I have encountered many people in many places who, when asked, claim the name of being a Christian. After talking to some of these people, I realize that what I believe a Christian to be differs from what they believe. This causes me to ask, “What does it mean to be a Christian?”. I am a Christian, and have been for quite a number of years, but I had never really stopped to think out exactly what I mean by that. What follows is my attempt to clarify what being a Christian means to me.
I believe in the One, eternal, Triune God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I believe in Almighty God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord. I believe He was conceived by the Holy Spirit,and born of the virgin Mary. I believe that He was tempted in all ways and lived a sinless life. Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell and, on the third day, He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father, and He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe that I am a sinner in need of a savior. Jesus died for my sins and, through His resurrection, it is possible for me to be saved from eternal damnation and punishment in hell. I believe that I am saved by grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. There is no other way for salvation.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, who has been sent by God the Father in Jesus’ name to help, instruct, and empower. He is the voice and power of God in and through people today.
This statement of faith has been distilled to the point of irreducible complexity. If anything is removed, then the beliefs stated fall apart. It cannot be made simpler without the destruction of the whole.