The course began by distinguishing Christianity from other major world religions both in similarities and differences. Major religions included Judaism, Buddhism, and Taoism just to name a few. All religions are similar in that they believe in a higher power. They have doctrines and teachings about salvation and a code of conduct for living. Christianity is unique in that the people believe in theism. Theism is the belief that God created the world and actively rules over and cares for the world. Christians also believe in deism which is the belief that God is absent in the world that he created but allows his creation to develop with direct interference and no revelation or miracles. Another belief that makes Christianity special is the belief in pantheism. Pantheism is the belief that God and nature is one and the same. All these distinctions make Christianity the most unique religion compared to other major religions.
The course emphasized the significance of God. God created the earth, heavens and living creatures of the world. God also created the first people on earth, Adam and Eve who bought sin into the world. God is father to his children or people that believe in him. He is caring, eternal and infinite. He asks us to trust him and ask him for forgiveness when we sin. His forgiving ways are revealed in Genesis 3 when he looks for Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden apple. He still seeks to have a relationship with them even though they sinned. God "banished him from the Garden of Eden" (Genesis 3:23) in order to discipline them out of love and for Adam and Eve's own sake so they can't eat from the tree of life. We know God through his blessings and good intentions. He wants the best for his children and does everything out of love.
Jesus is God's son that was sent to earth to be crucified on the cross for the people's sins. The reason for his birth is because of all the corruption and evil of the people. Jesus is significant in that he is the answer to salvation and entrance to heaven. Jesus is the Messiah and also claims his own coming as the Messiah in the New Testament. The people's faith in Jesus promises rescue and the key to heaven. Without the death and resurrection of Jesus, the prophecy of the Messiah could not be fulfilled and mans' destiny would remain a mystery. Jesus refers to himself as "the light of the world" (John 8:12) because darkness does not lie within him. Jesus is God in human form because Jesus possesses human characteristics in the Bible. Jesus faced temptation, vulnerability and hunger when Satan tried to seduce Jesus to sin in Matthew 4. His significance is observed on Christmas which marks the birth of Jesus of Nazareth in the city of Bethlehem.
The third existence of God is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth, love, life and power. He is co-existent, co-eternal, and co-equal with God and Jesus. The Holy Spirit is sent by God through Jesus to reprove the world of sin and prepare the church for Christ's return. Jesus said before he ascends into Heaven that he will send the Comforter and Counselor. The Holy Spirit enters our hearts when we think about a truth. He is the spirit of God and his role is to guide us to on the path to God.
God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit together are called the Trinity. The Trinity describes the three-in-one unity of...