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What are the common beliefs that hold all Christians together? There are thousands of denominations. The differences are in doctrinal emphasis only, not essential belief.

Roman Catholics emphasize the direct line of authority from Jesus to St. Peter to the local priest. They emphasize the powerful role of saints and especially Mary, Jesus' earthly mother, who have gone before and continue to act on behalf of the faithful on Earth.

Nazarenes, Methodists, and Wesleyans emphasize the necessity of a second blessing leading to holiness in daily living. Pentecostals emphasize gifts of the Holy Spirit such as speaking in tongues and prophesying. Mainline churches, United Methodist, Lutheran, and Episcopal (Anglican) emphasize a traditional worship style and a less literal interpretation of the Bible. Seventh Day Adventists and Sabbath keeping churches hold to Saturday as God’s day of rest.

There are some groups, such as the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, whose theology varies radically from fundamental Christianity. The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is the source of all convictions concerning doctrine. Mormons have the Book of Mormon which is an addendum to what the Bible says. Jehovah’s Witnesses interpret the Book through their magazines, which they consider to be divinely inspired.

There is only one God who exists as a trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. (Isaiah 44:6,8; 45:6,14,18,21,22-2 Corinthians. 13:14; 1 Pet. 1:2) The Trinity cannot be proved but is implied in much of the Bible. Each Person of the trinity is spoken of as having personality, power, and function as members of the Godhead. This is a crucial, distinctive of orthodox Christianity.


GOD

God knows all things (omniscient)- 1 John 3:20; is all powerful (omnipotent)-Psalms 115:3; is everywhere (omnipresent)- Jeremiah. 23:23,24; is sovereign - Zechariah. 9:14; 1 Timothy 6:15-16; is spirit - John 4:24; created all things; Gen. 1:1; Isaiah 44:24 God is eternal and has always existed -Psalms 90:2

JESUS

Jesus is God - John 1:1,14; 8:58; Col. 2:9; Hebrews. 1:6-8; became man - Phil. 2:5-8; is divine and human - Col. 2:9; 1 Tim. 2:5; lived a sinless life - 1 Pet. 2:22, is the only way to God - John 14:6; Matt. 11:27 Jesus will return visibly to earth - Acts 1:11

HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit is God - Acts 5:3-4; The Holy Spirit is not a force, but a personal being - Acts 13:2. The Holy Spirit supplies believers with gifts – 1 Corinthians 12: 7-11


THE BIBLE

The Bible came from God and is the Word of God - 2 Tim. 3:16. Some churches are more literal in their acceptance and interpretation of scripture. Some claim that the whole Bible is God’s word, others only that it contains it but is open to skepticism.

MANKIND’S CONDITION

Man is a created being - Gen. 1:26; All have sinned - Romans: 3:23, 5:12
Death entered the world when Adam's and Eve sinned - Romans: 5:12-15
Sin alienates us from God - Isaiah 59:2. God provides relief from the burden and punishment for sin.

WHAT JESUS DID

Jesus was crucified in our place for all of our sins - 1 John 2:2; 2 Corinthians: 5:14; 1 Pet. 2:24
-1 Pet. 2:24; Jesus, as God, became human: John 1:1; 14.
Jesus physically rose from the dead - John 2:19-21.

HELL

Those who reject Jesus will go to Hell - Rev. 20:11-15; Hell is a place of fiery punishment
- Matt 25:41; Rev. 19:20; Hell is eternal - Matt. 25:46; Rev. 21:8 The damned will be thrown into a lake of fire - Rev. 20:15 Satan will be cast into the lake of fire - Rev. 20:10


SALVATION

Salvation is a gift of God - Romans. 4:5; 6:23; Ephesians: 2:8-9. Christians will be raised from the dead when Jesus returns - 1 Thessalonians. 4:14-17. There will be a rapture (being caught up into the clouds with Jesus) -1 Thessalonians. 4:14-17. There will be a final judgment - 2 Pet. 3:7.

THE FUTURE

There will be a new heaven and a new earth - 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1