What is the essence of Christianity? How does this great tradition help you lead a good life in its truest form?
We’re going to discuss the hidden meanings and essence of what Christianity is all about.
Jesus, The Father and Oneness
The span of the Holy Bible covers two distinct eras. One needs to understand the New Testament in the light of the Old Testament. Only then, the entire tradition of God in Christianity can be understood.
Usually, folks generalize ‘Christianity’ to cover the entirety of the Holy Book. However, Christianity, or the religion of Christ, is primarily in the New Testament. Before Jesus in New Testament, there was Joshua in Old Testament, and so on.
Despite conflicting interpretations within the church, Jesus Christ Himself frequently testifies as the son of the Holy Father. Even the most seminal event of the life of Christ, the crucifixion, testifies to the will of God to sacrifice His son to redeem the world.
To understand the essence of Christianity, you need to be able to interpret the Bible as the work of God, and understand who the Holy Father truly is.
A Brief History of Christianity
In the strictest sense of the word, Christianity originated as the ministry of Jesus. However, preachers often refer to the Ten Commandments from the Old Testament to uncover the true essence of Christianity. A lot of blue water has flown in the Nile since then as the early religion (by the commandments) began to take shape.
The Old Testament mentions the reigns of numerous Kings. Most notable among them are Joshua, David, and Nebuchadnezzar. Before the Lord gave up Christ on the Cross, He gave up Jehoiakim in the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.
Speaking of Nebuchadnezzar, you may also refer to the visions of the prophet Daniel. These debilitating visions of the end times are quite similar to those mentioned in the New Testament Book of Revelations.
The reign of Constantine the Great heralded modern Christianity as it is. He authorized the Edict of Milan, legalizing Christian worship in the Roman empire (313 AD). Furthermore, in 380 AD, the Roman Empire accepted the Christian faith to be the State Religion (Thessalonica Edict).
The contrast between the humble origins of Jesus and the opulence of the papal church perhaps became evident in debates about whether Jesus was human or divine. As many as seven ecumenical councils were held to ascertain this.
Christianity spread to entire Europe, Central Asia, China, and India in the Middle Ages. The Protestant Reformation movement against the Catholic church’s corruption is a major event in the history of Christianity. At present, it is the largest religion globally, with more than 2 billion followers.
Non-Duality Throughout The Bible
Dualism is a reoccurring theme throughout the Bible which indicates that God and His people are separate, however critics believe it’s the poetic nature of how the Bible was written. Otherwise, non-duality, which is the concept of one indivisible reality, shines through the Bible and points to the true nature of the Christian tradition.
The earliest indication of the non-dual approach is in Leviticus 26: 11-12.
Here, the Living God says that He shall live among you, and be your God. The verse also says that His soul (the Holy Spirit) will not reject the covenant of faith.
Deuteronomy 6:4 speaks in the same strain and implores that the Lord is One.
Verses in the New Testament also conform to this view. You can also refer to the verses in 2 Corinthians 13:14:
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.“2 Corinthians 13:14 New International Version
It is a prayer for grace of the Lord Jesus. The verse speaks in a singular refrain uniting God’s love and the Holy Spirit as one.
One of the most compelling verses declaring non-duality in Christianity is in Ephesians 4: 4-6. It declares that there is but One God, the Father of all, through and in all Christians.
Jesus as the central figure in Christianity
The most compelling aspect unifying the two eras is still the legend of Jesus Christ. The sheer impact of the Father delivering His son to a painful death, followed by the resurrection of Jesus, has sustained Christianity through the ages.
The Cross remains the commonest and most powerful symbol of the religion. Jesus Christ is the central figure in Christianity, but one should remember that He has been sent by the Father, and reminds us that He and the Father are one.
“I and the Father are one.”John 10:30, New King James Version
The Purpose of Jesus
The Old Testament foretells the life of Jesus Christ. The verse in Isaiah 7:14 extols the immaculate conception as the greatest sign of the Lord. The virgin shall conceive a divine son – is this not the birth of the son of God? He shall be Immanuel, meaning the presence of God with the fellowship.
Again, the verse in Isaiah 9:6 foretells the birth of a child who shall be called Mighty God and Everlasting Father. Also, He shall rule the Kingdom of Heaven and be known as the Prince of Peace and Wonderful Counselor.
The event of the crucifixion does not seem to be a unique one. Do you remember that the crowd demanded the release of Barabbas, who was also on death row? Even the word Barabbas means ‘son of the father’ in Aramaic!
Also, do you know that the Old Testament describes the purpose of crucifixion? Refer verse numbers 4-6 in Isaiah 53. It says that when the covenant went astray, the burden of iniquities was put on a son. This chastisement brought peace; his wounds healed the world.
Righteousness and Truth
The true essence of the Holy Bible can also be found in its condemnation of hypocrisy. The Bible implores Christians to fight the good fight of faith in verse 1 Timothy 6:11- 12.
Only then, the Bible says that a true Christian will find his eternal life given. Jesus condemns hypocrisy in the strongest of words. He compares those on Moses’ seat to be like whitewashed tombs. Outside, they look holy and serene. But inside, its all uncleanliness and dead bones!
The Essence of Christianity Is Love
Above everything, the Holy Bible praises the virtues of love. Once they asked Jesus about the Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22: 36-40). He replied that there are two commandments on which trumps all prophesies.
The first order is to love God truly. Be one in heart, soul, and mind and love God. The other greatest commandment is to love each other as one would love oneself.
In Matthew 7: 1-2, the Bible says that God will judge you by the same measure that you imply to judge others. Love must be nonjudgmental and unconditional.
The essence of love is expressed most elegantly in the Book of 1 Corinthians 13. It describes the way of love to be the greatest of all virtues.
Even if you know all the world’s mysteries, you are nothing without love. Also, love is not envious, arrogant, rude, or resentful.
Final Thoughts on the Essence of Christianity
At the heart of the Christian tradition lays a non-dual understanding, which is that there is one indivisible reality which everything and everyone appear from. This is who God is referred to, whom we are not separate of. We are all one family sharing the same being, which is love. It is the essence of Jesus’s teachings.
However, this can be hard to understand without faith. The Bible is not an academic resource, nor is it a historical treatise. To look at it without faith renders it merely a mysterious document.
Only when you start to believe and understand the power of Jesus Christ, you will begin to understand why He died and served everyone.
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