What is Christianity?
1 John 5:5
The Original State of Man; Original Sin and its Consequences
God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and watch over it. They were above all other creations of God and everything they did was without any trace of harm to themselves to each other, or to creation. God gave them one rule: they weren't allowed to the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The devil, in the form of a serpent, tempted Eve with the promise that she would become like God; he fooled Eve to put her own desires before God's will and convinced Adam to do the same. The sin our first parents committed was the sin of disobedience.
The consequences of Original were in affect right away. Adam and Eve lost their state of holiness and their friendship with God; they were banished from the Garden of Eden. Because of their mistake, they harmed their descendants; they introduced suffering and death, including the death of a soul (sin), to the whole world. The human mind and will were damaged and the human intellect became clouded and it is now incapable of fully understanding God's Laws. Because of this, a human has become unreliable to judge truthfully between good and evil. From now on, the human person is focused on meeting one's needs.
The Word Became Flesh
These are the four reasons the Word became flesh:
- to reunite man with God
The Fall of our first parents created a drift between God and the human race. Human beings on their own could never repair the damage caused by the sin of Adam and Eve, which is why sacrifice is necessary to repair the damage of caused by sin. A savior was needed that possessed the natures of God and Man, and Christ was the only one that could save man.
- to show the infinite depth of God's love
God became man to show all how much he loves them. He showed his love for man so people might serve him not out of fear but out of love. When Adam and Eve sinned, God did not give up on them but devised a plan of redemption. He became man and shared in the human experience. By becoming man, he offers overwhelming testimony of the extent of His love.
- to offer a model of holiness
God became incarnate to offer an example of holiness and show forth the dignity of the human person. He gave an example of how, with grace, a person can overcome the temptation of the world, the Devil, and the flesh.
- to allow people to share in his divine life
He wanted to experience his own divine life. The Gospels call people to share in God's divine life through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Participation in the life of God is made possible by the sanctifying graces Christ obtained through his redemption.
Because of His sacrifice on the cross, he saved everyone and died for their sins the Original Sin they were marked with (but is only washed away through baptism).
The Theological Virtues
Faith: raises the human mind and moves the will so a person can accept the supernatural truths revealed by God and put those truths into practice.
Hope: gives the mind and will the power to trust God will give all the means necessary to achieve everlasting life
Charity: enables a person to love God above all things and his neighbors as him or herself with the love of Christ
Prayer: How We Communicate with God
God answers all prayers; they may not be answered the way we hope them to be but only because they might conflict with His plan.
These are the three forms of prayer:
- vocal prayer: prayer that uses words
- meditative prayer: used to gain a greater understanding of the life of Christ or a certain mystery in the faith, as well as to deeper understand the truth could be used in life
- contemplative prayer: keeps a person in God's presence as he or she accepts his love
The three main difficulties often encountered in prayer:
- lack of time
- spiritual dryness
The Four Marks of the Church
- we acknowledge the uniqueness and the singularity of the Church. We profess faith in one God, we also believe in Jesus instituted One Church. The unity of the Church has its source in the one God in three persons
- she receives her holiness from Christ through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Church is holy because she originates from Christ and her goal is the glory of God and to bring all men into communication with God
-the word 'Catholic' means katholikos in Greek and translates to "universal" or "pertaining to the whole." The Church is Catholic because she is whole and complete; Christ has united himself to her entirely and has given her his holiness. Secondly, she is Catholic because she has received universal authority from Christ to fulfill her universal mission
- He chose twelve men to be witnesses to his resurrection. The Twelve Apostles were given the job of assisting Christ in ruling his kingdom. The Church is Apostolic because she is founded on the Apostles in a threefold sense: Apostolic Foundation, Apostolic Faith, & Apostolic Succession
The Last Things
-puts an end to human life as the time open to open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ.
-immediately refers his life to Christ, going through a period of purification, directly to his definitive state in Heaven or eternal condemnation
-state of everlasting life in which we see God, become like him in glory, and enjoy eternal happiness
-willingly choosing to be away from God
-the second coming of the Lord is known as the Parousia