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Southgate Methodist Church, Elland
and Christian Centre

What do Christians Believe?

We thought you might like to know what are the very basic things most Christians would agree on: 

These beliefs are summarised in the universally accepted Apostle's Creed:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy universal Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

In a little bit more detail:

Christianity is a reasonable religion, which allows all people the free will to decide. Its roots are in Judaism. It originated in Palestine in the 1st century AD and is founded on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.


Christianity is a religion practised by nearly 2,000 million people worldwide. There are about 6 million active Christians in the UK, but over 35 million in Britain would regard themselves as nominally Christian.


The word Christian is derived from the base word "Christ" (i.e. Jesus) and the suffix "-ian" meaning follower of. The word "Christian" means someone who believes and follows the teachings of Jesus. These are recorded in the Bible. Christianity is the application of the teachings of Jesus Christ.


There are many different variations, or "denominations". Christians are united in purpose and basic beliefs, but these are expressed in different styles and forms,in different cultures and communities. Even within denominations there can be different styles of worship, or methods of preaching, but it is all the same religion: Christianity. In England the three main denominations are the Church of England (also known as Anglican), the Roman Catholic Church and the Methodist Church


There is only one god, who created the world. God also created humans with a responsibility for their own lives. God is judge of all that they do, but also seeks to help them when they go wrong. God has revealed himself through his Son (Jesus Christ) and is active through his Spirit (the Holy Spirit).


Jesus was a Jew. At the time of Jesus' birth the Jewish people were hoping for the arrival of the Messiah (Christ). His followers came to realise that he was the predicted Messiah. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who came to earth as a man to restore the relationship between humans and God which had gone wrong.
He was crucified as a criminal and was seen alive after he was dead and buried (the resurrection). During Jesus' life he had shown people how to be reconciled to God and to each other. Jesus' death and resurrection was a form of atonement for the actions of humans and restored them to their correct relationship with God.


Christians try to live according to the example of Jesus Christ by: loving God, loving their fellow human beings as we love ourselves and sharing the Christian message. There is only one life. This life is judged after death by the way it was lived. No-one can live a perfect life by themselves but by living a Christian life their sins can be forgiven, and they can be reconciled to God, and receive eternal life.


The Bible is the holy book of all Christians. The Bible includes history, wisdom, poetry, prophecy and advice and covers the period from Creation to the Early Church. This is divided into the Old Testament, which incorporates the Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament, which details the life of Jesus and a selection of writings and letters (epistles) of the early church.
It was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, but has been translated into many languages, including modern English. Popular Bibles include the Authorised (King James) Bible, the Good News Bible, the Revised English Bible and the New International Bible. They are all good Bibles - you just need to pick the style of English you prefer.