This series of videos endeavors to explore the essence of Christianity 101. Many of us have had to go back to the drawing board and start our spiritual path anew. But in our complex lives, it is easy to make things more complicated than they need to be.
Christianity 101 is not about Christology, eschatology, prophetic types and antitypes, or even whether our eternal destiny is heavenly or earthly. It’s not about history and dates and archeological records. Christianity 101 is about applying Christ’s teachings in our lives here and now. There is nothing wrong with the “deeper things”. But the “deeper things”, which often men often misunderstand and change their views on, should never come at the expense at the basic lessons Jesus came to Earth to teach. Nothing should supersede these primary teachings.
Luke 15 encapsulates what Christianity 101 is all about. As we explore the circumstances that led Jesus to give these three lessons and examine the Parable of the Lost Sheep, it should teach us much about our Heavenly Father, His Son, and the manner in which Christians should endeavor to imitate them.
Here, we explore the second of three parables in Luke 15, the Parable of the Lost Coin. It teaches us how much our Heavenly Father values us, sinners though we are. Should we not in turn value our fellowman, even those who have fallen onto a wayward path?
The lessons of Luke 15 are primary to the Good News that Christ taught, so much so, that a failure to truly understand these lessons could bring into question our Christianity and acceptance of the Good News. Here we begin to examine the last of three parables in Luke 15, the Prodigal Son. Our Heavenly Father is infinite in love and mercy, his arms wide open to any who have fallen onto a wayward course, either because of drifting off, getting lost between the cracks, or outright rebellion. How can we be more like our Heavenly Father? Let us listen to His Son and find out!
Here, we consider the second half of Christ’s parable of the Prodigal Son. In giving this third parable of Luke 15, our Lord gave us two parables in one. Here we focus on the actions and attitude of the Prodigal Son’s older brother and reflect on some of the many lessons we can glean from it.
The parable of the Good Samaritan contains two great lessons in one. It reiterates to us the law to love our neighbor as ourselves. But it also teaches us who can be a good neighbor and thus fulfill the law of love. If we truly understand what Jesus is saying this may challenge us, perhaps make us uncomfortable. But only then can we truly get the mind of Christ.
Judgmental environments can have undue influence on us. Slowly, we can become judgmental. Such an environment and attitude is diametrically opposed to Christianity. Ironically, such judgmental attitudes often come from those who claim to be Christian. Of course, this is not unique to religious fanatics. By nature or nurture, humans across every spectrum of belief, creed, and philosophy have shown judgmental tendencies. If we truly take Christ’s teachings to heart, we will strive to remove this tendency. It might take removing ourselves from the environment that is having undue influence upon us.
Among some groups of professed Christians, outsiders and former members are viewed as enemies. However, such a view is at odds with the basic teachings of Jesus Christ. If we truly apply Christianity 101, there would be no “us versus them” exclusivism. If we love our enemies, if we pray for them, if we treat them well, as challenging as it might be, we would prove ourselves true Christians. Imagine what a world this would be if every professed Christian took such a teaching seriously.