Basics of Christianity
Basics of Christianity is a great place for you to learn more about some important topics. If you haven’t taken that step but want to learn more about what Christians believe in your own search for truth, start here! This section covers topics like: What is sin, and what does salvation mean? Is it possible to resist temptation? How should we pray? And how can you tell others about Christ? Find answers to these questions and more in Basics of Christianity.
People often ask, “What makes Jesus different from all the other religious leaders who ever lived?” Well, the Bible—God’s authoritative word—makes it very clear that Jesus was more than just another religious teacher or prophet. It tells us, instead, that Jesus was unique. First, He was unique in His person. He wasn’t just an unusually spiritual individual. He was more than that; He was God in human flesh.
Yes, He was fully man, but He was also fully God. The Bible puts it this way: “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9). This is what we celebrate at Christmas—God coming to earth in the form of man. Second, Jesus was unique in His purpose. Why did He come to earth? He came for one reason: to save us from our sins. As Jesus Himself said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10).
First their were all kinds of animal sacrifice, but Jesus became the final sacrifice for our sins through His death on the cross, because He was perfect, male, without blemish, and all the things a sacrifice had to be. We know His promise of eternal life is true because He did something no other person has ever done: He rose from the dead—what we call the resurrection—and still lives today.
The Bible is somewhat like a library because it is actually a collection of books. Those books were written over many centuries, and they were only gradually brought together into their present form.
The first “collection” was probably the first five books of the Bible (often called the “Torah,” which is the Hebrew word for God’s Law). Jesus came here to earth as a Hebrew.
As time went on, other books were added. The whole Old Testament was finished about four centuries before the time of Jesus.
Only a few decades after His (Jesus) ministry, the books of the New Testament were written and then accepted by Christians.
The most important fact about the Bible, however, is that God watched over its writing, and He has preserved it down to the present time. The Bible isn’t just another ancient book of human wisdom—it is God’s Word, given to us to tell us how we can know God. The Bible says, “For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). God guided the authors as they wrote the different books. What place does the Bible have in your life?
God wants to speak to you through its pages; are you listening?
Most of all, He wants you to come to know Him by discovering Jesus Christ, who is at the center of the Bible.
Reading the Bible: The Bible is big—so big that even the greatest scholar will never exhaust its riches. But the Bible isn’t just for preachers and scholars! God wants to speak to you through His Word, and no matter who you are, the Bible can come alive to you. You may never understand everything in the Bible, but you can understand something. Samuel was still a boy when God answered his simple prayer: “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:9). Make that your prayer as well.
So why does the Bible remain a closed book to many? One reason is because we don’t realize how much we need it. If I suggested you stop eating for a few months, you’d ignore me—and rightly so. We need food in order to survive, and without food we’ll grow weak and eventually die. Yet many Christians are spiritually starved and weak because they ignore the spiritual “food” God has provided in the Bible.
The Bible is not an option; it is a necessity. You cannot grow spiritually strong without it. Job said, “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread” (Job 23:12). Is the Bible this important to you? How can you discover the Bible’s message? How can the Bible become part of your life? Learn the Bible from others.
God has given some people a special gift to understand the Bible and teach it to others. The Bible says that “in the church, God has appointed … teachers” (1 Corinthians 12:28). Listen carefully when your pastor preaches from the Bible.
Seek out a Bible class in your church or community where only the Bible is taught. Also check your local Christian radio station (if you live in a country that permits religious broadcasting); some of today’s most gifted Bible teachers are on radio.
Investigate spending part of your vacation at a conference center devoted to Bible teaching. Many people find daily devotional books based on the Bible helpful. Although they may examine only a verse or two each day, God can use them to encourage you.
One of the most significant spiritual movements in recent decades has been the explosion in small group Bible studies. All over the world, Christians are coming together to read the Bible and share their insights. The Bible says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another” (Colossians 3:16).
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