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An Overview of Christianity

The Foundational Principles of Christianity

The Basics

There are five basic principles which constitute the foundational teachings of Christianity. They are, in effect, the five pillars of Christianity. They are listed here in chronological order.

Note that one or two Scripture references accompany each topic. These are meant as examples, not as exhaustive proofs. It is dangerous to build too much from a single verse. But that does not mean that there cannot be one representative verse for a subject (which is how this presentation should be taken). Remember, this site is for an overview of Christianity, not a thorough discussion.

first pillar second pillar third pillar fourth pillar fifth pillar

The Word of God

The Bible was given by God and is Truth. God, the Creator and Ruler of this world and universe, has given us His Book, the Bible. The Bible is to serve as a guide for life.

II Timothy 3:16-17
16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17. That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
II Peter 1:19-21
19. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.
20. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Jesus Christ is God

The title just above this sentence pretty much says it all. There is more to it than just that, however, since He was also human. There is a verse given here to show that Jesus was a man, but that point does not seem to be doubted by anyone. This section is needed to counter the notion that Jesus was a good man, a good teacher, an angel, or what have you, but not God.

Matthew 1:18
18. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
John 8:58
58. Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
John 10:30
(Christ speaking) 30. I and my Father are one.
John 16:27-28
27. For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
28. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
Luke 24:39
(Christ speaking) 39. Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

Jesus Christ Died for Your Sin

When Jesus was executed by means of crucifixion, there was a divine reason. It was part of the death and resurrection of a perfect man, to take, in your place, punishment for your sin.
For an explanation of why death is needed for sin, see the Gospel page.

Matthew 20:28
28. Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.
I Corinthians 15:3-4
3. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4. And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
John 4:25-26
25. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
26. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

Jesus Christ Rose from the Grave

The death of Jesus would be meaningless without His subsequent resurrection. Not only would He not be that much different from other men, but also He would not have as much authority to grant us freedom from eternal death. Everyone still must face the death of the body, but Christians do not need to fear the death of the soul.

Acts 1:3
3. To whom also He shewed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
Luke 24:2-6
2. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
3. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
4. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
5. And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
6. He is not here, but is risen; remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee,

Jesus Christ Is Returning Someday

The hope which motivates us as Christians comes from our future home in heaven. Those who have acknowledged Jesus as their Savior and Ruler will be welcomed to eternal glory with Him. No one can know when the transition from this temporary earth will occur, but we have the promise of it.

I Thessalonians 4:16-17
16. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Acts 1:9-11
9. And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
10. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11. Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.
Revelation 19:11-16
11. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rile them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.