The Beginnings of Early Christianity

Social IssuesReligion

  • Author Mark Slaney
  • Published February 26, 2023
  • Word count 555

Early Christianity began with the apostles who spoke in synagogues across Israel and throughout the Mediterranean. They explained to the Jews the new covenant that God established, of what Christ accomplished for the world, all told by the four gospel writers — Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Each writer gives an in-depth account of Christ’s teachings and what took place at Calvary.

What they taught explains the difference between what Jesus commanded us to do and man-made traditions. People had once learned it taught to be an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, but he declares: “To forgive your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Those teachings would support what the apostles taught on the doctrine of justification.

The Apostolic Teachings

The apostles who taught justification through faith alone can be explained in simple terms. For example, the word “repent” to many people means to turn from sinning, but it actually means to change one’s mind. How can we become righteous through a change of actions when we are reconciled by his act? Salvation does not come by our change of actions or our own contribution, for that would be self-righteousness and works of the law.

By realizing our condition as sinners, we are no longer under the law but under the grace of God, for the law is the knowledge of sin. We can accomplish nothing in the law, but we are bought with his blood without trying to measure our own sustainability. So when he died on the cross, sin was put to death to save those who believe on him without any additional requirements. But since the old man is dead and cleared from the law, faith is made evident by the fruit of the indwelling spirit — to love thy neighbor as thyself.

Those set of teachings would spread throughout the Roman Empire and to other parts of the world. But the Jewish people would rise up against Christianity to defend the law of Moses from the new covenant taught in Jerusalem.

The First Christian Martyr

Stephen, one of the seven deacons appointed by the apostles, explained the trinity: how there are three spiritual entities in one God: The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. The crowd reacted to Stephen by accusing him of believing in three different Gods, but he responded by saying they are one and the same.

Some of them became angry at Stephen and stirred up the crowd and the scribes, accusing him of blasphemy against Moses and God. They brought him to the court of Sanhedrin to dispute his case but were unable to defend their Mosaic religion against his wisdom and knowledge. So they dragged him to the Damascus gate and had him stoned as he became the first Christian martyr. Stephen had the face of an angel, was full of grace and fortitude, and showed great signs and wonders throughout his life.

One of the witnesses in the crowd was a man named Saul, who was a Roman citizen of the time. Saul was a Pharisee who approved of Stephen’s death, and the crowd laid down their garments to show their support. Saul went through a spiritual transition from a Jewish leader who killed to later become Paul, one of the most influential figures in the spread of Christianity.

I am a website owner and I write articles on various topics, including theology, church history, and prophecy. I have also published works for different writing companies and online publications.

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