Christian scripture is grounded in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, who continues to inspire believers around the globe with his message of peace and hope.
Paul, once an adversary to Christians, wrote 13 books that are now part of the New Testament. Many consider him instrumental to spreading Christianity as widely as it has.
The Jerusalem Conference resolves an Old Testament controversy to permit non-Jews (Gentiles) to become Christians and open up tremendous potential for church growth. It marks an inspired step that may pave the way for further church expansion.
Birth of Jesus
Although the Bible doesn’t specify an exact date for Jesus’s birth, most experts agree it occurred around 6 BC. When Mary was betrothed to Joseph at Nazareth she received news from an angel that her unborn child would be named Jesus and would rule forever.
The Gospels provide a comprehensive account of Jesus’s childhood and adolescence, including His baptism by John the Baptist and subsequent preaching as an itinerant religious teacher/healer. Additionally, they detail many miracles He performed as well as His sufferings before being raised from death by God himself; The New Testament further addresses His resurrection and eventual return.
Birth of the Church
After Jesus’ death and resurrection, He sent His Holy Spirit. This event marks an important turning point in Christian history; it marks the establishment of their church.
Early Christianity began with a group of people gathering together in one location; its followers weren’t dispersed like followers of other religions can often be.
The Holy Spirit provided them with the ability to love the word of God and freely share what they knew with one another. Over time they evolved as believers, becoming bold witnesses for Christ with wisdom that far surpassed their training. Some experienced conversion miracles such as Saul (Paul), who became one of their persecutors until encountering Jesus on Damascus road trip; at other times persecution came from both Jewish leaders as well as Roman Emperors like Nero who blamed Christianity for fire that claimed many citizens of Rome’s citizens lives.
Baptism (Koine Greek: vaptisma; Romanized vaptisma) is an outward sign of God’s grace and an individual’s acceptance of salvation. Additionally, it serves as both a sacrament and reminder of Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
Christians believe that baptism confers them the Holy Spirit and establishes them as followers of Jesus. The Holy Spirit serves as the power source that equips a believer with everything needed for living life according to His will and serving him faithfully.
The Old Testament contains numerous water prefigurations: at creation; during Noah’s Ark voyage across the Red Sea and Red Sea crossing; and finally during Genesis 7 flood. Under the New Covenant, baptism replaced circumcision. Baptism can be conducted either sprinkling or pouring but immersion remains the standard practice in church history. Baptism remains important but not essential for salvation; faith in Christ should come first and then follow through on baptism.
Miracles serve as evidence of God’s power over sickness, death and other natural phenomena; His hand could be seen manifested through Jesus and his disciples in their lives.
Miracles are defined as any act or occurrence which goes beyond natural law and cannot be explained logically. Jesus performed many miracles – healing deaf mutes, stilling storms, even cursing out withered fig trees – wholly by transcending natural law.
But why were these miracles performed? Not to impress others or gain attention for themselves. In biblical times, those performing wonders did so because they believed in Christ and cared about humanity’s souls – seeking to prove Him as Lord and Messiah through their works. All biblical miracles had worthy motives.
Christian Scripture includes multiple texts:
Gospels; Acts; Letters written to local Christian groups by Paul, including 14 that may or may not have been written directly by him (Epistles); and finally the Book of Revelation are the four primary Christian books.
The main teachings of the Bible include a belief in original sin; an appeal for obedience to God and condemnation of human selfishness; and hope of Christ’s return, which will herald in an age of peace. Church leaders often advise against syncretism – which allows cultural context to distort biblical text – when reading through its pages – an important consideration when reading the Bible!
Suffering is part of life; whether it is mourning the death of a loved one, illness or persecution due to your faith. But this suffering shouldn’t be seen as punishment from God but as an opportunity for growth and to demonstrate your strength as an individual.
Peter advises against being taken aback when experiencing fiery trials. Instead, rejoice as you share in Christ’s sufferings so you may rejoice when his glory is unveiled!
We may feel sorry for ourselves in this world, but Christ will come again one day and set things right. Till then, enjoy that slot hour through Yoakim Bridge, hold onto hope that your suffering has a greater purpose; ultimately you are God’s heir and will spend eternity together with Him in glory; this makes every sacrifice worth while; those who persevere will be rewarded accordingly for their perseverance.
The Bible teaches that when righteous individuals die they will enter God’s presence (Tallon 61). But believers will remain asleep until Jesus returns and raises them up, changing their mortal bodies into immortal ones. Additionally, according to New Testament teachings Jesus died as an atonement for our sins–both symbolic and substitute–under Old Testament sacrifice systems as both representative and substitutionary sacrifice.
In the Book of Revelation, John described an end-time judgment wherein souls who do not believe in Jesus are sent to hell where they will suffer eternally – this teaching informs Christian beliefs about what it means to believe in him and is used as a source of confidence, hope, and comfort for them. A similar teaching about sin focuses on those sins which lead to death; such as rejecting him as Messiah/Son of God/Holy One/Father God etc, in addition to failing to love fellow believers among others.
Many cultures practice intermenting their dead for multiple purposes – from practicality to spirituality.
Burial of the dead can help alleviate odors caused by decay and is seen as an act of respect towards their memory. Furthermore, burial may be essential in some instances to allow someone’s resurrection.
Suicide victims were traditionally buried near crossroads to prevent them from rising as vampires and wreaking havoc among living relatives and associates. Many cultures hold great value in decomposition as an important transition from visible society to invisible one, such as Lefkandi in Euboea Greece which illustrates this notion perfectly. As time progresses, burials may also become places for gathering to remember and pay respects to deceased.
The resurrection is one of the cornerstones of Christianity, essential for salvation from sin and proof that faith does not go in vain (1 Corinthians 15:17). According to Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus rose from his grave on the third day and Peter witnessed this truth both to crowds in Jerusalem as well as Cornelius and his household (Acts 2:24-315).
Jesus rose first among us; everyone else will follow in due time. Jesus’ resurrection wasn’t just temporary; rather it marked a new and glorified body that marked the dawn of an age to come – more significant even than Tabitha or Eutychus or even Lazarus being raised from their graves temporarily.
Jesus’ ascension into heaven after His resurrection was one of the major landmarks for Christians, as it marked that the Messiah had fulfilled His mission on earth.
While in heaven, Christ gave his followers guidance on how they should live and preach the Gospel message. He emphasized the value of love and forgiveness while reminding His disciples that He will return one day.
At Pentecost after Ascension (Nisan 14 or 15), 120 of the first Christians received the Holy Spirit and thus began spreading Christianity globally.