When you are a teenager, labels can matter. One of the labels you probably carry is “Christian.” As a Christian you need to understand the basics of what you believe.
The label “Christian” has come to mean a number of things throughout the ages. To believers and non-believers the word has certain feelings associated with it. Yet, even among believers, the word is rather general and can generate a lot of confusion. More often Christians of all different denominations tend to focus on the differences in their faiths. Yet every type of Christianity tends to come down to the same basic beliefs…
The Apostle’s Creed
In the most basic terms, a Christian is someone who believes in God as Father and Jesus Christ as Lord, Savior, and Son. Whether someone is Catholic, Born Again, Protestant, Evangelical, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, etc., the basics of the Christian faith are summarized in the Apostles’ Creed.
A Holy Trinity
Basically, all Christians believe in a Holy Trinity. There is God, who is father to us all. He created the heavens and the earth. Then there is Jesus, God’s son who was sent to us to die for our sins. Christians believe that Christ was crucified upon a cross for our sin and then he rose from the dead and ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God. Finally, there is the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of God that speaks to us, telling us how to live our lives.
John 3:16 states: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that everyone will not perish but have eternal life.” (NLT)
We are all Sinners
Christians believe that all human beings are sinners. Every human being is born to sin. God even thought about destroying all of humanity at one point, because humanity sinned so badly. Yet God made a promise to Noah that he would never destroy humanity or cause such devastation again. Still, throughout the Old Testament we see the Hebrews go through trial after trial for their sins.
A New Hope
In the New Testament we are introduced to Jesus, who dies upon a cross for humanity’s sins. He is sinless, and yet he takes on the world’s sins and dies for all humanity. It is through Christ that Christians are saved from a horrible afterlife separated from God. Through Jesus Christians receive salvation and forgiveness of sin. People are saved from God’s wrath and get to spend eternity in Heaven.
Acts 3:19 says: "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (NIV)
All of this talk about sin and Christ dying for the world’s sin may seem a bit heavy and complex, but it all comes down to God asking us to follow his commands and live our lives for Him.
Romans 5:8 states: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (NIV)