Expository Research EssayMs. WilsonFebruary 17, 2003 Christianity and the First Hundred YearsI. IntroductionA. Size of the church Even though the Christian faith is less than 2000 years old, it hasgrown to be the largest religion on earth, passing up religions far olderthan itself. In order to understand this phenomenon, you have to traceChristianity back to it’s roots. II.
The Beginning of the FaithA. Roman Rule By the time Jesus was born, The Roman Empire stretched from Britain onthe north to the Sahara on the south. At that time the empire was peacefuland prospering. The wars were over, and roman soldiers occupied themselveswith games, tournaments, and gambling. B.
Why the Jews hated Rome Jesus was Jewish. At the time of his birth the Jews hated roman rule. The Romans believed in many gods, while the Jews believed in one god. SomeJews thought their only hope of survival from Roman persecution was toadopt this Roman theology. Others became religious fanatics who formedresistance against Rome.Order now
Still others retreated into the wilderness tostudy Jewish law and wait for the coming of the messiah. III. The Arrival of Jesus ChristA. Birth Jesus was born to a plain, ordinary Jewish couple by the name ofJoseph and Mary. Joseph was a carpenter, and passed his skills onto hisfirst-born son Jesus. B.
Childhood Jesus revealed his sense of destiny, when at the age of twelve he wentto the synagogue and amazed the Jewish church leadership with his wisdomand understanding of the scriptures. C. Teachings At age 30, Jesus began his 3- year ministry – to save the lost, healthe sick, and offer salvation through belief in the one true God. Thesummation of his teachings boils down to two statements he made on twoseparate occasions. The first was the great commandment, which can be foundin Luke 10:27 -“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul andwith all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor asyourself.
‘”The second, which is known in Christian circles as “the great commission. “is found in Matthew 28:19-20:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in thename of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely Iam with you always, to the very end of the age. ” (NIV) Within these twoprinciples, the life and belief of the Christian faith hangs.
. D. Death Throughout his ministry, Jesus frequently called into question thesincerity of the religious leaders. At the same time, his popularity grewthroughout the Jewish world. As a result, great hatred and bitterness wasdirected towards him.
Plots against his life were planned on manyoccasions, yet each time he escaped unharmed. According to propheticscripture, Jesus had to be crucified and his blood shed at the appointedtime. Just prior to his execution, Jesus himself reminded the believersthat his life must be cut short in order to fulfill his eternal destiny. One of his closest companions, Judas, secretly conspired against Jesus andone night an angry mob led by the Jewish leaders captured Jesus.
Theyinterrogated him and brutally tortured him, then handed him over to theRoman government and demanded that he be crucified. He was taken to a hilland nailed to a cross, where he died. E. Resurrection Three days later, 2 women went to the tomb where the body of Jesus hadbeen placed. When they arrived they found the giant stone that was used toseal the tomb rolled away. When they went inside they found Jesus’ bodygone.
Christians believe that Jesus rose back to life, appearing severaltimes to his disciples. IV. The Church after Jesus’ DeathA. Apostles The 11 original disciples of Jesus became the church leadership as theearly church began to grow in numbers. Their primary role was to ministerto the Jewish-Christian churches.
Peter seemed to have the most influentialrole, which was represented by the meaning of his name. Jesus first usedthe name Peter due to its meaning – “rock”. Jesus was quoted as saying”That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church” (Matt16:18). James, the brother of Jesus, seems to have been given theleadership role in handling matters of doctrine and controversy. All 11 ofthe original disciples were later referred to as apostles as theirministerial callings became .