About This Course


An Introduction To The Christian Faith


Hello and welcome to An Introduction To The Christian Faith. For those who don’t me, my name is Joe Anady, I serve as one of the Pastors of Emmaus Reformed Baptist Church in Hemet CA, and I’m really glad that you are here. Before we dive into the introductory lessons, I thought it would be good to provide you with a very brief overview of this course so that you might know what to expect.


What is the purpose of this course? As the title suggests, the purpose of this course is to teach basic Christian doctrine.

I hope you would agree that this is something Pastors are called to do. Pastors are called to teach the faith and to contend the faith. The faith – that is to say, the Christian faith considered as a collection of doctrines – must be taught. And it must be taught to a diverse group of people.

The Christian faith must be taught to our children. As our children are raised in the church we hope and pray that they will turn from their sins and profess faith in Jesus Christ. But to do this our children must first know the faith. They must know about God, man, sin, and salvation in Christ Jesus. How can they possibly trust in Christ if they do not first know the truth about Christ? We must teach the faith to our children, therefore. 

Secondly, the Christian faith must be taught to those interested in the faith. Sometimes people do come to church who have not yet professed faith in Christ. These have not been baptized, nor do they partake of the Lord’s Supper with us, but they are curious about Christianity. And the faith must be taught to these in a careful, clear, and concise way. I’m always glad to have visitors in our midst and to have them listening to the preaching of the Word of God on a Sunday morning. Hopefully, the gospel of Jesus Christ comes through loud and clear as the Scriptures are expounded. But think of how beneficial it would be to the one who is curious about Christianity to present the faith to them in a thorough, clear, and concise way.  

Thirdly, the Christian faith must be taught to those who are new to the faith. Of course, to profess faith in Christ and to be baptized, certain truths about God, man, sin, and salvation must already be known. But the point I am here making is that doctrinal instruction does not end with baptism – in a way it only begins there. Christians should never stop growing in their understanding of the Bible and the truths contained within. I think you would agree that a course like this one could be very helpful to a new believer as they seek to build their life in Christ upon the firm foundation of God’s Word.         

Fourthly, as strange as this may sound, a course like this one might even be helpful to someone who has been a Christian for a long time. I have found that, in many churches today, the Christian faith is not often taught systematically. And so it may be that a Christian who has been in the church for a long time may benefit from a study like this one which seeks to lay doctrinal foundations in a careful and methodical way.  

Lastly, the Christian faith must be taught to counter those who would distort the faith with false teachings. This does happen. Sometimes people will bring false teachings into the church. One of the best ways for a pastor to combat false teaching is to be proactive in teaching the faith in a positive way.

Before moving on I wanted to share a few passages of Scripture with you to support this idea that the faith must be taught.  

In Titus chapter one the Apostle Paul lists qualifications that men must meet to hold the office of pastor or elder in the church. In verse 9 we read, “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9, ESV). From this one verse, we can conclude a few things: One, pastors and elders are called to teach. Two, they are to teach “the trustworthy word as taught.” As taught by whom? As taught by Christ and his Apostles. This is another way of speaking of the faith as a body of doctrine. Pastors and elders must know the faith, they must believe the faith,  and they must teach the faith.  Three, pastors and elders must also be able to defend the faith. Here the text again: they must “be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”

The second text I wish to share with you is Jude 3. Here in this passage,  Jude writes to Christians saying, “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3, ESV). Notice three things about this verse. One, Jude uses the phrase “the faith” to refer to core Christian doctrine. Two, the faith is something that has been delivered to the saints. Who are the saints? All Christians are called saints. And who has delivered the faith to them? The Apostles did. The Apostles took the teaching that Christ delivered to them and handed it down to the next generation. And now we have the teaching of Christ and the Apostles contained in the New Testament Scriptures. Thirdly, Jude commands Christians to “contend for the faith”. To contend for something is to fight for something. The idea here is that Christians are to, in a gracious and humble manner, exert great effort and energy into the defense of the faith that has been handed down to us through Christ and the Apostles as contained now in the Holy Scriptures. 

The third and final text I want to share with you is 2 Timothy 1:13-14. Here the Apostle Paul instructs Timothy, a young minister of the Word, to “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you” (2 Timothy 1:13–14, ESV). Here Paul refers to the Christian faith as “the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me” – here “sound” means “right, correct, or accurate”. As a minister of the Word of God, Timothy was to be careful to follow the pattern of correct and accurate words that the Apostle Paul had taught him, and he was also to guard those sound words as if they were a treasure. 

I’ve read these three passages to you and have commented on them briefly in the hopes of convincing you that this is a very important thing for pastors to do. Pastors, if they are to be found faithful, must know the Christian faith, believe the Christian faith, teach the Christian faith, and even defend the Christian faith.  As I have said, the purpose of this course is to teach basic Christian doctrine.  

The Method

Now, please allow me to say just a brief word about the method I will use. How will the Christian faith be taught in this course? 

I’ll address this question more thoroughly in the second of the two introductory lessons of this course. In brief, we will move rather quickly together through a document called the Baptist Catechism. The Baptist Catechism is made up of 114 questions and answers, and these questions and answers faithfully summarize the basic and essential teachings of Holy Scripture. 

The more I interact with this document the more I come to appreciate it. Firstly, I love this document because it is true to Scripture. Secondly, I appreciate it because it is brief. 114 questions might sound like a lot to you, but really it is amazing that the core teachings of the whole Bible have been condensed into so few words. Thirdly, I love this document because it is beautifully structured. I’ll explain what I mean by this in future lessons. For now, it will suffice to say that the Baptist Catechism presents the faith in an orderly and clear manner. Fourthly, I appreciate this document because it has stood the test of time. The Baptist Catechism was written in the year 1693. It has been used by many in past generations to disciple Christians, young and old. I trust that you will come to love this document too as you progress through this study with me. More importantly, I trust that this document will increase your understanding of, and love for, the Holy Scriptures, and your love for God and Christ who are revealed so beautifully within.

Intended Uses

The last thing that I would like to present to you before concluding with some brief words of encouragement are the intended uses of this course. What are the intended uses of this study?

First, let me tell you how I do not intend for this study to be used, and that is all alone and in isolation from others. Now, it may be that someone comes across this study and does not have anyone to progress through it with. In that case, I don’t mean to discourage you. I hope the Lord uses this study to bless and encourage you in some way. But truly, I have designed this study to be used by students under the oversight of a guide or teacher.  

I can envision this study being used in three different settings.

Firstly, in the home by husbands and wives and by parents with their children. At the church where I serve as pastor, we do encourage the regular use of the Baptist Catechism in the home. Parents can introduce the faith to their children by reading and even memorizing the questions and answers of the catechism with them. When the children are little, their comprehension of these concepts will be limited. Even so, it is good for the children to hear these truths and to grow familiar with the words and phrases of the faith from a young age. As the children grow, their ability to comprehend the faith will grow too. And it may be that a thorough study like this will help them to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together as they begin to emerge into adulthood.

Secondly, I can envision this study being used in the church by pastors in a variety of situations.

Pastors might use this study in an evangelistic way with those interested in the faith. Pastors might use this study to help prepare professing Christians for baptism and/or membership. Lastly, pastors might use this study to continue to teach the Christian faith to the current members of the congregation they serve.  

The third use of this study that I can envision is a combination of the first two. And really,  it is this situation that prompted me to develop this curriculum in the first place. One of the greatest joys for me as a pastor is to hear that a young person who has been raised in the church desires baptism. I hope this study will prove useful to both parents and pastors as they cooperate to help the young people in our midst prepare for baptism and to assess the credibility of their profession of faith. 

As you can probably see, this study consists of 24 lessons. The first two lessons are introductory.  The last one encourages reflection and application. In between those, there are 21 lessons that move through the questions and answers of the Baptist Catechism. You should know that I’ve produced a workbook to go along with these lessons. The Baptist Catechism is printed in the workbook in a fill-in-the-blank format. Also, there are discussion questions for every lesson. I do hope that these discussion questions will help pastors and parents to teach and assess a credible profession of faith. Lastly, I have written a brief article entitled, Baptism Upon Credible Profession Of Faith, that parents may find helpful.  Links to the workbook and this article can be found at AnIntroToThe ChristianFaith.org.

A Word Of Encouragement

Finally, a brief word of encouragement to those who will progress through this study.

To those who are young in the faith I say, please do not rush the fundamentals. Take your time as you go through this study. Reflect on what you hear. Ask your parents and/or pastor questions. Let this study slowly build as these foundational principles of the Christian faith are set into place, precept upon precept.   

To those who are more seasoned in the faith I would say, don’t disregard the fundamental doctrines even if you are familiar with them. Instead, reflect more deeply than you have in the past on these principles you already know. Try to see the interconnectedness of these doctrines. And aim to grow in your understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ so that you might grow in your assurance and communicate the gospel more clearly to others. 


Well, that is probably enough of a welcome. Again, I’m glad you are here. And I do hope and pray that this study will be of some help to you. My prayer is that you would receive “Christ Jesus the Lord” and “ walk in him” being “rooted and built up in him and established in the faith… abounding in thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6–7, ESV).

God bless you all. Until next time, abide in Christ (John 15:1-17).


Lesson 1