HISTORY OF CHRISTAINITY

HISTORY OF CHRISTAINITY

The history of Christianity is really the history of Western civilization. Christianity has had an all-pervasive influence on society at large—art, language, politics, law, family life, calendar dates, music, and the very way we think have all been colored by Christian influence for nearly two millennia. The story of the church, therefore, is an important one to know.History of Christianity - The Beginning of the Church
The church began 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection (c. A.D. 30). Jesus had promised that He would build His church (Matthew 16:18), and with the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), the church—ekklesia (the “called-out assembly”)—officially began. Three thousand people responded to Peter’s sermon that day and chose to follow Christ.The initial converts to Christianity were Jews or proselytes to Judaism, and the church was centered in Jerusalem. Because of this, Christianity was seen at first as a Jewish sect, akin to the Pharisees, the Sadducees, or the Essenes. However, what the apostles preached was radically different from what other Jewish groups were teaching. Jesus was the Jewish Messiah (the anointed King) who had come to fulfill the Law (Matthew 5:17) and institute a new covenant based on His death (Mark 14:24). This message, with its charge that they had killed their own Messiah, infuriated many Jewish leaders, and some, like Saul of Tarsus, took action to stamp out “the Way” (Acts 9:1-2).It is quite proper to say that Christianity has its roots in Judaism. The Old Testament laid the groundwork for the New, and it is impossible to fully understand Christianity without a working knowledge of the Old Testament (see the books of Matthew and Hebrews). The Old Testament explains the necessity of a Messiah, contains the history of the Messiah’s people, and predicts the Messiah’s coming. The New Testament, then, is all about the coming of Messiah and His work to save us from sin. In His life, Jesus fulfilled over 300 specific prophecies, proving that He was the One the Old Testament had anticipated.History of Christianity - The Growth of the Early Church. Not long after Pentecost, the doors to the church were opened to non-Jews. The evangelist Philip preached to the Samaritans (Acts 8:5), and many of them believed in Christ. The apostle Peter preached to the Gentile household of Cornelius (Acts 10), and they, too, received the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul (the former persecutor of the church) spread the gospel all over the Greco-Roman world, reaching as far as Rome itself (Acts 28:16) and possibly all the way to Spain.
By A.D. 70, the year Jerusalem was destroyed, most of the books of the New Testament had been completed and were circulating among the churches. For the next 240 years, Christians were persecuted by Rome—sometimes at random, sometimes by government edict. In the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the church leadership became more and more hierarchical as numbers increased. Several heresies were exposed and refuted during this time, and the New Testament canon was agreed upon. Persecution continued to intensify. History of Christianity - The Rise of the Roman Church
In A.D. 312, the Roman Emperor Constantine claimed to have had a conversion experience. About 70 years later, during the reign of Theodosius, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. Bishops were given places of honor in the government, and by A.D. 400, the terms “Roman” and “Christian” were virtually synonymous.After Constantine, then, Christians were no longer persecuted. In time, it was the pagans who came under persecution unless they “converted” to Christianity. Such forced conversions led to many people entering the church without a true change of heart. The pagans brought with them their idols and the practices they were accustomed to, and the church changed; icons, elaborate architecture, pilgrimages, and the veneration of saints were added to the simplicity of early church worship. About this same time, some Christians retreated from Rome, choosing to live in isolation as monks, and infant baptism was introduced as a means of washing away original sin.
Through the next centuries, various church councils were held in an attempt to determine the church’s official doctrine, to censure clerical abuses, and to make peace between warring factions. As the Roman Empire grew weaker, the church became more powerful, and many disagreements broke out between the churches in the West and those in the East. The Western (Latin) church, based in Rome, claimed apostolic authority over all other churches. The bishop of Rome had even begun calling himself the “Pope” (the Father). This did not sit well with the Eastern (Greek) church, based in Constantinople. Theological, political, procedural, and linguistic divides all contributed to the Great Schism in 1054, in which the Roman Catholic (“Universal”) Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church excommunicated each other and broke all ties.History of Christianity - The Middle Ages-During the Middle Ages in Europe, the Roman Catholic Church continued to hold power, with the popes claiming authority over all levels of life and living as kings. Corruption and greed in the church leadership was commonplace. From 1095 to 1204 the popes endorsed a series of bloody and expensive crusades in an effort to repel Muslim advances and liberate Jerusalem.
History of Christianity - The Reformation-Through the years, several individuals had tried to call attention to the theological, political, and human rights abuses of the Roman Church. All had been silenced in one way or another. But in 1517, a German monk named Martin Luther took a stand against the church, and everyone heard. With Luther came the Protestant Reformation, and the Middle Ages were brought to a close.
The Reformers, including Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli, differed in many finer points of theology, but they were consistent in their emphasis on the Bible’s supreme authority over church tradition and the fact that sinners are saved by grace through faith alone apart from works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Although Catholicism made a comeback in Europe, and a series of wars between Protestants and Catholics ensued, the Reformation had successfully dismantled the power of the Roman Catholic Church and helped open the door to the modern age.History of Christianity - The Age of Missions
From 1790 to 1900, the church showed an unprecedented interest in missionary work. Colonization had opened eyes to the need for missions, and industrialization had provided people with the financial ability to fund the missionaries. Missionaries went around the world preaching the gospel, and churches were established throughout the world.History of Christianity - The Modern ChurchToday, the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church have taken steps to mend their broken relationship, as have Catholics and Lutherans. The evangelical church is strongly independent and rooted firmly in Reformed theology. The church has also seen the rise of Pentecostalism, the charismatic movement, ecumenicalism, and various cults.
History of Christianity - What We Learn from Our History-If we learn nothing else from church history, we should at least recognize the importance of letting “the word of Christ dwell in [us] richly” (Colossians 3:16). Each of us is responsible to know what the Scripture says and to live by it. When the church forgets what the Bible teaches and ignores what Jesus taught, chaos reigns.There are many churches today, but only one gospel. It is “the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3). May we be careful to preserve that faith and pass it on without alteration, and the Lord will continue to fulfill His promise to build His church.

CONTROL YOUR TONGUE, CONTROL YOUR LIFE :For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body (James 3:2).The words you speak are a true measure of your spirituality. It makes no difference what others might think or say about you; what matters are the words that come out of your mouth every day, irrespective of who you may be talking to: God, men, yourself, circumstances, or nature. Be sure you always, speak gracious, faith-filled, and spirit-building words. Tame your tongue. The Apostle James likened the tongue to the rudder of a great ship that the captain uses to navigate the ship aright, irrespective of the fierce winds driving against it (James 3:4-5). This means that with your words, you can keep yourself in health, in faith, in success, and in the transcendent life. Don’t talk fear, lack or your inabilities. Talk the Word! Consciously put the Word on your lips.Isn’t it wonderful that with your tongue, you can disallow sickness, disease, infirmity, and weakness from your body? Always speak health and strength to your body. Many are sick, weak, broke and suffering today because of their careless talking through the years. Get your tongue under control and have your life under control! Use your tongue to come out of trouble, depression, sickness, pain, poverty, and frustration. Today, where you are, and what you are in life, are the result of your words. If the result isn’t such that you’re pleased with, you can consciously begin to chart a new course, and decide what the next five or ten years will be like for you. If the results are already wonderful, you can walk in greater glory and higher levels of success if you use your tongue right. Jesus said you shall have what you say. Therefore, use your tongue to beautify your life (Mark 11:23).Prayer: I have a glorious life in Christ. I’m sound, excellent, vibrant, righteous, healthy and aglow in the spirit. The circumstances of life align to God’s perfect will for me because I walk in the Word and exude wisdom and sound judgment. I walk in the glory of God, dispensing the goodness and love of Christ, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.*Psalm 34:12-13 What man [is he that] desireth life, [and] loveth [many] days, that he may see good? 13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.Proverbs 18:21 Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.FLEXIBILITY:To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. A true leader exhibits flexibility. Being flexible does not mean that you compromise on things you believe in. A leader must not be rigid. An old rigid tree will be broken, but a young supple tree can be bent over. Paul said that he became all things to all men so that he might save them all.Are you prepared to do anything to achieve good results? There are times that you may have to vary your dressing to flow with the people around. You are not always right In certain cultures, people are not punctual. When you state that the programme starts at six o'clock, they will leave their homes at six and be there at seven. If you are very rigid with your timing, you may end up preaching to empty chairs and closing your service as the majority of people walk in. A pastor must be flexible with ignorant baby sheep. Sometimes sheep will ask you to counsel them about things you have just preached about. The message is very clear but they still want you to talk to them.A leader tries new things. Try new ways of evangelism. Be open to methods that you did not invent. Listen to young people who have fresh ideas. Do not rigidly think that God only speaks through a grey-haired sixty-year-old prophet. Flexibility will allow you to receive from a twenty-year-old anointed youth.Start Your Day With a blessing!!On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"Jesus replied, "what is written in the law?" How do u read it?He answered, "love the lord your God with all your heart & with all your soul & strength &  with all your mind; &  love your neighbour as u love yourself."Jesus replied, u have answered correctly. Do this & you will live.But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, & who is my neighbour?In reply Jesus said, " A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him & went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, & when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a levite, when he came to the place & he saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; & when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him & bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil & wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn & took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii & gave them to the innkeepers. "Look after him,' he said, '& when I return, I will reimburse u for any extra expense u may have."Which of these three do u think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."Jesus told him, "Go & do likewise: "Love your neighbour as u love yourself" was part of the old testament law (Leviticus 19:18). But the Jewish teachers had often interpreted "neighbour" to include only people of their on nationality & religion. The expert in the law was looking to Jesus for justification for that interpretation, so he asked who is my neighbour?" In response, Jesus told him his famous Parable of the good Samaritan.In this parable, Jesus tells us that anyone in need is our neighbour, regardless of race, religion or nationality.I and my Father are one:We are made aware by the evidence of the scriptures that Jesus became a Son as a pattern for us, His brethren (Hebrews 2:10-11), having brought us into fellowship with the Father. The bible reveals our identity as a reflection of God's glory. You must come to the consciousness that everything that makes God glorious is in you because you have been made a son through faith in Christ Jesus.Though the believer operating in the very nature of God, does not partake in the Person of God (Godhead), we have the nature that makes us operate in the power and glory of God. This might sound blasphemous to the religious mind, but that is the position the Father Himself has placed us, and He expects us to operate in that realm. Jesus lived a victorious life in His position as a Son of God because He was conscious of the massive ability He possessed as a Son of God, as it has already been stated, He lived this way to enable us also know what great glory and power we posses as sons and daughters of God. You are full of glory and power because you have the very nature of the Father.Glory to the Father who has qualified me to be a partaker of His divine nature through my faith in Christ Jesus. I have the very glorious nature of the Father so I always reflect the glory that conforms to His nature. I am full of glory and power, always enjoying victory in all I do. I give hope to many because I am full of light. Glory to the Lord Jesus!
WORDS FROM A FATHER TO A SON ABOUT MARRIAGE):1. My son, if you keep spending on a woman and she never asked you if you’re saving or investing, and she keeps enjoying the attention, don’t marry her.2. My son, a woman could be a good wife to you, some could be a good mother to your children but if you’ve found a woman like a mother to you, your children and your family, please don’t let her go.3. My son, don’t confine the position of your wife to the kitchen, where did you get that from? Even in our days, we had farm-lands where they worked every morning . . . that was our office.4. My son, if I tell you that you’re the head of the house, don’t look at your pocket; look if you will see a smile on your wife’s face.5. My son, if you want to have a long life, let your wife be in-charge of your salary, it will be difficult for her to spend it when she’s aware of the home needs and bills to pay but if it’s in your care, she will keep you asking even when all has been spent.6. My son, don’t ever beat your woman, the pain in her body is nothing to be compared to the wound on her heart and that means you may be in trouble living with a wounded woman.7. My son, now that you’re married, if you live a bachelor kind of life with your wife, you will soon be single again.8. My son, in our days, we had many wives and many children because of our large farm-lands and many harvests, there are hardly any land for farming anymore, so embrace your woman closely.9. My son, under the cocoa tree that I did meet your mother could be your eateries and restaurants of nowadays, but remember, the closet thing we did there was to embrace each other.10. My son, don’t be carried away when you start making more money, instead of spending on those tiny legs that never knew how hard you worked to get it, spend it on that woman that stood by you all along.11. My son, when I threw little stones or whistled at the window of your mother father’s house, to call her out, it was not for sex, it was because I missed her so much.12. My son, remember, when you say your wife has changed, there could be something you’ve stopped doing too.13. My son, your mother, Asake rode the bicycle with me before I bought that tortoise car outside there, any woman that won’t endure with you in your little beginning should not enjoy your riches.14. My son, don’t compare your wife to any woman, there are ways she’s enduring you too and has she ever compared you to any man?15. My son, there is this thing you people call feminism, well, if a woman claim to have equal right with you in the house, divide all the bills into two equal parts, take one part and ask her to start paying the other part.16. My son, I met your mother a virgin and I took more yams to her father, if you don’t meet your wife a virgin, don’t blame her, what I didn’t tell you is that our women had prestige.17. My son, I didn’t send your sisters to school because I was foolish like many to think a female child won’t extend my family name, please don’t make that mistake, the kind of female achievers I see nowadays has made the male-gender an ordinary tag.18. My son, your mother have once locked up the cloth I was wearing and almost tore it because she was angry, I did not raise my hand to beat her because of a day like this, so that I can be proud to tell you that I never for once beat your mother.19. My son, in our days, our women had more of natural beauty, though I wouldn’t lie to you, some had minor painting of their appellation mostly on their arms, the ones you people now call tattoo, but don’t forget that they didn’t expose any part of their body like your women of nowadays.20. My son, your mother and I are not interested in what happens in your marriage, try to handle issues without always coming to us.21. My son, remember I bought your mother’s first sewing machine for her, help your wife achieve her dreams just as you’re pursuing yours.22. My son, don’t stop taking care of me and your mother, it’s a secret of growing old and having children to take care of you too.23. My son, pray with your family, there is a tomorrow you don’t know, talk to God that knows everything, everyday.She is always in Church, wearing faded jeans, an old T-shirt and slippers. She comes to clean and arrange the seats, decorate and clean the pulpit whenever it is dirty.For six years, she never missed a single Saturday coming to clean the ChurchOne Saturday, a young man walked into the Church while she was still arranging the chairs. He went and sat down watching as the lady was  working.He was impressed that a lady who looked quite beautiful even in the old clothes and a scarf over her hair could be so dedicated to her work in Church. He thought within himself that this was an unfortunate lady who probably had no one take care of her schooling and could probably be an orange seller or some petty trader struggling to make ends meet at the market stall. He watched and within his heart felt he knew what God wanted him to do. When he had felt a compulsion to come very early to Church, he had not understood but now he thought he did.He went back to his car and took out Naira notes. When the lady finished her work and was about leaving, he called her and commended her for her service and gave her the notes.She respectfully declined the notes but he insisted pressing it into her hands. He asked if she lived close so he could go drop her.She thanked him and told him that her car was outside, but he did not understand what she had just said. He walked her out determined to find out all he could about this lady that God wanted him to help change her level.They walked out of the Church with him telling her where he worked and how God had asked him to come early to Church that day and how he believed God is directing him to help make a big difference in her life. He was so busy talking he had not realized they had walked directly to a BMW X6 2017 limited Edition parked under trees in the parking lot.The car made his one year old Benz look like a worn out wheelbarrow.The lady opened the driver’s door stepped in and handed over her card to the man and said, “I believe God sent you here for a purpose, but I do not think it was to change my level, most likely it was to change yours.”I am tempted to say it took a forklift to shut the young man's mouth and move him from the place he was glued to as the lady drove off. God had a purpose for bringing him to Church that morning and that purpose was to teach him humility which he learned well.Many times we think so highly of ourselves that where God sends us to learn we go trying to teach.  We always imagine ourselves as teachers, never as students.Oh, teach us to be humble, Lord.
KEYS TO HAPPINESS :Did you know that at Harvard, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, the most popular and successful course teaches you how to learn to be happier?__ The Positive Psychology class taught by Ben Shahar attracts 1400 students per semester and 20% of Harvard graduates take this elective course. According to Ben Shahar, the class - which focuses on happiness, self-esteem and motivation - gives students the tools to succeed and face life with more joy._This 35-year-old teacher, considered by some to be "the happiness guru", highlights in his  key tips for improving the quality of our personal status and contributing to a positive life: Thank God for everything you have:  Write down 10 things you have in your life that give you happiness. Focus on the good things!Practice physical activity:Experts say exercising helps improve mood. 30 minutes of exercise is the best antidote against sadness and stress. Breakfast: Some people miss breakfast for lack of time or not to get fat. Studies show that breakfast gives you energy, helps you think and perform your activities successfully. Assertive : Ask what you want and say what you think. Being assertive helps improve your self-esteem. Being left and remaining silent creates sadness and hopelessness. Spend your money on experiences..a study found that 75% of people felt happier when they invested their money in travel, courses and classes; While only the rest said they felt happier when buying things: Face your challenges: Studies show that the more you postpone something, the more anxiety and tension you generate. Write short weekly lists of tasks and complete Put everywhere nice memories, phrases and photos of your loved ones: Fill your fridge, your computer, your desk, your room, YOUR LIFE of beautiful memories.Be greatful and be nice to other people: More than 100 inquiries state that just smiling changes the  Wear comfortable shoes : If your feet hurt you, you become moody, says Dr. Keinth Wapner, President of the American Orthopedics Associat: Walk straight with your shoulders slightly backwards and the front view helps to maintain a good mood. Listen to music (Praise God): It is proven that listening to music awakens you to sing, this will make your life What you eat has an impact on your mood *:- Do not skip meals, eat lightly every 3 to 4 hours and keep glucose levels stable.- Avoid excess white flour and sugar.- Eat everything! Healthy- Vary your food .Take care of yourself and feel attractive:70% of people say they feel happier when they think they look good. Fervently believe in God . With him nothing is impossible! Happiness is like a remote control, we lose it every time, we go crazy looking for it and many times without knowing it, we are sitting on top of it ...
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