The essentials of Christianity refer to the core beliefs and elements that make up an individual Christian’s faith and characterize his beliefs into a separate doctrine of Christianity than others. Sometimes, a question lurks in the mind of a believer of Christ what does he/she needs to believe that comprise the essential doctrines of Christianity and how he/she can hold on to them to rightly be called a Christian. (Godawa, 2009) This essay provides a primer insight on the core essential doctrines of Christianity accepted by all diversity of Christian churches for all the Christians to adhere to.
Following is a brief description of each of the core beliefs that comprise Christianity and how by considering and abiding by those beliefs a person can be rightly called a Christian.
Christian theology professes God as an eternal, omnipotent, powerful, and intelligent Being who had no beginning. He is the same today, yesterday, and forever in the world. He has always been alive yet he has no past and future but can clearly see His creation’s present, past, and future. Christianity believes that God is all-powerful energy and every form of the energy in the universe comes from Him and by no means could be generated itself. Christianity when looks deeply into the mysteries of the universe and the pieces of evidence it finds regarding the designing of every element of the universe ends up intelligent planning of someone. That intelligence is of God.
According to God’s Word, Bible, the universe belongs to an all-powerful God. He built the earth, stretched out over it the skies like a curtain, and water like a blanket. He owns the world and rules sovereign on everything that is in heaven and on earth. All the people are His creation including humans, animals, birds, and angelic beings. Now, the challenge for a Christian is to understand the existence of God both in the world and far beyond the human imagination and outside the world by recognizing God’s wondrous majesty. In Christian worldview, the view of the God determines the view of the Christian world. (Godawa, 2009)
Myers and Noebel in Chapter 2 “Christianity” of the textbook state that knowledge about the essential belief of Jesus as the Son of God, his life, and ministry comes from the letters of Apostle Paul and Christian Scriptures regarding his disciples’ faith in the message of Jesus’ ministry and how he spread his message. (Myers, 2015) The development of the belief that Jesus is the Son of God is evident in early Scriptures as, during his human lifetime, no consensus proved whether he was the Son of God, a teacher, or just a prophet. His disciples in the early Christian communities who were Jews portrayed him as Messiah and later they came to believe the doctrine of Trinity that the monotheistic God of Hebrew Scriptures is in Triune form; God, Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Myers, 2015)
Christians’ claim of monotheistic God is distinct in a way as Christianity regards Jesus as fully divine as well as human. It viewed Jesus as a human as he experienced the processes of birth and death like us to prove his human existence and paid the price owed to the Father for the forgiveness of sin to save humanity from evil and raise Christians to eternal life. As Bible states “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith” (NIV, Ephesians, 2:8) and “Expressed in his kindness to us in Jesus Christ” (NIV, Ephesians, 2:7) shows the salvation of humanity through Jesus Christ.
The worldview of Christianity professes the monotheistic God with His manifestation in three distinct persons; God, Son, and the Holy Spirit that combined make up the Trinity. (Godawa, 2009) There raises a question regarding the monotheistic form of God as Christians claim. The answer to this claim is found in the understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. Asserting the doctrine of Trinity, Christianity believes that God is revealed to humanity in three different forms; God himself, then in his Son, Jesus, and later, in the form of the Holy Spirit. A common example to understand the doctrine of Trinity is of a Woman. She occupies the role of a daughter, mother, and wife and therefore functions and responds differently to her every duty towards the people around her. Similarly, God is monotheistic sharing the three divine natures for Christians.
Christians profess their belief in the authority of the Bible that this is a Scripture from an Omnipotent God. Christianity regards Bible as God’s inerrant and inspired Word about a Triune God and is an ultimate guide for Christians around the world to lead ethical daily lives. (Myers, 2015)
Christianity recognizes the Church as an institute ordained by God for evangelizing the Christian world through communism, spiritual growth, and baptism. Believers seek the Church’s authority as an organization to accurately teach the Word of God.
Original Sin and Reconciliation
The theology of Christianity seeks a man as a spiritual being who is created in God’s image but the extent of “original sin” has transgressed man to lose his fellowship with the Father. Furthermore, the term “atonement” in the Bible refers to Jesus’ death on the Cross and the belief that Jesus has accomplished the forgiveness of “original sin” and reconciled the Christians with God.
In summary, Building on what atheist Christopher Hitchens quotes, all believers of Christ must adhere to the basic beliefs and practices according to their theology of Christianity and religious doctrines otherwise by abandoning these essential beliefs no believer can rightly be called a Christian. (Myers, 2015) First, the theology of Christianity believes in the worshipping of a monotheistic God or the existence of God manifested in Trinitarian form referring to God is in three distinct persons namely The Father (God), The Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. Second, Christianity believes that all humans are nothing but sinners referring back to the disobedience of Adam and Eve and the belief that by the grace of God who has sent His Son, Jesus Christ to save humanity from the consequences of the sin and has restored the world. Lastly, Christianity views Bible as the revealed Word of God that is inerrant and a primary expression for Christians to lead their ethical lives.
The Holy Bible, new international version. (1984) Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House.
Myers, J., & Noebel, D. A. (2015). Understanding the Times: A Survey of Competing Worldviews.
Godawa, B., & Winter, R. (2009). Hollywood worldviews : watching films with wisdom & discernment. Intervarsity Press.