What we believe about God, The Bible and The Church
We believe and trust in one God, Father Son and Holy Spirit
A guide to the Christian faith
You won’t ever be asked if you completely understand all this. But you are asked whether you believe and trust; this is called faith. It is a different sort of knowledge. It is the knowledge of being known and loved and loving in return.
The Christian faith is not a human invention. There are signs of God’s existence and handiwork in creation for anyone to read (Acts 14.15–17). But we believe in the way we do because God has come to seek us out and has made himself known to us.
God has revealed himself through the Bible, Most clearly through the gift of his Son, Jesus Christ, making himself known personally to each believer through the work of the Holy Spirit.
When someone becomes a follower of Jesus, they choose to be baptised. (Or, if they have already been baptised, they will confirm for themselves the promises made at their baptism.) During this service, the officiant will ask a series of questions – in most respects, the questions asked today are the same as those of the new Christians in the earliest days of the Church.
Do you believe and trust in God the Father?
Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ?
Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?
Everyone answers with either a simple ‘I believe and trust in him, or by reciting the three parts of the Apostles’ Creed, one of the most ancient summaries of the Christian faith.
Being a Christian means responding to Jesus’ invitation to enjoy a relationship with God here on earth and for eternity.
As Christians, we believe the purpose of our lives is to praise God. As we do so, we begin to recognise more and more that everything comes from God and to feel even more thankful and full of praise.
The Christian view of humankind is that humans were created to know God and live in a right relationship with God of love and fellowship. We find true perspective and purpose in our lives, the praise and appreciation of God and our relationship with God.
Because of God’s grace in Jesus Christ,
- we can call God’ Father’;
- we are drawn into a relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
- We align ourselves with God’s will for a better world.
- We begin to see that everything we have comes from God.
We place ourselves daily within his love, care and protection.
The worship and praise of God give us scale and orientation, and direction for the whole of the rest of our lives. Praise and appreciation opens out our words and then our hearts and minds – especially the praise and worship of God.
Jesus was once asked to name the greatest commandment. His reply – known as the ‘Summary of the Law’ – was this:
The first commandment is this:
‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
There is no other commandment greater than these.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Loving God and loving neighbour belong together, and the best, most fruitful life is lived in loving communion with God, our Creator and our fellow human beings.
Our lives need to be shaped in a rhythm of worship and service: love for God and others.