Watch ‘What Makes Christianity Different From Other Religions?’
Listen To ‘What Do Christians Believe?’
In the 2,000 years since Jesus’ death and resurrection, a lot has happened.
Christianity has grown from a radical faith practiced by a small group of believers who had known Jesus personally to the most prominent global religion. It has distinct sects and a staggering variety of traditions.
Additionally, the global population has grown from 300 million when Jesus was alive to nearly 8 billion today. Human cultures, lifespans, and communities have transformed in that time in ways no one could have predicted. Obviously, these cataclysmic changes have had an impact on the church.
Amidst all this change, it can sometimes feel hard to answer a simple question: What do Christians believe?
What Is Christianity?
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians believe He is the Son of God and the savior of the world.
Christians also believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for the sins of humanity and rose from the dead three days later. He conquered death and provided a way for people to be reconciled to God and have eternal life in Him.
There are many different denominations and traditions within Christianity. However, they all share these basic beliefs about Jesus Christ and salvation.
What Do Christians Believe and Value?
“The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.”
Christian beliefs and values can vary somewhat among different denominations and individuals, but here are some of the most common ones.
- Monotheism – belief in one God who is the creator of the universe and everything in it.
- Trinity – belief in the three persons of the Godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- Jesus Christ – belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins and rose again from the dead.
- Salvation – belief that forgiveness of sins and eternal life are possible through faith in Jesus Christ.
- Bible – belief that the Bible is the inspired word of God and contains the truth about God’s nature and purpose for humanity.
- Second Coming – belief that Jesus Christ will return to earth in the future to judge the living and the dead.
- Love – the love of God and the love of others are foundational to Christian values.
- Forgiveness – Christians forgive others as God has forgiven them.
- Humility – Christians live humbly and serve others.
- Compassion – Christians show compassion to those in need.
- Justice – Christians work for justice and righteousness in the world.
- Honesty – Christians live with integrity and speak the truth.
- Generosity – Christians are generous with their time, resources, and talents.
- Faith – Christians trust in God and have faith in His plan for their lives.
What Are the 5 Basic Beliefs of Christianity?
“So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: “I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is there I shall be also!”
The Christian faith is both beautifully simple and wonderfully complex. It can be grasped by a child, yet adults study it for their entire lives. We still experience a sense of mystery and awe in response to even the most basic Christian teachings. These five basic beliefs answer the question “What do Christians believe?”. They also provide five inroads for beginning to contemplate Jesus and the Christian life.
1. One God:
- “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” – Deuteronomy 6:4
- “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” – James 2:19
- “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 2:5
2. Jesus Christ is the Son of God:
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
- “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.” – Matthew 10:32
- “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” – John 20:31
3. The Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ:
- “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24
- “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.” – Romans 6:5
- “But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” – Acts 2:24
4. Salvation by Grace:
- “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9
- “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1
- “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:13
5. Belief in Eternal Life:
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
- “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” – John 5:24
- “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” – 1 John 5:11
Why Is Christianity Different From Other Religions?
“It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.”
-Pope John Paul II
Christianity is the only religion that asserts we are all sinners who cannot abolish sin by our own will.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” – Ephesians 2:4-5
In the Christian faith, our attitudes matter as much as our actions.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” – Luke 6:45
Many other religions provide systems for achieving holiness. Christians believe they are totally incapable of holiness and right moral action on their own.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
While many other religions are based on a shared bloodline, history, or cultural heritage, Christianity is a diverse global community.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28
While other religions serve god(s) who may be distant or impersonal, Christians believe in a God who knows, loves, and pursues us individually and personally.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” – Matthew 10:29-31
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20
Christians prioritize relationship over rules.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 13:2
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