Summary: This offers six major tenets, three each from the Old & New Testament; God's Authority, Punishment, and Promises Plus God's Grace, Your Faith and Obedience. It is a brief overview of Christianity that can be used engage non-believers and teen groups.
First of all allow the briefest recap of my theological credentials; NONE.
I am just a lay-person with no theological degrees whatsoever. I currently teach in Prison and Jail Ministries, in Senior Facilities and in my Baptist Church Bible study group. The Disciples of Jesus program instructs and endorses inmates to care for the spiritual well-being of others. The Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ Himself commands all Christians to testify and make disciples of all nations. The goal of our Disciples of Jesus (DoJ) organization is to empower selected inmates, our Brothers & Sisters in Christ, to deliver Christian messages, both in and outside prison walls. Disciples of Jesus are Biblically trained and therefore qualified to teach, preach, and provide the Lord's Supper to prison inmates and any other person willing to accept Jesus as their personal Savior. The DoJ organization is comprised of non-denominational Christians doing what the Lord has called us to do.
While a plethora of excellent organizations provides prison ministries, the downside is they usually visit only for an hour or so once a week. When the outsiders are gone, a core of inmate Disciples of Jesus will serve, 24/7, their fellow inmate's spiritual needs, conversions, and Christian counseling. Moreover, inmate Disciples of Jesus are very much needed behind the “Barbwire Fence” to counteract the false teachings of the numerous Non-Christian denominations allowed to present their erroneous versions of Bible studies.As you may gather, I do have a burning desire to do my small part to help spread the word of God, shore up the weak in faith, and help unbelievers gain insight to salvation.
I was baptized (sprinkled) in a Lutheran Church at thirty years old. Decades later I was properly baptized under full submersion in a Baptist Church. It is my personal opinion that baptism by sprinkling or pouring is not fully in alignment with Biblical teachings and should be utilized only in the most dire of circumstances. The correct thinking on Baptism corresponds with the writings of the original Martin Luther, founder of the Lutheran Church, who said in two co-joined portions of quotes, "such as are baptized should be completely immersed into water according to the meaning of the word and the signification of the ordinance...” “as also without doubt, it was instituted by Christ."
Every topic included within this brief writing could be (and is) discussed in volumes by believers and unbelievers alike in theists, books, and videos as well as in a multitude of inerrant and errant opinions scattered all over the Internet.
To that regard, and for the salvation of souls, I have written this to be a minimalistic understanding of basic Christianity beliefs and the way to eternal salvation for the unsaved. The six tenets discussed within this lesson can be a good starting point to addressChristianity to non-believers. For clarity, I generally use the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. For greater more in-depth discussion you are directed towards your Bible, any Christian Pastor, and your local church affiliation. I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so.
Understanding Christian Beliefs
Christianity is a bible based religion founded upon the teachings of Jesus Christ. The word 'Christ' is not the last name of Jesus. The word, 'Christ,' means the anointed one of God. Jesus, anointed by God the Father, was born fully human to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies and laws. He performed many miracles and instructed fishermen, shepherds, and priest alike. These acts were recorded on scrolls as the testimonies of eyewitnesses and even non-biblical based writings. These individual scrolls were later aggregated into the books of the Bible we now use today.
Jesus willingly, if somewhat reluctantly, died on the cross for the remission of all our sins so we could have a chance of salvation. Three days later, He physically rose from death, left the burial tomb and proved to the Apostles He was alive again before ascending to heaven 40 days later.
Christianity teaches that there is only one God manifested as the Holy Trinity; God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. God made the universe and the earth while creating mankind in His image. The Son is the only way to salvation. The Holy spirit convicts sinners but works in the hearts and minds of mankind to save those who can exercise their faith and believe in Jesus.
Grasping the basic Christian beliefs need not be unduly complicated. Don't be intimidated if the Bible seemed to be too complex or convoluted to understand. You would be hard pressed to find two biblical scholars that completely agreed on any chosen book within the sixty-six books of the Bible. You don't have to memorize the 613 rules found in the Jewish Mitzvot nor even the 10 Commandments. Remember, there is no 'open book' or 'multiple choice' bible test you have to pass to get to heaven.