SOR1 - Principal Beliefs Of Christianity

Divinity and Humanity of Jesus Christ

  • Divine: of or pertaining to God
  • Jesus is 100% divine, God incarnate (made flesh)
  • Human: of of pertaining to the nature of people
  • Jesus is 100% Human
  • Jesus being both 100% divine and 100% human is known as “Hypostatic Union”
  • Jesus is the Word of God made flesh (John 1:1, John 1:14)
  • His divinity is evident through the Gospel testimonies of the miracles and healings performed by Jesus
  • His humanity is evident through his life as a carpenter and his suffering on the Cross

Council of Nicaea - 325CE

  • Early Christian thinkers argued over Jesus’ dual nature, and found it difficult to explain how and why God ‘was a man’.
  • Disputes arose over the many competing explanations, such as:
    • Docetism: is a position which undermines the integrity of the humanity of Jesus because it claims that Jesus is fully divine but not truly human, because he is God merely adopting the appearance of being human.
    • Arianism: is the belief that Jesus is superior to the rest of creation but not equal to God because Jesus was created by God and thus is not eternal unlike God.
    • Nestorianism: Nestorius undermined the unity of Jesus by claiming that Mary was the Mother of the human Jesus but not the divine Jesus, to suggest that there were two persons within Jesus
  • The Council of Nicaea produced the Nicene Creed, which states that the Father and the Son are of one essence and hence Jesus is fully divine.
  • The Council of Nicaea also canonized (made the concept legitimate) the Holy Trinity
  • This decision was reaffirmed by the Council of Constantinople

The Nature of God and Trinity

  • Christians believe that God is:
    • Transcendant
    • Immanent
    • Omnipotent
    • Omniscient
    • Omnipresent
    • Eternal
  • Christians believe that God is One and the Creator of all things
    • One being existing in three distinct persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Holy Trinity)
    • Each person is distinct but not isolated from one another
    • Concept of the Trinity was canonized at the Council of Nicaea
    • The divine power is common to all three, but they are distinct people/beings

Death and Resurrection

  • Jesus was crucified
  • Resurrected 3 days later
  • Passion of Christ: Events from Jesus' arrest until his death
  • The belief is that Jesus' death was important to destroy sin and give humanity the opportunity for eternal life (Romans 8:3-4)
  • Christians believe God has revealed himself in creation through:
    • The teachings and writings of the Prophets
    • The Holy Spirit
    • In the person, life and teachings of Jesus Christ
  • Christians believe that the Resurrection of the Body will occur for all at the Final Judgement

Revelation

  • The notion that God is intimately involved with all aspects of human life
    • Thus God is revealed to humankind in and through the experiences of human history
  • God is the ONLY source of Revelation
  • He has revealed himself through:
    • Creation
    • Writings of Prophets
    • Jesus
    • The Holy Spirit
  • Further communicated through:
  • The Bible
  • The teaching traditions of the Church (Inspired by the Holy Spirit)
  • God’s spirit that dwells within human beings
  • Orthodox and Catholic denominations place a greater emphasis on the teaching authority of the Church, which is considered equal to the Bible in terms of importance

Bible Passage References

Salvation

  • Refers to the deliverance and liberation from sin and its consequences
  • GOD is the only one who saves
    • His saving action has particular concern/preference for those who are vulnerable in society
    • Christians are called to accept the gift of God’s saving action through their faith in Jesus and their own actions on behalf of those in need

Salvation Realised

  • Cannot be fully completed in this life → full realisation must be completed in the afterlife
  • Can be achieved through the acceptance of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
  • Humans can only achieve salvation with the grace of GOD
  • “Born Again” Christians believe that salvation is dependent on an individual’s personal acceptance of Jesus
  • Other Christians believe that it is not only based on personal faith but also works of merit

Bible Passage References

Pranav Sharma
Pranav Sharma
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Year 12 Student, site owner and developer.

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