What if the Christian church agrees on more than you think?
AJ Turner III
Nicknamed “the Bible Belt,” living in the South can feel like you’re living in the land of 1,000 churches.
Churches are so common it seems like there is one on every corner. Pop into any small town, and you’ll find churches of every race, creed, and denomination within a 2-mile radius. To those inside and outside, Christians can come across as a splintered group. But we have more in common than many might think.
From as early as the fourth century, Christians began to create creeds that would summarize the church’s core beliefs and help define what Christians believe. Two of the most common, the Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed, contain eight belief statements that unite the body of Christ.
Eight Things Every Christian Can Agree On
1. We believe in God the father.
Belief in God is one that holds true for all churches. We all believe there is a God, that He loves us, that He is a good father who wants good things for His children.
2. We believe God created the world.
The first verse of the Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). We believe everything comes from God, and everything belongs to God.
3. We believe Jesus is God’s Son.
Jesus was born to a virgin named Mary, but He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Jesus was the Son of God who became human and lived among us (John 1:14). Matthew, one of Jesus’ first followers, records that God Himself announced Jesus as His Son (Matthew 3:17 and Matthew 17:5).
4. We believe Jesus died, was buried, and rose again.
Jesus was wrongfully accused, beaten, and crucified. He was buried in a borrowed tomb and rose from the dead three days later. All four accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry in the Bible — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — include eyewitness testimony to Jesus’ resurrection.
5. We believe Jesus ascended to heaven.
After Jesus rose from the dead, He ascended to heaven to prepare a place for us. One day, He will come back to Earth to take us home with him. Until that day, He has sent us the Holy Spirit to be our daily guide (Mark 16:19-20, Acts 1:9-11, and John 14:10-30).
6. We believe the church is one, big family.
Just like the song says, “Red and yellow, black and white. We are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” No matter who we are or what we have done, God loves us and wants to adopt us into His family (John 1:12, Galatians 3:26, and Romans 8:16).
7. We believe God forgives our sin.
God loves us so much He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us. Jesus paid the ultimate price, and through His sacrifice, God made a way for us to be forgiven for our sin. We can’t earn our forgiveness. All we have to do is ask (John 3:16, Romans 6:23, Romans 10:9, and 1 John 1:9).
8. We believe in eternal life.
We are all going to live forever. The question is where. What someone believes about Jesus will determine where that person spends eternity. Christians believe Jesus died and rose again so we can have the opportunity to spend eternity in heaven with Him (John 3:16, Romans 6:23, Titus 3:7, and 1 John 5:11 and 1 John 2:25).
Whether we sprinkle or dunk, believe in transubstantiation or speak in tongues, we are all one global Church. The beliefs that unite us are greater than those that divide us. We don’t have to be separated by what we are against. We can be united by what we stand for.