He sent the Holy Spirit to satisfy His followers. Christians became the new physical Body of Christ on earth called to do the ministry of Jesus in the world. As they preached and taught, prayed and cared for people, the Holy Spirit spread into the lives of many more followers.
Christians today continue in the legacy and the power of being the physical and spiritual manifestation of Jesus' body on Earth.
Salvation is by faith in what Christ accomplished on the cross. Christians feel they cannot work to save themselves. Anyone who believes that they must work to save themselves denies that Christ satisfied all the demands of the Law on the cross, and is in effect slandering Christ as the perfect and unblemished sacrifice. There is nothing Christians can do to add to what Christ did on the cross. However, their faith is not a dead faith, as it must produce works, or it is not a genuine faith.
Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. They also believe that He still is the Son of God and is still very much alive in spirit, waiting to return to Earth and call all Christians to their eternal homes in Heaven.
The Bible suggests that the only way any person will see the kingdom of Heaven is if he or she accepts Christ as his or her savior and believes not only in him, but in what he says as well. One of the most influential scriptures to Christians is John 3:16-17, which states that God sent his "only begotten son" to the world and whoever "believes in Him will have everlasting life. For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him."
According to the Bible, Jesus' death on the cross was always an essential element in God's plan. The crucifixion was prophesied in the Bible. Jesus informed His disciples of what would happen, and let Himself be crucified. Christians believe that this is directly related to who Christ is.
Written 700 years before Jesus was born, God announced through the prophet Isaiah: "Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, Yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
Christians believe that Christ died as an offering for the sins of His people, accepting the penalty that their sins deserved. Writing to the Romans, the Apostle Paul explained the reason for Jesus' death: "God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from wrath through Him?"
When He died on the cross, Jesus took all sins on himself; His death took the penalty that His people's sins deserved. God then credited the righteousness of Jesus to us. With sin paid for, there was no longer a barrier between human beings and God. With Jesus' own righteousness credited to our account, all Christians are welcome to enter God's presence.
To Christians, Jesus provided the perfect example of how the Christian is supposed to live in total dependence on God, allowing the Holy Spirit to control their thoughts, words, and actions. But a significant difference between Jesus' life and that of the Christian is that Jesus did not need a Savior because He was God.
Jesus had just set aside His power while on earth and He had no sin. By contrast, Christians are not God. They were born in sin. They need a Savior. If Jesus had not come to earth, died, risen from the dead, and ascended to heaven, Christians would not be able to live in fellowship with God and experience the power of the Holy Spirit.
The key to Christian beliefs is their belief in God. To Christians, God is completely and unexceptionally loving and good. God is the creator of the universe and He is responsible for the existence of the world.
To Christians, the man Jesus is proof of God's existence. While Christians understand that Jesus was God, they know that God sent Him in a human body as physical evidence of His love. Their understanding of who Christ is relates to their understanding of Christ's work because it answers many questions.
One of the greatest mysteries surrounding Christianity is how Jesus was able to live and work on Earth completely free of selfishness. This makes Him completely unlike every other person who has lived on Earth. Jesus' work on Earth included being nailed to a wooden cross when He was in His early 30's. By understanding who Christ is, Christians can find this piece of history more believable.