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What We Believe

The Good News · FYI · Additional Resources

The Good News

Christianity is not a set of rules and regulations, nor is it merely a philosophical framework. The word Christian, which means "little Christ," describes a person who has become like Christ. What this means, and why it is necessary, explain Christianity.

We will start with the necessity of being like Christ, since that is where the story starts. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Thus begins the Bible, which is the written word of God put on paper by various people He chose to record His thoughts. God created man and woman, and all the rest of the natural world, as an act of love. He truly loved His creation, and they loved him as well. However, the first man and woman chose to deliberately rebel against God, and so began a gradual process of shutting Him out.

Ever since then, each person has been born with both an awareness of his or her need for a close relationship with God and a realization of the separation that exists between them. In addition, each of us has done things that we know are wrong. Perhaps it was a lie or an act of cruelty to another person or any of a number of actions that we knew perfectly well were not acceptable. Christians call this wrong behavior "sin", but no matter what you call it, the outcome is the same. God is perfect and cannot accept our sin, so we must rid ourselves of its effects on our lives before we can have that close relationship with Him that we inwardly long for. Unfortunately, nothing that we do on our own can totally erase the effects of these actions. Each one causes us to lose touch more and more with God, and to slip further away from the beauty and perfection that he wants us to experience.

God could, of course, force us to conform to His plans and to experience that beauty by not allowing us to make wrong choices. However, He loves us as individuals and wants us to freely make the choice to love Him back. He already had prepared another way for us to break away from the results of our own wrong actions: He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to come to Earth and be born as a human child, to grow up without ever doing anything that was wrong, and to be killed because of it.

This may seem like a strange plan, and from our perspective I suppose it is. However, God's universe, which He created and we live in, has certain laws. One of those laws is that bad acts must be punished. Obviously, all of us have done bad acts in the past, so we all must be punished. Unfortunately, none of us could stand the punishment we have earned. Jesus died as a way of providing a substitute punishment for us. If we accept his punishment as our own, God will willingly forgive us and take us into His arms as His very own children. This is what He has been waiting for ever since the moment of creation.

This is where we get to the second part of our original question: what does it mean to be like Christ? Acknowledging that we have violated God's law, that we deserve to be punished and can never earn forgiveness on our own, and accepting the death of Jesus as payment for our own sins is essentially what makes a person a Christian. Once we accept that sacrifice, God begins treating us as though we had become as perfect as Christ. He knows, of course, that we are not, but He treats us as though we were. God treats us as though we were as perfect as Christ, but He doesn't stop there. He also sends the Holy Spirit, the third part of what Christians call the Trinity, to help us as we struggle to overcome the years of bad habits and wrong choices that we have been accumulating.

The Holy Spirit helps us in a variety of ways. Sometimes He acts as an aid to our conscience, pointing out that we really should pay more attention to one area of our behavior or another. Sometimes He gives us special abilities, like the ability to speak eloquently or to understand what another person is feeling. Everything the Holy Spirit does, though, is designed to help us and the people we come in contact with to develop a deeper relationship with God. Essentially, he is helping us to become just like Christ.

This, in a nutshell, is the Christian faith. Of course, many aspects of it can be explained in much greater detail, and some parts have been omitted here in the interests of brevity. The sections below will help to elaborate on these concepts.

FYI

This section is under construction. Keep watching for added content.

Statement of Faith

Read the formal statement of faith of Calvary Fellowship if you would like a more technical explanation of what we as a church body believe.

Baptist Faith and Message

Calvary Fellowship participates in the Southern Baptist Convention. Read the Baptist Faith and Message for a description of what many Southern Baptist churches believe.

Prayer

Prayer provides one way for us to get to know God better and to participate with Him in the work that He is doing.

The Bible

The Trinity

The Church

Heaven and Hell

Faith and Works

Additional Resources

If you are interested in learning more about what Christians believe, the best place to start is the Bible. This book is God's message to us and is the basis for all Christian beliefs. Every Christian bookstore carries an assortment of Bibles in different translations. Ask the person working there to help you choose the one that is right for you.

Christian authors over the years have written down explanations of what Christianity is all about. The books listed below discuss Christianity in more depth than we have been able to do here.

There are also many web sites that provide helpful insights into Christian beliefs. We have listed some of them below. Not every opinion expressed in these sites is necessarily the opinion of Calvary Fellowship.

The Four Spiritual Laws

This site gives the classic explanation of Christianity in an easy to follow format.

The Chapel on the Web

A well designed site with several sections which provide more information about the Christian faith.

10 Reasons to Believe

This site explains Christian beliefs on issues in the form of Top 10 lists.

Why & What

This site provides another perspective on what Christians believe and why.

The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry

A more detailed discussion of Christian doctrines, along with a discussion of various cults.


If you have questions about anything you have seen on this page, or about Christianity in general, please email us.


Calvary Fellowship
Dr. Brett Dutton, Pastor
1001 Pineloch Drive, Suite 600
Houston, Texas 77062
Phone: 281-480-0495
Fax: 281-480-7906

This page was last modified on 4/23/00 lkl.