The Essence of Christianity
Christianity is a complex religion that embraces thousands of separate churches, sects and denominations around the world. Despite the variety, one of its core beliefs is that Jesus Christ is the central figure.
Christians believe that Jesus was the promised savior and Messiah of the world, and that he fulfilled every prophecy in the Old Testament concerning his birth, life and ministry. They also believe that he was crucified on the cross, died for their sins and rose from the dead.
When the Church began to develop, it was clear that the focus of faith would have to be on Jesus and his claim to be the savior of all people. This narrowing of the focus to Jesus as truth led to a complementary sharpening of the focus on salvation as the only way of being saved from the evils of a fallen humanity.
During this time, Christianity’s focus on ideas was also sharpened as well. The Christians, with their councils and creeds and theologians, debated and tried to define what they thought was the essence of Christianity and to determine how it derived from its fundamentals of belief and practice.