Lewis, Bonnie, et. al. "Christian God." Faithology.com. Faithology, 6 February 2013. Web. 20 May 2013.
Lewis, B., et. al. (2013, Feb 6). Christian God. Faithology.
Lewis, Bonnie, et. al. "Christian God" Faithology, LLC. Last modified February 6, 2013.
Faithology, LLC, 2012. (Accessed May 20, 2013).. Christian God.
- The Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version
- Evans, Frederick W., Shakers Compendium of the Origin, History, Principles, Rules and Regulations, Government, and Doctrines of the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing. Mount Lebanon: Shakers, 1859. Online reprint at The Interactive Bible. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. http://www.bible.ca/cr-shakers.htm#CHAPXI.
- Gardner, Paul, editor, "The Holy Spirit," New International Encyclopedia of Bible Characters. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995. Print.
- Toner, Patrick, "The Existence of God," The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 13 Apr. 2011. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06608b.htm.
- Last Updated: February 6, 2013
- Originally Published: June 26, 2012
- The Faithology Editorial Staff
God, when un-capitalized, means any deity. In Christianity, God, when capitalized, refers to the supreme power in the universe; the creator and master of all. Traditionally, any synonym directly or personally referring to this deity is capitalized. Pronouns referring to God are also often capitalized in the Bible and popular literature.
The majority of Christians believe in a concept referred to as the Holy Trinity. This is to say that God the Father, God the Son (Jesus ) and God the Holy Spirit are known to exist as an singular entity made up of three different personages. Each person of the Trinity is believed to have a distinct and different, but equally important, role.
Christians believe that God is(all-powerful), (all-knowing), (in every place at every moment) and omnibenevolent (all loving). As a personal name, is usually printed as Lord, in small caps, following the Jewish of refraining from speaking the name of God. The original Hebrew YHWH has also been transcribed into Latin-based languages as "Jehovah."
His contemporaries knew Jesus Christ as "Yeshua ben Yusef" or "Yeshua bar Yosef".His honorific surname, " " or "Christ," declares him to be the prophesied savior of the sins of mankind.
The Holy Spirit is also known as the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God or the Spirit of the Lord. He is also known as the comforter throughout the New Testament.
According to Christianity, God has no beginning and no end. Christians believe that the Holy Bible is the authoritative word of God. Often, they require no other explanation or proof of the existence of God aside from what is recorded in the Bible:
"Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God."
The Bible also contains multiple references to the existence of God before the beginning of time.In the Book of Revelation, Jesus, who is with God from the beginning, refers to himself as the "Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end," and 1:1 states, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Because the Bible is believed by Christians to be inspired by God, then God’s own testament to his existence without a beginning generally serves as enough proof.
Doctrine of the Trinity
Beliefs about God are not uniform across all Christian denominations. Most hold that God is comprised of the Holy Trinity; one individual with three manifestations. Very few sects believe that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are separate entities.Nicene Creed, a first established in 325 by the church fathers which constructed the foundations of Christianity and all tenants which much be believed in in order that one may define themselves as a Christian. Therefore, those sects that do not believe in the Trinity are considered not to be Christians by mainstream Christians who uphold belief in a God.
The Christian churches that adhere to the doctrine of the Trinity and are thus referred to as "Trinitarian" churches. The Nicene Creed, established in 325 CE, defines the Holy Trinity, which has become one of the defining characteristics for Christian doctrine and beliefs:
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virginand became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under ; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.
Denominations that hold that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are separate individuals are called "Non-Trinitarian" churches, and the doctrine of the Trinity is not the only doctrine that separates them.
God in The Bible
The Old Testament records the creation of the world and God's dealings with his people.
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
Christians hold that God is the creator of the universe, and the book of Genesis records that God brought the sun, moon and stars into existence, as well as populated the world with plants, animals and other life. The Bible then explains that God set man apart as his final act of creation:
Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
The Book of Genesis describes how God created Adam and Eve, the first man and woman on the earth, and placed them in a paradise called the Garden of . According to the Bible, God’s purpose in creating Eden was to dwell in a delightful state with his creation. He gave and free reign over all of his creation, but specified one to Adam: to not eat from the Tree of Life. Tempted by the serpent, whom Christians identify as Satan, Eve disobeyed God, eating from the Tree of Life. According to the Bible, her eyes were then opened to both good and evil. Adam soon followed, also eating the forbidden fruit. This act is known in Christian circles as the "Fall of Mankind." As the eyes of Adam and Eve were metaphorically opened, they became sinful and thus unable to live in a perfect state of delight with God. God then placed a curse on the serpent, on Eve (symbolically on all women) and on Adam (symbolically on all men). Finally, God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Christian theologians point out that Adam and Eve were no longer fit to live in paradise with a sinless God after having disobeyed him.
Adam and Eve then had children, following God's command to multiply and fill the earth. Because they brought Noah and his family. He survived after receiving direction from God to build an and fill it with two of every unclean animal and seven of every clean animal in the world. Noah and the animals aboard his ark are believed to have repopulated the world after the catastrophic flood.into the world, their descendants were likewise with sin. Because of the disobedience of these people, God sent a great flood to destroy the world and all of the sinful and wicked people upon it. The Bible explains that the only survivor of this flood was a man named
Abetween God and his people was not firmly established until the time of Abram (an eleventh-generation descendant of Noah). Being of old age and having no heir, Abram offered to adopt a servant and had a child, who was named Ishmael, by his concubine. God later allowed to bear children, and gave her a son named , who God used to establish the covenant of his people through. Later, God called to Abram, and told him with his obedience would come great blessings:
Now the Lord said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
God granted Abram a new name, Abraham, and promised vast posterity. God also promised that Abraham’s descendants would be given the land later called Canaan. Abraham's obedience was tested by God, who asked him to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Not requiring the actual sacrifice, God determined that Abraham was willing to do as God asked. Praising Abraham’s devotion, God declared that Isaac, and then Isaac’s son, Jacob, would carry on the covenant with God. Jacob, later renamed , had twelve sons who were eventually said to have fathered the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
The Bible demonstrates an exhibition of God’s power over all creationMoses, who had been enslaved during a sojourn in Egypt. Fighting for the freedom of his people, Moses brought ten plagues upon the Egyptians. Moses also parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites could leave Egypt and return to the land of Canaan, promised to them by God. Moses then led the Israelites into the wilderness, where they received God's law.through the
Early on their journey to Canaan, Moses climbed atop Mount Sinai and had an experience in which he met God. When he descended the mountain, he was in possession of ten laws written on stone slabs. These laws, called the Ten Commandments, formed the basic tenets of what later became Judaism. However, the whole Law of Moses actually comprised an extensive, strict and exacting series of ordinances and performances intended to draw the Israelites away from non-Christian beliefs of their day and to renew and reinforce their covenant with God. Because their faith was weak and their obedience was inconsistent, they wandered in the wilderness for forty years until God delivered them to the "Promised Land", or Caanan.
Under Moses and his successor, the prophet-general Joshua, Israel invaded Canaan. God gave Israel victory and they forced most of the locals out of the land, formally receiving from God the land he had promised to Abraham four centuries earlier.
The tribes formed a loose confederation, led, but not ruled by, a series of judges of varying righteousness and ability. The tribes experienced freedom or captivity, depending on God's judgment of their obedience to his law. After several centuries, the people demanded that God replace the judges with a king, so they could be like other nations. God took this as a personal rejection of his law. He warned them of the consequences, but the people insisted, so God granted them what they wanted.
Three kings––Saul, David, and Solomon––ruled a mostly-united kingdom that became a political power in the East. At the time of the death of Solomon, the tribes divided into two nations, fighting each other and their neighbors. Numerous prophets consistently warned the Israelites they must obey God's law or be destroyed. As a group, the Israelites usually chose disobedience, despite the miracles performed by the prophets.Many Israelites converted to non-Christian religions of neighboring or foreign nations that occupied their land, such as the Canaanite religions and their prominent god, Baal. The northern nation, Israel, or Ephraim, was conquered and disappeared from history around 720 BCE. They became known as "the ten lost tribes." The southern kingdom, Judah, continued until approximately 590 BCE, when the Babylonian Empire conquered them and took them into captivity where they were not allowed to practice their own religion. Some Jews rose to positions of great authority in the Empire. After seventy years, the Jews were allowed to return to , but they were never again a wholly free nation.
Through the Old Testament, the characteristics of God are clearly demonstrated through his kindness, wrath, and ultimately, love. Christian theology asserted that God was absolutely fair, but that it was Israel that was inconsistent. Their obedience varied from generation to generation, and God treated them accordingly.
The New Testament records the ministry andof the promised Messiah, as foretold through the Old Testament prophets. The gospels describe the birth, life, death, and of Jesus Christ, who is the part of God manifested as the Son of God.
Jesus was born of a virgin named Mary, who was espoused to a man named King David, possibly even first cousins. According to Biblical tradition, Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem "because there was no room for them in the inn." He was wrapped "in cloths and placed in a ," and visited by shepherds who were informed of Jesus’s birth by an of the Lord.. Both were of the royal bloodline of
Later, Jesus was taken to Egypt to escape King Herod’s wrath.The family returned to Canaan after it was safe, settling in , where Jesus grew up. At the age of twelve, his parents found him in the at Jerusalem, "sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and answers."
Around age thirty, Jesus Christ began his ministry requestingfrom John, his prophet, who had previously preached the imminent arrival of the messiah. John hesitated, but Jesus insisted.
"And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.'"
The Bible describes that after his baptism, Jesus was "filled with the holy spirit" and was "led by the Spirit" into the desert, where he was tempted by the Isaiah, declaring himself to be its fulfillment.for forty days, but did not fall into temptation. After forty days in the desert, Jesus returned to Nazareth and, in the where he worshiped as a child, he read a messianic prophesy from the Book of
The Bible states that Jesus "returned to Jerusalem in the power of the Spirit" and was able to preach in the temples and to the people of the day.His most famous discourse during his ministry was the on the Mount, in which Jesus expounded upon the Law of Moses: "If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot," became "But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also." "You shall not commit adultery" is expounded upon, as Jesus taught "But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
Over the three years of his ministry, Jesus gained many followers, and the existing rulers viewed this as a threat to their power and influence. King Herod, the ruler of, and Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea, were not followers of Christ, but both allowed a fair amount of local autonomy. Since both had Roman legions backing them, an uneasy hostility existed between the two leaders. Local power in both Judaea and Galilee was divided among several groups: Pharisees, , scribes, and Temple priests. Each of these groups disagreed on details of Jewish doctrine, but united in their questioning and disapproval of the itinerant called Jesus of Nazareth.
They challenged Jesus on numerous occasions, but he answered all their questions and in turn, asked them questions that they could not answer. He also performed numerous miracles they could not comprehend. During the end of Jesus’s life, one of the disciples, the Last Supper—his final meal with his disciples—along with ’s denial of Jesus that was to come. Later, out of shame and guilt for betraying Jesus, Judas hung himself., conspired with the authorities of the day to betray Jesus in exchange for thirty pieces of silver. Jesus foretold this event at
On the evening of, Jesus gathered his disciples for what is now called the Last Supper and instituted what would later become the of the . He broke bread and shared wine in memory of his body and blood; that is, of his coming redemptive sacrifice. Judas departed to betray Jesus’s location to the temple priests. Jesus took Peter, James, and John to the Garden of , where he prayed while they were directed to kept watch. In Gethsemane, Jesus's pain was so great that he sweat drops of blood.
Judas led the servants of the priests to arrest Jesus. Brought before the Sanhedrin,Jesus was accused, tried and convicted of by declaring himself the Son of God, a capital offense in Judaism. Under Roman law, local authorities could not impose a death sentence, as blasphemy was not considered a crime. Because of this, the priests presented Jesus to Pilate as the self-styled king of the Jews, a threat to Caesar's authority. Pilate believed that Jesus was innocent, and sent him to Herod to avoid making the decision. Herod in turn refused to pass sentence and returned Jesus to Pilate, who had Jesus tortured, hoping that it would satisfy the mob. Politically weak, Pilate was outnumbered by the demands of the people, and he was forced to bow to the will of the mob. He condemned Jesus to death by .
The Romans forced Jesus to carry his own cross to a hill called Golgotha or Calvary. At the end of his journey, he was nailed to the cross through his hands and feet. The cross was raised, and he was left to die of suffocation and dehydration while subjected to public humiliation. Jesus makes several statements while being crucified. He asked God why he was abandoned, and forgave the soldiers who carried out the execution.When one of the thieves crucified alongside him said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom," Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, today, you will be with me in Paradise." He commended his spirit to God, and he declared that the separation from God because of sin had ended. According to biblical scriptures, he died on the cross at about three o’clock, calling out to God, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Thus, he earned the titles "savior" and "redeemer" by paying the price for the sins of humankind and making repentance and forgiveness possible for all those who believe in him.
The gospels describe the day after Jesus’s death as the Jewish holiday of the Sabbath. Thus, the soldiers were ordered to break the legs of the condemned, so they died before sunset. In this way, they would be spared from performing work on the Sabbath, which was forbidden. Jesus’s legs were not broken, as he had already appeared to be dead. "Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water."The body was removed from the cross and prepared for burial by disciples and friends.
Fearing the disciples might steal Jesus’s body and claim that he was resurrected, the chief priests and Pharisees requested and received a Roman guard to guard the tomb.At around dawn on the Sabbath, an angel was said to have appeared at the tomb and frightened the Romans into abandoning their posts. The angel then removed the stone. Jesus was said to have first appeared to Mary Magdalene, who then informed the . He then appeared to Peter, and then to two disciples walking toward Emmaus (Cleophas and Luke, according to the gospels). Tradition has it that he then appeared that evening to the apostles in the middle of a closed room.
After other appearances over forty days, "he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight."angels testified that he would return in like fashion. The apostles continued to spread the news of Jesus Christ, who was crucified and raised from the dead.Jesus ascended to heaven to be seated at the right hand of God, and two
Two additional biblical appearances were recorded. Stephen, a member of the council of seven was arrested and, while he was testifying of Jesus, he saw Jesus standing with God. For this testimony, Stephen was stoned.Saul of Tarsus, an enthusiastic persecutor of Jesus's disciples, was on the road to Damascus to deal with Jesus’s disciples there. The Bible explains that he was suddenly struck down by a bright light and heard Jesus's voice calling him to repent. Converted, Saul took the name " ", the Greek form of his Hebrew name, became an apostle, and spent the rest of his life as a missionary.
Thewere written by the apostle Paul, and other early church leaders. They contain instructions, counsel, and explanations of gospel principles to branches of the church throughout the world. Commands regarding proper , the role of deacons, elders, and other church officials, as well as issues regarding Spiritual Gifts, and the theology of the cross are also included in these texts. The final test of the New Testament is the book of Revelation, a book that depicts the ending of the world and the Second Coming of Jesus in highly symbolic language in order to give hope to Christians fighting against persecution.
God Since The Bible
Most Christians believe that God can only be contacted through, while other denominations hold that God speaks and manifests himself through the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit. However, in the modern era, a few select denominations have recorded new purported revelations from God. Christian theologians, scholars and practitioners often debate the place of these denominations within the Christian tradition.
The End of The World
Based around the text of the Book of Revelation, Christians believe that Jesus will eventually return to Earth, ushering in a paradise over which he will personally rule for one thousand years. At the end of that millennium, there will be a final battle at which Satanwill suffer his ultimate and absolute defeat.
As stated in the Bible, the righteous and unrighteous will then stand before God in the final judgment. The righteous to go to heaven and dwell with God, and the unrighteous to go to hell—a final resting place without the presence of God.