What does the word ‘Sin’ mean?

The Bible teaches that when God made the world He made it perfect. In God’s perfect world He created a garden. In the garden He put two people, Adam and Eve. Everyday God visited His people. But one day Adam and Eve did something wrong – they disobeyed God. The Bible calls the wrong things people do ‘sin’. The sin crept into the lives of Adam and Eve and began to change them. With sin in their lives they could no-longer be close friends with God in the way they had once been. The sin spoilt Adam and Eve's friendship with God and separated them from Him.  

Sin can still keep people apart from God today. In fact the Bible says that everybody, everywhere has done wrong things and before people turn to God their sin spoils and separates them from Him. Christians believe sin makes God sad because it spoils things He loves and separates people from a life with Him. 

But the Bible teaches there is good news. Although thousands and thousands of years ago disobedience spoilt God's creation, God had a plan to put things right. His plan was to send His Son Jesus to live with people. On the cross Jesus took the punishment for all the wrong things people have ever done. On the third day God raised Him back to life. Because Jesus lived, died and rose again, everybody everywhere can now be forgiven for the wrong things they have done. Everybody everywhere can say ‘Yes’ to God’s love and forgiveness and the sin that spoils and separates can be wiped away. Everybody everywhere can now become close friends with God once more.

 

Why do Christians love God?

Why do Christians love God? Is it because of what He has done?... or who He is? The answer to both is ‘Yes’. But the Bible also teaches that Christians love God because of His great love for them - Christians love in response to God's love.  

Christians feel that because of God's love, not only do they love Him more but they love other people more too. They believe God’s love changes them; it makes them more loving. The Bible teaches that Christians in fact love because God loved them first.

The Bible also teaches that Christians love God because of the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Christians believe the Holy Spirit changes them from the inside-out, making them more peaceful, kind and loving. Christians believe that as the Holy Spirit works in their lives, more and more they are able to love God and others. Ask the children to mime pouring water out of a jug. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit has poured God's love into the hearts of Christians.

Why do Christians describe the Holy Spirit as their Helper, Teacher and guide?

The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is ‘the Helper’. The Bible also says that the Holy Spirit is a teacher and guide.

The Bible explains that with the powerful help of the Holy Spirit Christians learn and grow to be more like Jesus; to think, feel and act like Him; to be more peaceful, patient and kind. (2 Corinthians 3: 18).

Here are some Bible verses that describe the work of the Holy Spirit: 

  1. The Holy Spirit teaches Christians God’s ways (1 Corinthians 2: 9-12)
  2. The Holy Spirit teaches Christians that they belong to God (Romans 8: 16)
  3. The Holy Spirit enables Christians to do the things God wants them to do (1 Corinthians 12: 4-11)  
  4. The Holy Spirit helps Christians tell others the good news (Acts 1:8) 
  5. The Holy Spirit helps Christians understand and remember Jesus’ teachings (John 14:26)  
  6. The Holy Spirit guides Christians to the truth (John 16:13)
  7. The Holy Spirit puts God’s love in the hearts of Christians (Romans 5:5)
  8. When the Holy Spirit is at work, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control  grows in a person's life (Galatians 5:22)

How does the Holy Spirit help Christians become more like Jesus?

Christians believe that by becoming more and more like Jesus they will grow to live God's way. But people can’t change themselves to be like Jesus. They can’t make themselves perfectly peaceful, patient and kind.

However the Bible teaches that with God's love and forgiveness and the powerful help of the Holy Spirit, Christians can learn and grow to be more like Jesus; to think, feel and act like Him. 

So how does the Holy Spirit help Christians become more like Jesus?

The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is ‘the Helper’. Another word for helper is ‘comforter’, ‘someone who comes alongside’. The Bible also says that the Holy Spirit is a teacher and guide.

Learn and grow.jpg

Christians believe the Holy Spirit comes alongside to teach and guide. They believe that as the Holy Spirit works in their lives He changes them from the inside-out to become more and more like Jesus; to be more peaceful, patient and kind.

Christians believe that each day the Holy Spirit helps millions of people around the world become more and more like Jesus so they can learn and grow to live God’s way, the way God created them to live.

Why did God's people find it so hard to follow the Ten Commandments?

The Bible teaches that thousands of years ago God gave His people, the Israelites, a set of rules to live by. The rules showed the Israelites how God wanted them to live. We call these rules the Ten Commandments. When the Israelites followed the rules they lived God's way.

However God's people soon discovered that on their own they could not keep the rules, they kept on making mistakes and getting things wrong. The Ten Commandments not only showed the Israelites how God wanted them to live, they showed them they needed God's help to live His way.

mirror.jpg

People who study the Bible say that just trying to follow God's rules is like looking in a mirror. A mirror can show something is wrong, but it can't help put it right - it can show your face is dirty but it can't wash away the dirt.

God's rules showed the Israelites that they were making mistakes and getting things wrong but the rules themselves didn't actually change the way they were living.

The rules showed God's people that they needed God's help to live His way.

 

Why do Christians want to be like Jesus?

The Bible teaches that thousands of years ago God gave His people, the Israelites, a set of rules to live by. We call these rules the Ten Commandments. When the Israelites followed the rules they lived God's way. But God's people soon discovered that on their own they could not keep the rules, they kept on making mistakes and getting things wrong. The Ten Commandments showed the Israelites that they needed God's help to live His way.

Christians believe however, that there is one person Who always lived God's way - that person is Jesus. When Jesus lived on earth He showed people the perfect way to life. Jesus never did anything wrong; He always lived in a way that pleased God; He was always loving, peaceful, patient and kind.

Live like Jesus

Today instead of trying hard to follow God's rules, Christians long to be like Jesus. They want to think, feel and live like Jesus; they want to become more peaceful, patient and kind just like Him.

Christians understand that by learning and growing to be more like Jesus they will learn and grow to live God's way.

But people can't change themselves. They can't make themselves more peaceful, patient and kind - they can't make themselves more like Jesus. In the same way the Israelites needed God's help Christians need God's help too.

The good news it that with God's love and forgiveness and the powerful help of the Holy Spirit Christians can learn and grow to be more like Jesus.

Why did God send the Holy Spirit to live with people?

Christians understand that by becoming more and more like Jesus, they will grow to live God's way.

But people can’t change themselves to be like Jesus. They can’t make themselves perfectly peaceful, patient and kind. 

God knows exactly what people need to live the way Jesus lived. Just as a craftsman knows what is needed to get a job done, God knows exactly the help and guidance people need to live like Jesus. He knows about people’s difficulties and troubles and He has the perfect answer… God’s answer is the Holy Spirit. God gives Christians the Holy Spirit to help them live like Jesus.

Pentecost, The Holy Spirit came down

However the Holy Spirit is much better than a tool or an object that a craftsman might use to get a job done. The Holy Spirit is one of the three Persons of God. He is God. He is real and living. He is good, wise and powerful.

Why do Christians still find the Ten Commandments helpful ?

Christians believe the Ten Commandments still show how God wants people to live today.

Click on the image to download a pdf of the Ten Commandments

Click on the image to download a pdf of the Ten Commandments

The Bible teaches that when Jesus lived with people He talked about the Ten Commandments. He said the commandments are about two main things, loving God and loving others. 

If we were were to look closely at the Ten Commandments we would discover there are two types of rules: rules about loving God and rules about loving people. Christians believe Jesus wanted people to understand that by loving God and loving others they would be able to follow all the commandments, they would be able to live God's way.

What are God's Commands?

Thousands of years ago God gave His people, the Israelites, a set of rules to live by. The rules showed the Israelites how God wanted them to live. People call these rules the Ten Commandments. When the Israelites followed the rules they lived God's way.

Here is a list of the Ten Commandments: 

1. Have no other gods but God

2. Do not worship statues

3. Use God's name for the right reason

4. Keep God's worship day special

5. Treat your Mum and Dad well

6. Do not murder

7. Keep your marriage promises

8. Do not steal

9. Do not lie

10. Do not want things that belong to someone else

Why do Christians choose to live God's way?

Living God’s way is about doing two main things – loving God and loving others. 

Christians choose to live God's way... 

  1. because they believe it's the way they were created to live.
  2. in response to His great love

Christians believe God created them to live His way. They believe it is a good way to live. In fact Christians believe living God's way is the greatest way they could possibly live, they believe it feels right for them to love God and others because it's the way they were created to live.

Choosing to live God's way

Christians also long to live God's way in response to His great love. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit has poured God's love into the hearts of Christians and that they love because God first loved them. Christians believe God's love changes them; it makes them more loving. Christians believe that because of God's love for them, they love God and others more.

Finally, because of God's great love, Christians trust that God understands what is best for them and will only ask them to do things which are good and right for  them and others. 

 

 

     

    Why do Christians say 'when Jesus went up the Holy Spirit came down'?

    Christians believe that the Holy Spirit lives with people here on earth. They believe that wherever they are, whatever they are doing the Holy Spirit is with them. A bit like the wind people cannot see the Holy Spirit, but Christians believe He is with people, everyday, everywhere.

    The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit came to be with people over 2000 year ago. The Bible tells us that when Jesus went up to Heaven the Holy Spirit came down to earth to live with people in a new way. 

    The Holy Spirit arrow

    In the Bible we read about Jesus going back up to Heaven. Christians call this Jesus' ascension. Christians call the day the Holy Spirit came down from Heaven the Day of Pentecost. The Day of Pentecost took place ten days after Jesus' ascension, this is why Christians say… when Jesus went up the Holy Spirit came down. 

     

     

     

    What is a Church?

    A church is a group of Christians, it is not the building.

    Here is a building with a tall steeple, Now look inside,                                                 'cos the church is the people.

    Here is a building with a tall steeple, Now look inside,                                                 'cos the church is the people.

    Church is a group of people that have said ‘Yes’ to God’s love and forgiveness and, with the powerful help of the Holy Spirit, are learning and growing to be more and more like Jesus.

    Groups of Christians who meet together are called churches. There are thousands of churches all over the world. Sometimes people think a church is a building, but it’s not, it’s the group of Christians meeting together.

    Although many church buildings are very beautiful and useful, wherever a group of Christians meet together they are the church.

    What is God's good news?

    Christians call God's good news ‘the Gospel’.

    The Bible teaches that the good news of the Gospel is... that, because Jesus lived, died and rose again, everybody everywhere can now become close friends with God.

    A great way to think about the gospel is to remember these four points from the4points.com:

    The people who designed the4points have produced four short videos to help explain what each of the symbols mean.

     

    Alternatively we'll be thinking about some of these gospel-points in other posts:

    What does it mean to live God's way?

    Christians believe that living God's way is about doing two main things: ‘loving God’ and ‘loving others’.

    You can remember these two things with a couple of simple actions.

    living God's way, two main things,

    Hold your right hand in front of you with your fist clenched and your thumb pointing upwards (as if giving a thumbs-up). Your thumb is pointing up to God. This is a reminder that the Bible teaches that loving God is the most important thing of all.

    Now keep your thumb pointing up but also point your index finger as if pointing at someone in front of you. Pointing this finger is a reminder that the Bible teaches that loving other people in the same way we love ourselves is important too. Move your hand around as if pointing at other people.

    For a quick game…
    Hold both hands out in front of you. With your right hand make a thumbs-up sign. With your left hand point your index finger away from yourself. Now try and swap so that you are making a thumbs-up sign with your left hand and pointing your right index finger. This is much harder than it sounds and to keep alternating between the two is almost impossible.

    What do Christians believe about The Trinity?

    The Bible teaches that there is one God. He created the heavens and the earth. However as we read through the Bible we begin to see that the one God has three parts: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. 

    Today Christians describe God as ‘Three in One’. Christians believe there is one God (hold up one finger), three parts (hold up three fingers).

                                            ‘3 in 1‘ symbol

                                            ‘3 in 1‘ symbol

    The ‘3 in 1’ symbol above might help us to understand that God is three in one, but it is not a perfect picture because there are things about God it doesn’t show:

    1. Point to the three sections of the circle as you explain that the parts of God are in fact called Persons: the Person of the Father, the Person of the Holy Spirit and the Person of the Son whom we also call Jesus.

    2. Point to the three sections again as you explain that each of the Persons is fully God. The Father is God, the Holy Spirit is God and Jesus is God.

    3. In the circle there are lines between the three Persons but in God the three are so perfectly joined that they are one. There is one God and He is three in one.

     

    The ‘Three in One’ of God is difficult for to understand because it is a wonderful mystery: When Jesus lived on the earth He said ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in me?’ (John 14:10).

     

     

    Why do Christians believe God's love is immeasurable?

    We can measure all sorts of distances (even distances between planets!), but there are some things we cannot measure – Christians believe we cannot measure God’s love.

    God's love Candy heart

    Christians believe God’s love is so great it is immeasurable. The Bible teaches that God’s love is greater than we could ever imagine. In fact Christians believe that love actually comes from God. In one of John’s letters (which can be found in the New Testament part of the Bible) he wrote that God is Love because He cannot be separated from His love.

    Christians believe God will always be loving, His love will always be great and there is nothing anybody can do that will make God love them less, or anything they can do to make God love them more.

     

    Why do Christians call Jesus The Messiah?

    Messiah means ‘chosen one’. The Bible teaches that hundreds of years before Jesus was born, God promised His people that He would send someone special to them. He promised that this special one would do wonderful things. God's people called the person they were waiting for the Chosen One or Messiah. Nobody knew exactly when the Messiah was going to come or what He would be like. Some people thought He might be a soldier or a king like King David but everyone agreed He was going to be special.

    The Messiah

    For years and years God's people waited for the Messiah. They longed for Him to come and do everything God had promised. They waited and waited.

    However Christians believe that the Special One had already been chosen. They believe He has always been chosen.

    The Bible teaches that God chose His Son Jesus to live among people and do all the promised, special things. In the Bible we read that some people who met Jesus did not think He was the Chosen One because He was nothing like they had imagined - He was not a soldier or a king like King David. But many people did believe - they believed Jesus was the Messiah, the one they had been waiting for. 

    Christians today believe Jesus is the Messiah. They believe He is the Chosen One God sent to live with people.

    The word ‘Christ’ and the word ‘Messiah’ have the same meaning which is why Christians call Jesus 'Jesus Christ'.

    Does being good make somebody a Christian?

    Going to church, being kind and praying are all good things - many Christians do these good things but being good does not make someone a Christian.

    A Christian is someone who has said ‘Yes’ to God’s love and forgiveness.

    Gods love and forgiveness.png

    However, people that have said ‘Yes’ to God’s love and forgiveness believe it is right to live God’s way; they believe it is right to love God and love others. Christians believe that each day the Holy Spirit helps millions of people around the world learn and grow to live God’s way; the way He created them to live.