Thursday, March 28, 2013

FAQ #6: If there are so many denominations, what is true Christianity?

Question: If there are so many denominations, what is true Christianity?

  1. The central message of Christianity is the "gospel." The gospel is the message Jesus' disciples and Paul preached to the world in order to gain converts. In the book of Acts, there are many recordings of these gospel speeches. Paul also defines the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15: 1-15 & in Romans 10:8-13.
  2. Throughout the New Testament, underlying gospel remains the same. The message has three components: 1) Jesus is the Jewish Messiah 2) Jesus died and was buried to forgive our sins 3) Jesus was resurrected and appeared to many witnesses. Conversion takes place when a listener believes the message.
  3. All other Christian beliefs branch off of these core beliefs. Here are a few important examples: 
    1. The Jewish Messiah was a figure predicted in the Old Testament. This person was prophesied to conquer Israel's enemies and rule the entire world as King, bringing world peace. Christians believe this will take place at the Second Coming of Christ.
    2. Furthermore, some Old Testament passages imply that the Messiah would be the Lord Himself. Hence, the central Christian belief is that the Messiah (Jesus) is both God and man. 
    3. Jesus Himself also taught the doctrine of the Second Coming and his own Deity.
  4. All other beliefs are connected to the gospel message in a similar way as the examples above. These beliefs come from Old Testament prophecy or Jesus' own teachings, but usually both. The main beliefs have been compiled in various Creeds, such as the Nicene Creed and Apostles Creed.

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