What it means to be a Christian

What it means to be a Christian

What we believe christian st stephen st julian st albans

Christians believe in the one true God who created the world, sent his Son Jesus to show his love for the world, and who continues to sustain and nurture the world through the power of his Spirit. Christian people believe in God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; these three aspects of God are known as the Holy Trinity and from this belief flows all the things that make us Christians.

What Jesus did

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem, about 2,000 years ago, he lived like us. When he was about 30 years old, he gathered 12 friends: his disciples. For about two years, he moved around, preaching and teaching. He told people about God, his father, and how God loves every person. Jesus also told people how important it was to be reconciled with God; that is, to be sorry for the things that we do that hurt other people, and that separate us from our loving God.

The cross and the resurrection

Jesus was seen as a threat by the ruling powers of his day, and he was put to death by them; he was crucified on a cross. But God showed his extraordinary power, and brought Jesus back from the dead – this is the resurrection. After his death Jesus was seen by his disciples, and their stories are in the New Testament, in the Bible.

What it means for us

The death and resurrection of Jesus are the defining parts of Christianity, the ones which make it so powerful. God has shown us that he has power over life and death.

But the cross is of great importance to us right now. God has shown us that, even after terrible things happen, he can bring good out of them; and this message gives hope to many people.

More encouragement

After the resurrection, Jesus lived on Earth for about 40 days. During this time he told his friends that he was going back to heaven to be with God his father. He also told them not to be afraid because he would send the Holy Spirit to them, to strengthen and encourage them. It was the Holy Spirit who guided and inspired the lives of the early Christians.

Living as Christians today

If like the early Christians we accept that we need God’s help, then he can transform our lives. We can begin to appreciate the beauty of creation, made by God for us to enjoy and to supply all our needs. We can begin to appreciate and love other people, not for what they can do for us or give us, but as beings made by God, and greatly valued by him. When we see other people in trouble, we can respond to the needs of others in love, because God loves us.

We can confidently pray to God through Jesus, when we are in trouble and know that he will help us in our difficulties.

Keeping in touch with God – Worship

Public prayer with praise and thanksgiving in a church service should be a natural part of the Christian life. Worship can take a wide variety of forms: Family Services, Holy Communion, and Evening Prayer on a Sunday; and there are also regular mid-week services, as well as special services to celebrate the festivals of the Church Year. These are listed on our service times page. All these help Christians to remain in touch with God, and with the other people in their Church community.

Keeping in touch with God – Prayer

In addition to public worship, private prayer is a great help to Christians. Setting aside a few minutes each day to ‘just be with God’ is immensely valuable, helping Christians to live their everyday life. In prayer we can thank God for things that are going well, bring our problems to him and ask him to help other people who are on our minds. The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit will be with us and help us, when we pray.

Christians believe that prayer – talking and listening to God – can actually change things, although not always in the way we think is best or right! If you or someone you love needs prayer, let us know some details and we will put them on our list of people to pray for.

Keeping in touch with God – Bible reading

The Bible is very precious to Christians because it tells of God’s ongoing relationship with his people. It speaks of God’s love for his chosen people, the Jews, and also of Jesus and his ministry; and tells us about what the first Christians in the early Church thought and did.

Living the Christian Life

The Christian faith needs to be lived: if we are to do this we need to take to heart God’s promise spoken by Jesus and recorded at the end of St. Matthew’s Gospel “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” Matthew 28 vs 20.