- In the voice of: Christian
- Spoken to: Christians
- Source Text: Matthew 26, Luke 22, Acts 7, John 13
Without writing down one instruction, Jesus left humans hope of eternity with three sets of brothers (and a few friends) who grew up in a fishing town of 1,500. How could this plan not work? They had a full year of following this teacher and healer (who never seemed to answered a question directly).
He told stories to answer everyone’s questions, but when the high priest asked, “I adjure you by the living God, that you tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said, “If I tell you, you won’t believe, and if I ask, you will in no way answer me or let me go. You have said it. Nevertheless, I tell you, after this you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the power of God, and coming on the clouds of the sky.” They all said, “Are you then the Son of God?” He said to them, “You say it, because I AM”
That’s when everyone knew… he was going to die. In that moment; the seed of Truth began to split open, but it was not until Steven’s murder (the first martyr), that everyone realized how crazy Christians are. A core doctrine of our belief is that we cannot verbally lie about knowing Christ, or he will disown us before God. While being murdered, Steven looked up into the sky and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. He said, “Look, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
That’s when everyone knew… he was going to die too. That is also when Christian craziness reached unbelievable standard. Before whichever stone ended his life, he echoed Jesus (when he was killed). As he kneeled down and cried with a loud voice, “Owner, don’t hold this wrong against them! They don’t know what they are doing.” There are pieces of Christianity which are easy to imitate, but the core of selfless service and forgiveness is impossible to fake.
A few centuries later (about the time power was really starting to get its tentacles into the church), some leaders met in a town called Nicea to come up with a commonly held clear baseline of belief for Christianity. (We call it the Nicean Creed).
This Creed still stands today:
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, Maker of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Owner, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally born of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, fathered, not made, consubstantial of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us humans and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his standard will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Owner, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy universal and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Long before that gathering at Nicea, Paul wrote a shorter, but brilliant, overview of what to look for when following Christ’s instruction that we should judge a tree by it’s fruit – offering, “The fruit of the spirit is love. Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control have no laws written against them.”
The best foundation of this community of Truth, came when Christ was questioned in the temple. A preist said, “which is the greatest commandment?” Jesus answered him,”The greatest is, ‘listen my people; the owner our source – God is one. You are to love the owner your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is like this; you are to love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. This is the description of our community being led by the spirit of Truth.