Christianity is the word used to describe the beliefs and practices of those who follow Jesus Christ. It is also referred to as the Christian religion. Those who follow Jesus Christ are called Christians – meaning “like Christ”. The message of Jesus Christ was that anyone can have a close relationship with God, like a son has with his Father. Christianity is not about following a set of rules, but instead it emphasizes having a connection with God in daily relationship.
Origin of Christianity
Christianity started when people began to follow Jesus Christ around 30AD. Jesus Christ taught his followers to love God and to love others unselfishly. Jesus Christ was Jewish and called God his Father. This was a completely different way of viewing God in his day. Jesus Christ was crucified (executed) by the Jews and the Roman government for having this view. Three days later he rose from the dead and appeared to many people. Then He ascended into heaven where He lives today.
The primary belief of Christianity is that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). His way is the only way to have a close, loving relationship with God as a son has with a Father. His power over death confirmed that He is God's Son and can lead others to eternal life in heaven. The two greatest commandments in Christianity are to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27). God is love and those who follow Christ are known by the way they demonstrate love (not by their beliefs only).
The Christian Church is the gathering of people who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ. In its truest sense, it is a global family of people who love God, love each other and love their neighbors. In a local community there are individual organizations that use the term “church” as a way to designate a specific gathering of Christians in that area. Many Christian churches offer services to the community for free to show the love of Christ (i.e. free food or clothing). Anyone may attend a service at a church – they are open to anyone who would like to have a loving relationship with God as their Father.
Impact of Christianity in the World
Nations of the world are directly impacted by the amount of Christianity that is in their country. Where there are many people who follow the way of Jesus Christ, there is much freedom from tyranny in government and there are many free resources for the poor (i.e food, medical care, etc.). There have been thousands of homes, hospitals and orphanages built around the world because of Christianity and the desire of Christians to love their neighbor. When people experience the love of Jesus Christ and choose to follow His ways, their lives improve and their community becomes a kinder, more prosperous place to live.