Aug, 24, 2018 · Courtney Jacob
Have you ever wondered, “What do Christians believe?”
Or maybe you’ve been a Christian for a while, but someone recently asked you something like, “It seems like Christians are always arguing with each other and don’t agree on anything. What exactly do Christians believe?”
Or maybe you overheard a comment, read a social media post, or listened to a self-proclaimed Christian talking about faith and current events on the news and found yourself puzzled, asking, “Is that really what Christians believe?”
Whatever the situation (and let’s be honest, there will probably be more than one in life), there are many good reasons to study the basic beliefs of Christianity.
What Makes These Beliefs “Basic”?
In the preface of C.S. Lewis’ popular book Mere Christianity (2001), he wrote:
“Ever since I became a Christian I have thought that the best, perhaps the only, service I could do for my unbelieving neighbours was to explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times.”
Lewis went on to describe the reasons that led him to this conclusion, but his claim certainly causes one to pause and reflect: how do we identify the most basic, common, or core beliefs that all Christians share?
We identify these beliefs as basic, because when you strip away the layers, clear away the rabbit trails, and set aside the insider language, these are the beliefs all Christians have defined and defended throughout the ages. The beliefs that are shared across denominational lines.
These beliefs articulate what Christians believe about who God is and what he's done; the nature of humanity; God's salvation and how this salvation comes to us; how we respond to salvation; and the kingdom of God. In our Groundwork series, “Basic Christianity,” we'll study the biblical foundations that provide the basis for the core beliefs of the Christian faith.
Why Study the Basic Beliefs?
No matter where one is his or her faith journey, spending time studying the foundational beliefs of the Christian faith leads to spiritual growth—growth both in head knowledge and heart knowledge. Whether this is your first time or the hundredth time, there’s value in studying the beliefs at the core of Christianity.
- It can revive one’s spiritual life and create an opportunity to meet God in a meaningful way.
- It provides all believers a solid starting place, establishes a common language, and a shared understanding.
- It creates a basic framework for believers who may not have grown up in the Church.
- It brings those disheartened by dissension and disagreement back to common ground, reminding believers what’s at the heart of faith and giving them permission to set aside that which is distracting.
- It can help believers serve or reach out and share their faith with others.
A Firm Foundation
Whether you're new to the Christian faith or have been a disciple of Christ for many years, I invite you to study the beliefs that form the foundation of our Christian faith through our Groundwork series, “Basic Christianity.”
- Who is God?—Romans 1:18-20, Revelation 4:11, Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 28:18-20
- Knowing Our True Identity—Genesis 1:27, Psalm 8, Acts 17:24-28, and Romans 3:9-20
- God’s Salvation Plan—Genesis 3:14-15, Genesis 12:1-3, Matthew 1:20-23
- Grace, Faith, and Becoming Holy—Genesis 15:1-6, Romans 4:16-25, Galatians 2:15-21
- The Kingdom of God—Matthew 5:3-10, Luke 17:20-21, Revelation 4:1-6
Together we’ll study scripture and the roots of our faith to remember our past, learn how our beliefs inform how we live as God's people in the present, and find ourselves filled with hope and assurance for the future.