Christianity is the world’s largest religion with more than two billion adherents across the globe
It is based on the life and teachings of Jesus as described in the New Testament. Believers, called Christians, consider Jesus the Son of God, whose crucifixion served as atonement for all human sins and whose resurrection assures believers of life after death.
The Uniting Church is a Christian denomination. We see ourselves as part of the heritage of the Christian Church passed down through the ages. We believe Christians in Australia are called to bear witness to a unity of faith and life in Jesus Christ, which transcends cultural and economic, national and racial boundaries.
What does being a Christian mean to you?
Christianity is not a religion. It’s a way of life, flowing directly from the teachings, actions and impact of Jesus Christ. As outlined in the New Testament part of the Bible (and announced throughout the Old Testament), Jesus is the Son of God whose death by crucifixion served as atonement for all human sins. His resurrection from the dead assures all believers in Him of life after death – eternal life with Jesus and his heavenly father, God.
Christianity is love of God and love of each other.
Christianity is the way of seeing our place in the world, grasping how badly we go about trying to live in it, and cherishing the meaning, changes and hope which come from genuine belief in Jesus.
The Uniting Church acknowledges that the Church has received the books of the Old and New Testaments as unique prophetic and apostolic testimony, in which it hears the Word of God and by which its faith and obedience are nourished and regulated. When the Church preaches Jesus Christ, its message is controlled by the Biblical witnesses.
The Word of God on whom salvation depends is to be heard and known from Scripture appropriated in the worshipping and witnessing life of the Church. The Uniting Church lays upon its members the serious duty of reading the Scriptures, commits its ministers to preach from these and to administer the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper as effective signs of the Gospel set forth in the Scriptures. (Basis of Union, point 5).
There is one God, the Lord of heaven and earth as Jesus referred to God (Matthew 11:25). Yes, that means God is ruler of all. That’s huge, right? Also, the one true God created everything (Genesis 1) and everyone (Acts 17). This divine creator is eternal (Isaiah 40:28), all-powerful (Daniel 4:35), perfect (Psalm 18:30), compassionate, gracious and patient. (Exodus 34:6-8). God is love (1 John 4:8). God also is enraged and condemning when his glory is insulted, tarnished or ignored (Deuteronomy 5, 32; Hebrews 10). In short, what that means is God is completely against sin (Habakkuk 1:13, Psalm 5:4). While being only one God, the Almighty God has three distinct parts – God the Father (Ephesians 4:6); God the Son, Jesus (Matthew 3:17); and God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9).
The most famous person in human history, Jesus is so influential that time itself has been divided into before his birth (BC) and after his death (AD). Putting Jesus into a few words is tough because who He is, what He did and what that means for everybody is, truly, almost beyond words. But for starters, Jesus was God in human flesh. (John 1:1-3) He came to earth to preach the good news of living rightly for God (Mark 1), to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10), to offer life in abundance (John 10:10) AND exchange his life for the world’s sins (Mark 10:45, John 3:16-17)). And that’s not all. The books of the Old Testament tell of a saviour to come, a messiah. Jesus’s miracles, teachings and other actions pointed to him being The Messiah but it was fully proved by his rising from the dead after he was crucified. (Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Corinthians 15) So, what does all of this mean? Well, Jesus did all he did to demonstrate God’s love and offer of forgiveness to all sinners (Romans 5:8). And who is a sinner? “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). Yes, that’s all of us. Every single one.
When Jesus sent his closest followers to tell the entire world about what it means to believe in him, the Son of God told them to do so “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. (Matthew 28:19) The Holy Spirit is a part of the one true God, as Jesus Himself is. But the Holy Spirit’s role is different. Before Jesus lived, died and rose again, the Holy Spirit helped form the universe (Genesis 1:2) and enabled God’s chosen people to perform particular tasks (Numbers 27:18; 1 Samuel 16:12-13).
To God in Christ all people are called to respond in faith. To this end God has sent forth the Spirit that people may trust God as their Father, and acknowledge Jesus as Lord. The whole work of salvation is effected by the sovereign grace of God alone. (Basis of Union, point 3)
Believers, called Christians, consider Jesus the Son of God, whose crucifixion served as atonement for all human sins and whose resurrection assures believers of life after death.