Category: Christianity

The Life of Jesus – Revision Resource

The Life of Jesus – Revision Resource

This is a great website that talks you through all the things you need to know about Jesus.

In the National 5 and Higher Exam – you will need to know Who Jesus was, Beliefs about him, his teachings, what impact he had as well as basic information about his life.

You may be asked to reflect on who he was in relation to God. Also you should be able to describe a few parables in detail.

http://request.org.uk/jesus/introduction-to-jesus/

This Website  – REQuest is really easy to use and helpful at guiding you through Jesus’ life.

Why not use it to answer some of these questions.

  1. Create a timeline of key events in Jesus’ life.
  2. What is the significance of the Incarnation (Birth of Jesus) to Christians (4)
  3. What are Christian Beliefs about Jesus? (4)
  4. Explain what is meant by the Holy Trinity. (4)
  5. Jesus is often referred to as the Messiah – What does this mean? (4)
  6. Jesus taught people how to live by using parables.
    1. Summarise 2 parables and their meanings.
    2. Explain how Jesus used Parables to teach people how to live their lives (4)
  7. Summarise the Easter Story. (4)
  8. How do Christians celebrate this? (4)

The website also has lots of other information for revision. I will pinpoint some other parts.

Christian Beliefs about Nature of Humans

Christian Beliefs about Nature of Humans

In your exam you may be asked about The Nature of Human Beings. This is a revision guide for key ideas that you will need to know for your exam.

Created in the Image of God

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

What does this mean?

Christians believe that humans were made in the image of God. This means that they were created to resemble God’s spirit. This is also known as Imago Dei. This is what sets humans apart from animals. This is why Humans can communicate with God. By being created in God’s image this means that Christians believe they must act in a way that would please God.

Christians believe that God is all Loving and therefore they should act like that – read more here. 

Freewill

Christians believe that God gave all Humans Freewill. Freewill is the ability to make decisions for themselves. However Christians believe that God has planned everything in the Universe out. Some would argue this is incompatible with Freewill. However Christians would answer this by saying that they free to make their own choices but God will know what choice they will make.

Having freewill means that Humans are free to make decisions- Christians believe that everyone should be using their Freewill wisely. They should look to the Bible for guidance as to how to live their life as well as follow the example of Jesus. It impacts on a daily basis as they should be thinking about what would please God in each situation.

What is the Human Condition?

The Human Condition is used to explain the idea that because Original Sin is in the world the whole of humanity suffers. This can only be rectified if Humans live a life that would please God. e.g. in his image or likeness.

Read more about it here. 

 

 

Christian Beliefs about Creation

Christian Beliefs about Creation

Christians believe that God created the Universe. He chose to create it out of love for humanity. Some may argue that he created it because he wanted to be worshipped, therefore it was selfish his creation however Christians would debate this. They would argue that as God is Omnipotent he doesn’t need to be loved.

One of the main theme running through Christianity is the theme of Love. God is full of Love as we should all be.

For Christians it is not important how God created the Universe, as they believe that is beyond their own imagination and for them it doesn’t really matter. This is their faith.  There are different arguments for the compatibility of God and Science. Read about them here.  There are two versions of the Creation story in the book of Genesis.

Genesis 1

Genesis 1 is also known as the 7 Day creation story. This is the story that God created the Universe in 6 days and rested on the 7th.

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Genesis 2

Genesis 2 is the story of Adam and Eve. Where God created humans first and placed them in a Garden. This provides an account of how sin entered the world

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Creationist Christians

There are different types of Creationist Christians (You can read about this in more depth here) In general they believe that the story in the Bible is the literal truth.

Liberal Christians

Liberal Christians take these as stories or parables. Stories that help tell a more complex idea. This is how many Christians would then link in these ideas with Scientific Theories like the Big Bang Theory and Evolution. 

This links with the Philosophical ideas of Telelogical and Cosmological ideas.

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See this table for different interpretations of the Genesis stories.

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National 5 Revision Guides and Questions

National 5 Revision Guides and Questions

Hello National 5s

Below are the revision guides for your three units to complete in the exam.

I will add more and more revision guides to this website for the topics that you need to know about for the exam.

Remember to use this website to help or come along to B12 after school for help.

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Use these Revision Questions to help test your knowledge of the above content. There are revision guides on this page for most of the topics if you need extra help.

National 5- Revision Questions

 

Original Sin

Original Sin

You will have to work hard and sweat to make the soil produce anything, until you go back to the soil from which you were formed. You were made from soil, and you will become soil again.

(Genesis 3: 19)

The Fall

The story behind original sin is told in the Old Testament book of Genesis:

God originally made a perfect world. He created Adam and put him to live in the Garden of Eden – a blissful place where he had nothing to do but take care of the garden.

God told Adam that he could do anything he wanted, except eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Later, God created Eve to be Adam’s wife. Eve was tricked by the serpent into eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of life and death. She gave some of the fruit to Adam and he ate it too.

Adam and Eve realised that they were naked and hid in shame. When God next visited the Garden he realised that they had disobeyed him.

God banished them from the Garden of Eden into the harsh world outside.

God also banned them from eating the fruit of the tree of life, and so death entered the world.

What is Original Sin?

Original Sin, refers to above passage in Genesis in the Bible, where Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden for disobeying God’s commands. This can also be known as The Fall. Many believe this is a literal story and this is how sin was brought into the world. Others believe it is a story or analogy used to explain why there is evil in the world, because humans have gone against God’s word.

Augustine, a theologian believed that because of this all humans are born sinful. We all have the capability and capacity to sin.

What does this mean for humans?

Augustine developed the idea of what has come to be known as ‘original sin’. Due to Adam and Eves actions in the Garden of Eden, the whole of humanity carries the same stain of sin and suffers and dies. Humanity needs God to save them from the suffering.

Christians believe that God gave them freewill and his word through teachings in the Bible, Jesus and preachers show Christians how God would like them to live their lives but it is up to each individual to make that choice.

An explanation for the evils of the world

Some Christians believe that original sin explains why there is so much wrong in a world created by a perfect God, and why people need to have their souls ‘saved’ by God.

A condition you’re in, not something you do

Original sin is a condition, not something that people do: It’s the normal spiritual and psychological condition of human beings, not their bad thoughts and actions. Even a newborn baby who hasn’t done anything at all is damaged by original sin.

Original sin affects individuals by separating them from God, and bringing dissatisfaction and guilt into their lives.

On a world scale, original sin explains such things as genocide, war, cruelty, exploitation and abuse, and the “presence and universality of sin in human history”.

The Fall and the Origin of Evil

Christians believe that when Adam and Eve sinned in Eden and turned away from God they brought sin into the world and turned the whole human race away from God.

The doctrine absolves God of responsibility for the evils that make our world imperfect by teaching that Adam and Eve introduced evil to a perfect world when they disobeyed him.

An alternative understanding of the story of the fall emphasises that Adam and Eve did wrong because they ‘gave in’ to the temptation of the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

These two versions offer radically different ideas about the origin of evil:

  • in the first version Adam and Eve bring evil into the world by disobeying God
  • in the second version evil already exists, and Adam and Eve bring sin to humanity by giving in to it

This second understanding fits well with human psychology. Looking at it this way, original sin becomes the tendency for human beings to ‘give in’ when tempted by the prevailing evils of the society around them, rather than standing up for good, and it helps explain why each individual finds temptation so hard to resist.

A third understanding teaches not so much that Adam’s sin brought sin into the world, but that it removed from humanity the gift that enabled people to be perfectly obedient to God.

Getting rid of original sin

The only way a person can ‘cleanse’ their soul from sin is to:

  • accept that Christ’s death on the cross atoned for this sin
  • accept that only God’s grace can cure this sin
  • confess their sins and ask for forgiveness
  • be baptised

Many churches accept that infants can be cleansed of original sin by being baptised soon after birth. The other elements required are carried out by adults on the baby’s behalf during the ceremony.

 

Read more about Original Sin here

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/beliefs/originalsin_1.shtml

 

 

 

Christianity – Nature of God

Christianity – Nature of God

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Christians would agree with the descriptions of God detailed above.

Christians are monotheists. This means that they believe there is only one God. It is very difficult to describe God, because everyday language is always about ordinary things but God is not ordinary.

God is ‘holy’, meaning special, separate and different.

It is important to remember that the God of the Jews found in the Jewish Scriptures (eg, the Torah) and the God of the Christian Old Testament is one God.

The Trinity

Many Christians believe in the Holy Trinity. This doctrine is unique to Christianity. They believe that God can take many forms.

The Trinity is a way of describing the three ways of being God – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It describes the relationship between these three ‘persons’ which are all part of the one God.

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Statements about the Trinity are found in the Nicene Creed (the Christian statement of faith):

We believe in one God, the Father, the almighty, maker of heaven and earth…

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one Being with the Father…

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.

Mary and Jesus

When God is described as ‘God the Son’, this refers to the Christian belief that God chose to come to earth as a human being.

He was born of Mary and was called Jesus. This belief is called the Incarnation.

Jesus

Jesus came to teach people God’s will for them, and to show them what life would be like in the Kingdom of God. For Christians, the Kingdom of God (Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew’s Gospel) is both an inner change of heart and a symbol of peace on earth.

Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah (Christ) for Christians, is important. He not only taught people about God, he showed them what God is like. Jesus was put to death on the cross. This was the crucifixion.

The cross is an important symbol for Christians. Christianity says that because Jesus (who was God) chose to die because he loved humanity and wanted to save them, all people were forgiven their sins and so had a chance to go to heaven.

Christianity teaches that death was not the end for Jesus. They believe that he rose from the dead on the third day, after being placed in the tomb. This is the resurrection. Christians believe that Jesus was not just a man in the past, but is a living saviour, relevant to their lives today.

How does this impact on Christians lives?

Christians feel that by believing in God they feel closer to him and he can provide a source of comfort in difficult times. Christians are united in their beliefs about God and the aim to create a “Kingdom of God” so Christians would be more loving towards each other. For example they may donate to charity, help those in need etc.

Christians know that God knows everything as he is Omniscient, this means they would try to please him by doing good actions. If they do sin they would need to ask God for forgiveness. By believing in God and an afterlife in heaven this will bring comfort to many.

 

 

Christianity – Living According to the Gospels

Christianity – Living According to the Gospels

In the National 5 or Higher Exam you could be asked about Living according to the gospels. You may be asked to describe what this means, explain why the gospels are important, the challenges or benefits of living according to the gospels amongst other things. So it is important to know what the Gospels are and be able to explain and evaluate their importance.

What are the Gospels?

The word gospel literally translates to meaning “Good News”. In the Bible this refers to the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the New Testament. This is the section of the Bible where you would read about the life and teachings of Jesus.

What do they say?

The Gospels are stories and teachings of Jesus. His central theme was to teach about the Kingdom of God and how to obey God’s Law

God’s Law – Love One Another

Luke 10

25 A teacher of the Law came up and tried to trap Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to receive eternal life?’

26 Jesus answered him, ‘What do the Scriptures say? How do you interpret them?’

27 The man answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind’; and ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’

28 ‘You are right,’ Jesus replied; ‘do this and you will live.’

29 But the teacher of the Law wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, ‘Who is my neighbour?’

30 Jesus answered, ‘There was once a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when robbers attacked him, stripped him, and beat him up, leaving him half dead. 31 It so happened that a priest was going down that road; but when he saw the man, he walked on by, on the other side. 32 In the same way a Levite also came along, went over and looked at the man, and then walked on by, on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan who was travelling that way came upon the man, and when he saw him, his heart was filled with pity. 34 He went over to him, poured oil and wine on his wounds and bandaged them; then he put the man on his own animal and took him to an inn, where he took care of him.35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Take care of him’ he told the innkeeper, ‘and when I come back this way, I will pay you whatever else you spend on him.’

36 And Jesus concluded, ‘In your opinion, which one of these three acted like a neighbour towards the man attacked by the robbers?’

37 The teacher of the Law answered,  ‘The one who was kind to him.’ Jesus replied, ‘You go then and do the same.’

Source: Luke 10: 25–37

In both the Old and New Testament, love, along with ideas of kindness, grace, mercy, forgiveness and fidelity, shows God’s commitment to his people. God demands love not just for him but also for other people. It was God’s love for the world, that led him to send Jesus into the world. This love requires a dramatic human response. Human love should reflect the divine love.

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The love God demands from humanity is a love that brings everyone together. All human divisions (racial, social, sexual and personal) are overcome by this love. The deeds of love for God and neighbour are the aims of the Christian. Because of this Aquinas called love ‘the root and form of all virtues’. Augustine even said ‘love and do what you will’. He meant that if you make all your ethical decisions from the basis of Christian love you will not go far wrong.

How does Jesus show love?

Jesus expresses love for God and others in a number of ways throughout his ministry. He eats with tax collectors and sinners and touches social outcasts who, because of sin or uncleanness, everyone else avoids. Despite the harsh criticisms that these actions cause, Jesus never stops showing his open love for everyone. The gospels tell us that his final sacrifice, death, was also an act of love for others: ‘The greatest love a person can have for his friends is to give his life for them’ (John 15: 13). Everyone must take up their cross and show love to neighbours, no matter what the cost to the self.

Jesus shows Christians how to live through telling parables or stories that people can apply to their own life.

The Kingdom of God

“Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’” Mark 1: 14-15

Christians believe that it is their duty to create a “Kingdom of God” – This means a land where God would be happy to live. A Land full of love, peace and harmony. Jesus taught this love will start small but it has to grow and start somewhere.

How to Live According to the Gospels.

Love Thy Neighbour

The Righteous will then answer him, ‘When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? When did we ever see you a stranger and welcome you in our homes, or naked and clothe you? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you? The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did it for me!’

(Matthew 25: 37–40)

It is easy to love the neighbour that is near, that you know personally and like. It is harder to love someone that you have never met, many miles away, or someone that you do not like. Actions could include

  • Helping someone in need
  • Donating to charity
  • Pray for someone.
  • Volunteer with a charity.

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Why are the Gospels so important?

The Gospels are so important as they are inspired by God and therefore a trustworthy source. They reveal the true nature of God and Jesus and contain his teachings. The Gospels reveal the Kingdom of God.

Christians feel that as they are a biographical account of Jesus by reading them they become closer to God and Jesus.

For Christians, the Gospels (and the Bible as a whole) are a source of guidance. They may use this to help them make decisions or understand what they should believe about the world. By studying the Bible Christians can enhance their own faith and get guidance on how to worship.