It may sound obvious, yet many people fail to recognise that the true key to understanding Christianity is contained in the very word itself, CHRIST-ianity.
The key to understanding Christianity is understanding Christ. Christians aren’t just moral, well-behaved, religious people - they are people who believe that Jesus is the Christ!
The term Christ was used to describe the one whom God would send into the world as the ultimate Saviour; the one who would take what was wrong in God’s creation and make it right again. He was the one spoken of by the Old Testament prophets. He was the deliverer, the Messiah.
With the introduction of Christ on earth, God was effectively putting skin on, clothing himself in humanity and, in doing so, became ‘Immanuel’ (God with us.)
What is important to understand however, is that by becoming human, by donning flesh and entering the world as you and I did, God was not emptying Himself of being who He was, and is, and always will be.
Throughout scripture we see that Jesus made claims about Himself to prove that He was the Messiah:
1. Jesus claimed to be God(John 10:30-33 NIV)
2. Jesus claimed to fulfil the scriptures(John 5:39 NLT)
3. Jesus claimed to have come from heaven(John 3:13 NLT)
4. Jesus claimed to be sinless(1 Peter 1:18-19 NLT)
5. Jesus claimed to be able to forgive sin(Mark 2:5-7 NLT)
6. Jesus claimed to be the only way to heaven(John 14:6 NLT)
7. Jesus claimed to be able to give eternal life(John 6:40 NIV)
8. Jesus claimed to be the Christ(Mark 14:61-62 NIV)
The prolific writer CS Lewis put it this way:
"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with the man who says his is a poached egg - or else He would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman, or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."