Beginner’s Guide to Christianity

This article is for people interested in Christianity but wondering if it is true.

How can I be sure that the Christian religion is true? Is there any proof? There is a simple procedure to answer those questions:

1.      God exists 

 How is it that this amazing universe and planet exist? How is it that human beings, with all their abilities, exist? Some say it just evolved out of nothing, with nobody overseeing it. But that is not a credible explanation. Many Christians believe in evolution, but not in the incredible idea that no rational being oversaw such a wonderfully complex, amazingly interrelated process. 

 I wrote the following to show how incredible it is to think there is no Creator: “Once upon a time (except there was no time) there was nothing. Then, one day (except there were no days), out of nothing, for no reason, there was an enormous bang, caused by nothing. This enormous bang formed something out of nothing. And this enormous bang, formed out of nothing, was so clever that eventually it caused everything. Amazingly, although the bang was formed out of nothing and by nothing, it brought about intelligent life.” 

 I am quite convinced that the idea that there is no Creator is, in fact, irrational. There must be a God. [1]

 2.      God is good

 Good and evil matter very much to human beings. By definition goodness is a very high quality without which human life would be extremely difficult. So God created human beings with moral character, capable of displaying goodness.

 If we regard goodness as a very high human quality it is only to be expected that God, who created human beings, is totally good (separate from evil – holy). He is the origin of our goodness.

 3.      God is loving

 The highest quality in personal goodness is love. This being the case it is clear that God, who is personal and who created us, must be supremely loving. He is the source of our love. 

 4.      God is multi-personal

 As God is eternal, it follows that he has been loving for all eternity. But who did he love before the world and human beings were created? Christianity is unique in teaching that God is multi-personal, yet still one God. God is Trinity – three persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) – totally united in love. Christianity is all about love.

5.      God loves us and calls us to love him

 Love reaches out to a loved one and yearns for that loved one to return the love. So God loves us profoundly and created us to love him. He yearns for us to return his love and we shall only find fulfilment if we do.

 6.      God communicates with us

 Communication is foundational to intelligent beings, hence communication from God (divine revelation) is to be expected.

 7.      God calls us to communicate with him

 Love calls for a response so communication is at the heart of love. Therefore God wants us to respond to his communication (revelation) by communicating with him (prayer and praise).

 8.      God who is both loving and holy has to deal with our unholiness

 God must be perfect but humans aren’t. Perfect holiness excludes sin. God is utterly holy. It is therefore impossible for anything unholy to remain in his presence. Holiness and unholiness are, by definition, totally incompatible. So only that which is holy or has been spiritually cleansed by God can remain in his presence. But there is a condition to that spiritual cleansing – repentance.

 9.      God decided to take upon himself the Hell we deserve

 A human being with a precious loved one who is proved guilty of a serious crime might say “I wish I could take his punishment on myself.”  But they can’t.  However, God can.

 God created us to love him – we failed. Instead of condemning us he decided to take the pain of our punishment on himself – because he is perfectly loving. This was planned to satisfy both his holiness and his love. So he made it possible for unholy human beings to escape the eternal separation from him which they deserve. 

 10.  God had to take human nature upon himself in order to experience Hell

 God decided to allow himself to experience Hell. But that is impossible. Hell is separation from God and God can’t be separated from God! So God (the Son of God) chose to take human nature upon himself. God became human in the person of Jesus. Jesus was truly man but he was also God in human form. He allowed himself to be crucified and to experience Hell in the full sense of the term –separation from God (his Father). It was a hideous experience. He, the God-man, alone could cause the full punishment of all human wrongdoing to fall upon himself.

 11.  God proved who Jesus was and what he had achieved through the resurrection

 On the third day after he died Jesus came back from the dead. This clearly happened because the first Christians, who were not expecting it, were prepared to die for the truth of it – that they had met him after his resurrection. His resurrection showed that he was the Son of God and that his sacrifice on the cross was more than sufficient to bring about the spiritual cleansing of any human being. But the condition of receiving that cleansing is to repent of our sin and to love him (which includes trusting him, honouring him and serving him). 

 12.  God is longing for our response

 The incredibly sad thing is that, even after all this, many of us didn’t love him – and don’t love him. And his sacrifice is wasted for us until we do start to love him. He is longing for human beings to do this. How about turning to him now, in simple faith, and starting to love him to the best of your ability? God the Holy Spirit will give you all the help you need.

 © Tony Higton: see conditions for reproduction

[1] For more information on this subject, see the section “Does God exist?” on the Apologetics page