THE FOUNDER OF CHRISTIANITY
The heart of the Christian religion is found in Jesus Christ. If we desire to know what Christianity is and of what elements it is composed we must look to Him and His teachings. He is the great source of our knowledge of what God, man, sin, righteousness, duty and salvation are.
Our interest in the books of the Old Testament lies in the fact that they lead up to Him. We study the books of the New Testament because of their vivid portrayal of His life, teachings, death and resurrection. With Jesus Christ a new era dawned for the world with new principles, ideas and aspirations for humanity. His teachings touch every department of human life and, where they are accepted and followed, they show their marvellous transforming power. There can be no more important study than what Jesus Christ said and did while upon this earth. "Never man spake like this man" (John 7:46).WHAT CHRIST TAUGHT
There are five great lines which His teachings followed; they have to do with God, man, sin, salvation and the future life.
The Right Relation of God to Man and Man to God.—How does God regard man? and, How shall man look upon God? are questions upon which the best thought of men in all ages has been expended. Upon the answers given have been founded all sorts of religious and philosophical systems.
Man in this great universe desires to know in what relation he stands to the Author of it. Is man only a creature of fate? What does God care, great as He is, for one man?
Jesus Christ recognized this desire of man to know his standing with God and He proclaimed not only the power, but the Fatherhood of God. When He taught His disciples how to pray He began His immortal prayer not with "Great God of the universe," or "Creator of all things," but "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven" (Matthew 6:9). Here was a new conception of God.
Through Christ man comes into personal relations with God as the Father (John 16:27) who cares for him as a son. Man is to love and forgive as God loves and forgives in this relation of Father (Matthew 22:37; 6:14,15). Man is to do all that he does as in the sight of his Father in heaven (Matthew 6:1-26). God is made known as supreme love (John 3:16).
The Right Relation of Man to Man.—There are many causes which divide men into classes, castes and nationalities. Once divided men begin to develop a class feeling and pride which tend to deepen and widen the gulfs which separate them from each other.
With the truth proclaimed by Christ of the "Fatherhood of God" came also the great truth of the "Brotherhood of Man." The true relation of man to man, no matter what the caste, class, employment or nationality, is that of sons who have a common father. The second great commandment given by Christ is, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Matthew 22:39). When He took the example for a good neighbour He selected a Samaritan, a man of an alien race. Men are naturally inclined to do good to those who treat them well and whose help they need; but Christ, in carrying out this new law of brotherly love said, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:44-48)....