Diocese of Portsmouth

The risen Christ appears to his disciples

What do Christians believe?

Modern society has become obsessed by wealth and fame. But many people sense that there is a deeper, spiritual side of life, which material wealth and social status can never fulfil. Christians believe that this spiritual side of human life is of vital importance to everyone’s sense of inner peace and wellbeing.

Christians believe that God made the world, and that human beings are created in God’s own image. In order to find lasting peace and happiness, therefore, we need to return to the divine source from which we first came. This journey towards God is the heart of Christian spirituality.

According to the Bible God is love, and his love reaches out to embrace each and every one of us. But, however wonderful and inviting that may sound, we often find that our hearts are torn in two. Part of us wants to seek God. Part of us wants to go in search of other things that seem to bring happiness and fulfilment, but which can never truly satisfy our desires. This is an inner struggle that we all experience.

If we sincerely desire God, we realise that whenever we turn our backs on him, we set up a barrier between us. Christians call this barrier sin. Sin does not stop God from loving us, and to show us this truth, God the Father sent his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to lead us out of sin and back into a relationship with him.

In the life of Jesus we see the true nature of God, whose love never gives up, even in the face of death. That is why Christians call Jesus God, because in him we recognise the true image and likeness of divine love.

It was because Jesus died on the cross that we can be forgiven for all of those things that we do wrong. That enables us to be forgiven, sweeps away the barrier of sin, and enables us to have a new life, in a relationship with God. We can pray to God and hear what God says to us each day.

This isn't something that happens once. It is a process that continues constantly. So we are forever having to meet together in church, as flawed individuals, asking God for forgiveness. But as time goes on, God can mould us into the person he wants us to be, full of love and compassion.

The love that God pours into our hearts is so great that it spills over into the world around us. So it enables us to love other people, and to work to overcome the barriers that separate us from each other.