Basic Christian Beliefs

In these times of spiritual exploration, in which many alternatives are considered, I would like to offer a straightforward contemporary public account of the core beliefs of Christians. 
What we believe

The core of basic Christian beliefs is given briefly in answer to the following questions:

Who is a Christian?

Who is Jesus Christ?

Why is Jesus called Christ?

Why is Jesus called Lord?

Why is Jesus called Saviour?

What did Jesus do?

Why was it necessary for people to be reconciled to God?

What is sin?

How are people reconciled to God?

What has faith to do with membership in the church?

Why is the church called the body of Christ?

What is the source of the life and energy of the church?

What is baptism?

What is the Lord's Supper?

What is a sacrament?

What sacraments are there?

What is confirmation?

How does the Holy Spirit come to us?

Is the Holy Spirit at work in the world apart from the church?

What are the fruits of the Spirit?

What is the communion of saints?

What do we mean by the resurrection of the body?

How do we know what God is like?

Why is God called Father?

What is meant by speaking of God the Holy Trinity?

Many of these subjects are developed at greater length in sermons linked to the Worship and Preaching page.

The doctrinal standards of the Uniting Church, which I have followed, can be taken up as a current issue, though I think they are clear enough from the Basis of Union and our received traditions, so I have included a paper giving my understanding under that heading. When the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches in Australia united in 1977 to form Uniting Church it was not intended to make a particular emphasis in doctrines which would be characteristic of our branch of the church catholic, but to teach as faithfully as we can what Christians have received from the apostles and continue to believe and test by the witness of scripture.

The Basis of Union of the Uniting Church in Australia is discussed further under Issues in the Uniting Church. A Constitutional amendment at the 1997 National Assembly of the Church gave more formal recognition to the place of the Basis in the Church today, but its role has been one of the points of debate in recent years.

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Last Updated 17 June 1999 by David Beswick