Studies of Religion-Christianity
Origins and Principal beliefs of Christianity
Christianity originated in the city of Jerusalem as a monotheistic religion which rooted from Judaism in the 1st century. Jesus of Nazareth, first recognized as a Messiah, is now known as the Son of God to Christians, is accepted as the founder of Christianity. Jesus, given that he sought only to renew Judaism, did not intend to find a new religion.
To some people, Jesus is recognized as a normal human being who felt all human qualities and had human limitations. This is true because he was evidently born of a woman at the time of Emperor Augustus. He grew up in a human family, worked as a carpenter in Nazareth for most of his life and died experiencing pain and suffering. However, to others, he was truly believed as a divine being, the Son of God. His teachings, the miracles he performed and the healing of many was truly seen as the power of God and people later realized Jesus’ role on Earth, for all humanity to receive salvation and resurrect and ascend to heaven after defeating death. Jesus’ dual nature had been formulated by Council of Nicea the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
Death, Resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ are very important to Christians. It is from these three principles that the traditional belief of ‘Jesus died for our sins’ gets connected.
One of the principle beliefs of Christianity is that God is One existing as three persons which are: God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit as sanctifier.
Throughout human history, God has revealed himself to get intimately involved with all aspects of human life. Revelation of God has been ongoing since the start of Old Testament as it has been done numerously through great people of the bible such as Moses. However, God’s fullest revelation takes place through the words, deeds and actions associated with Jesus Christ.
Salvation is said to be the gift from God that is offered to all humanity through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It can only be received if the person has faith in Jesus. Some Christians believe that the act of faithfulness is the works of merit, such as helping those who are the most vulnerable in the society. Other Christians believe the opposite where salvation is solely dependent on an individual’s personal acceptance of Jesus Christ. Whatever belief you have on receiving the salvation, the end result has to understand that the requirement is a sincere faith with hard, good works.
Key Ethical Teachings and how they are guided by Sacred Text The Christian ethics are drawn from the sacred scriptures which give authoritative teachings on bioethics, environmental ethics and sexual ethics. Bioethics deals with the questions of right and wrong as they affect life issues. It is the area of science that deals with moral choices faced in medical research. Christians are most concerned about issues such as cloning, IVF and screening embryos, abortion, euthanasia, stem cell technology and genetic engineering. The discipline of bioethics realize that answers to these life issues cannot be given without references to principles and values which do not come out of science. It is the sanctity of human life which is the key belief that is challenged in bioethical research. Christians believe that life is a gift from God and it should be treasured for him, the one who created life, every life is considered precious. This belief is guided by the sacred text in Job 10:12-“You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.” Although the bible says nothing about abortion and euthanasia, there are many scriptures which indicate God’s love for those living in the womb. “Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.” (Psalm 22:9-10). There’s also the fifth commandment of the Ten Commandments...
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