Christianity is the faith that is about being a follower of Jesus the Christ. The name ‘Christianity’ comes from the people who believe in Jesus as the Christ as recorded by his followers in the New Testament. The people who first followed Jesus were called ‘Christians’ and therefore the faith became known as ‘Christianity’.
So, what do Christians believe?
Christians believe that in the historical person of Jesus of Nazareth, God entered into the world in order to draw the world back to himself. Jesus said: ‘when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself’ (John 12.32). Christian believe that in Jesus, God became a human being through the body of the Blessed Virgin Mary so that God would be joined to us as one of us. In Matthew’s account of the gospel Jesus is referred to as: ‘Emanuel’, which means, ‘God with us’ (Matthew. 1.23). This joining together with us, opens up for humanity a new future beyond our mortality boundary. God became human and shared in our humanity that we might share in his divinity. As St Athanasius wrote: ‘He [Jesus] became human that we might be made divine’. The word the Church uses for this is, ‘incarnation’ which means to be found in flesh’. This is why the Virgin Mary has such a honoured place within the Christian story, because she offered the flesh of humanity on behalf of us all so that God could dwelt with us in the most intimate way. We are very proud here at St Mary’s to honour her as the ‘Mother of God’ and as our Patron. As a human being Jesus, the Son of God came to heal creation and to lift it up in him that it might be made anew. This is what the Christian faith is all about, new life, fresh hope and a living faith within the love of God who came to meet us in his Son.
Here is an ancient statement of faith (Creed), the Church has used for Centuries.
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.