There is not – and never has been – one set of beliefs that all Christians share.
This is attributable to both the fact that there are a wide range of sources of material that relate to the Christian religion and also to the fact that followers are spread widely across the world.
There are three principal sources of Christian beliefs which are:
The teachings of Jesus and his disciples
The Evangelical Christians and some of the Free Churches, such as The United Reformed Church, believe in the supreme authority of the Bible. Others, such as the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Church, follow Church traditions as well as the words of the Bible.
Most Christians however do believe in the following:
There is only one God.
This one God takes three equal but different forms. This belief is unique to Christianity. The three forms are:
God the Father
He is called the Father because he creates everything that exists and also because, like a father, he cares for his creations.
God the Son
Christians believe that Jesus was the only Son of God. Many Christians believe that Jesus did not have a human father. They believe God, in the form of the Holy Spirit, helped to conceive him. Christians also believe that although Jesus took human form he was also God, because God was always there in his life. This belief, that Jesus was both human and divine (godlike), is known as “ the Incarnation.”
God the Holy Spirit (also called the Holy Ghost.)
Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is God’s power, which is active in today’s world as much as in the past. It is a power, which attracts people to God’s love. Some (but not all) Christians believe that it was through the power of the Holy Spirit that the Virgin Mary conceived Jesus (They believe that Jesus’ birth was a “Virgin birth” because Jesus was conceived without Mary having sexual relations with a man). The Holy Spirit is also said to have come down to Jesus (in the form of a dove) when he was baptised. This allowed Jesus then to baptise others with the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit also appeared to Jesus’ followers (the disciples) on the Day of Pentecost. The Bible (Acts Chapter 2 Verses 2-4) describes the Holy Spirit as like a violent wind. It filled the house, where the disciples were staying, with tongues of flame that appeared between and rested on the disciples. In this case the Holy Spirit gave the disciples the power to go out and teach others about Jesus.
Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is given to all who believe in God and that this gift, of the Holy Spirit, brings other powers with it namely love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians Chapter 5 Verse 22). These are all considered important, as they strengthen the Christian community and enable Christians to worship.
Other important beliefs
These include the death of Jesus, The Resurrection and Life after death and The Second Coming.