Christianity: beliefs and teachings 1 – THE NATURE OF GOD

The Nature of God – What is God like?

 Omnipotent – God is all-powerful. An example of this is how God created the world in six days

Omniscient – God is all seeing/all knowing

Omnibenevolent – God is all loving. The greatest act of love demonstrated by God is the sacrifice of His son Jesus on the cross to save mankind from their sins.

 Just – God is just and fair. Despite all of the terrible suffering seen in the world around us the belief in an afterlife and God’s justice means that these things will be put right and made fair. God will also fairly punish those who do wrong in this life. Christians would also say that it is important to treat others with justice so many work to try and tackle injustice in society eg human rights groups

 

The Oneness of God and the Trinity

 Christianity is a monotheistic faith meaning that it holds a belief in one God. For Christians, God exists in three forms or ways each with individual characteristics but they are three forms of the same single God.

 

Father – the loving creator and sustainer of the universe

Son – God incarnate or God in human form in the person of Jesus. Jesus’ death on the cross acted a sacrifice to rebuild the relationship between God and mankind which was damaged due to Adam and Eve’s disobedience

Holy Spirit – the force, which guides and supports Christians on a daily basis. Martin Luther King frequently spoke of how the Holy Spirit gave him the inspiration to continue his fight against racism in the United States.

 

How does a belief in the Trinity influence the life of a Christian?

  • During a baptism service the Trinity is frequently mentioned “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” This ceremony welcomes children into the church.
  • Many hymns refer to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • The Trinity is often represented as an equilateral triangle to represent the concepts of love and equality. Human beings are said to be created in the image of God so should try and show love and respect to their fellow human beings.

 

Challenging the idea of the Trinity

 Some Jews and Muslims suggest that Christians believe in Tritheism. This means a belief in three separate gods who are linked in some way. Christians would not agree with this as it is simply three forms of the same God.

Atheists such as Richard Dawkins state that a belief in the Trinity makes no sense at all and is based upon an outdated and superstitious way of thinking.

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