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Basics Of Christianity

Every third person in the world is Christian. Meaning thereby, the highest number of people of any religion are Christians. So it is quite possible, you are dealing more often with a Christian than you think. With this in mind, here is a gentle effort to introduce the said religion.

I will divide this essay in three parts:
  1. Introduction
  2. Jesus Christ and
  3. The Bible
1. INTRODUCTION
  • Christianity is a religion based on life and teachings of Jesus Christ and His followers (adherents) are called Christians.
  • 2.2 billion people follow this religion in the world.
  • Let us say 1/4 to 1/3 population of the world is Christian.
  • It is a state religion in many countries of the world.
  • Of all, 37.5% live in America, 27.5% live in Europe, 22.5% live in Africa, 13.1% live in Asia and rest elsewhere.
  • This religion began at Modern Israel and Palestine to quickly spread around Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia minor and Egypt.
  • Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God - God having become human and the saviour of humanity.
Main points of belief:
  1. Belief in God the father, Jesus Christ as the Son of god and the Holy spirit.
  2. The death, descent into hell, resurrections and ascension as Christ.
  3. The Holiness of Church and the communion of Saints.
  4. Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful.
Ten Commandments:
  • Principles related to ethics and worship which play a fundamental role.
  • They include instructions of worship only God, to keep Sabbath and prohibitions against idolatry, blasphemy, murder, theft and adultery.
Trinity:

Trinity refers to teaching that the one God comprises of three distinct persons:
  1. The Father,
  2. The Son and
  3. The Holy Spirit.
Together they are called “Godhead”. Those who agree to three Gods are Trinitarians and others are Non- Trinitarians.

Prayer:

On Sunday, all Christians gather for communal worship to one place – Church. The President reads the writings of prophet till time permits and then all rise together and pray. In the end, the President offers thanksgivings and the people assent saying “Amen”.

Sacraments:

It is an outward sign instituted by Christ that conveys spiritual grace. Catholics traditionally accept Baptism and Eucharist as Sacraments, Protestants believe these rites do not communicate grace and they prefer to call them "Ordinances".

Baptism:

It is a ritual act with the use of water for the person admitted to membership of Church.

Groups:
  1. The Roman Catholic Church (2000 years old first)
  2. The Eastern Orthodox Church (1054 AD) and
  3. The Protestants (1517 AD)
Catholic and Protestants need special explanations.

1. Catholic Church:

The Catholic Church comprises of churches headed by bishops in communion with the Pope, the Bishops of Rome as its highest authority in matters of faith, morality and church governance. Catholic theology interprets two senses of scripture Literal and Spiritual. It has more than 1.1 million baptized members.

2. Protestant Reformation:

In 1517 Martin Luther protested against the sale of Indulgences and soon moved to deny several key points of Roman Catholic doctrine and protestant reformation began. They do not agree with "Confessionalism" and/or "Creedalism". Martin Luther, Hul Drych Wingli and John Calvin inaugurated Protestanalism. They said and advocated one simple and definite understanding of scripture.

2. Jesus Christ
  • He was born from Virgin Mary being conceived in her of the Holy Spirit. And so Jesus is known as the Son of God and the Messiah Christ.
  • He was born 2012 years back at Bethlehem of Judea Jerusalem, Israel.
  • Jesus is true God and true Man - both fully divine.
  • Jesus performed miracles, founded the church and died sacrificially to achieve atonement to rise from the Dead on Easter Day.
  • The death and resurrection of Jesus are two core events in Christianity.
The saving work of Christ on the cross is often referred to as the Gospel message or good news for the whole world. According to the New Testament - Jesus was crucified, died the physical death and buried within a tomb and rose from the dead on the third day. This shows that Jesus has authority and power over life and death and He can give people Eternal Life. (John - 3:16 NT)

3. The Holy Bible
  • It is a religious book on Christianity.
  • In fact, it is a guide that instructs us, exhorts us, admonishes us, corrects us, strengthens us and teaches us.
  • Here, God and Jesus Christ have incorporated all the truths we need to know about ourselves.
  • Actually, from genesis to revelation, the Bible is about Jesus Christ.
  • It is a collection of 66 books, written by more than 40 authors over a span of 15 centuries.
The survey of Bible is divided in nine parts:
  1. A panorama of the scriptures an overview of the Bible through genesis to revelation.
  2. Five steps of Maturity
  3. The message of History
  4. Music to live by
  5. The promises of God
  6. Jesus
  7. Letters from the Lord
  8. Keeping the faith
  9. Signs of the Times
Well, Bible is not only the story of God and His Son Jesus Christ - it is also the story of you and me.
It begins with The Old Testament and ends with The New Testament.

The Old Testament:

The Old Testament makes to our maturity in Christ--not in details but in orbital view survey.
In the past, God spoke to our forefathers at many times and in various ways, that is Old Testament. And in the last days, He has spoken through His son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and that is New Testament. So the completion of the old is found in the New Testament.

The Old Testament is a primary - preparatory phase of the Bible, just like school-teachers teaching ABCD in the beginning or say farmers are preparing soil adequately before seeds are put in it. Let us say soil of my heart needed the preparation of Old Testament to receive seeds of the New Testament.

The Old Testament has four divisions:
  1. Five steps of maturity
  2. The message of History
  3. Music to live by
  4. The promises of God.
Above details prepare us so we see ourselves clearly and our continual merry-go-round of pleasure-seeking, money-seeking, relationship-seeking or drug-seeking which ends in despair, emptiness, loneliness or addiction stops. Now we know the meaning and purpose of life.

The New Testament:

God has spoken this in these last days. Here, God has spoken to us though His son Jesus Christ.

Jesus tells:
  1. If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.
  2. If anyone eats of his bread, he will live forever.
  3. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, I will give you the rest.
  4. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

The message is clear: CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY.

The contents are as per teachings and guidance of Rev. Dr. Cecil Chauhan Bth, Mth, Ph.D (Bilimora, Gujarat, INDIA)



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