Christianity is the life of God in Jesus at work in the people that believe in Him. Though not a religion (as it were), but in our context and to be able to bring home our point, we would consider it as one. In that case, Christianity is the largest religion in the world today with over 2.4 billion adherents out of the world’s population of 7 billion people.
As it is, we cannot talk about Christianity without talking about Christ, because Christianity originated with Him. Hence Christianity is a practice based upon the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. To the Christian, Jesus is the Son of God and God revealed in the flesh. He is the Messiah or Christ, termed the One anointed with the Holy Spirit to save, heal and to bring deliverance and redemption (from sin and Satan) to the human people. He is the Savior of the world and also one that is to return at the end of the ages to judge the living and the dead in righteousness and truth.
It is commonly agreed by almost all the more than 4200 religions in the world today that the human family began with God’s creation of Adam and Eve in a garden called the Garden of Eden, and that they were tempted by Satan in the form of a serpent to go against the direct commandment of God. When they obeyed Satan, sin came into the world and Satan took over the affairs and running of the human world. In this place of disobedience, man and woman fell from the place and position God placed them as His (God’s) under ruler of the earth and threw the entire creation into the hand of the devil-God’s enemy. But God had to do something to have them back, (just one thing) redeem them and that redemption was going to be by blood. That was what Jesus came to do for humanity, to redeem mankind back to God by shedding His blood on the cross to atone for humanity’s sin through His death, burial and resurrection.
That’s where the concept of Christianity came about. So to be a Christian, one must believe in the atoning blood of Christ for his salvation and redemption from sin and Satan and then go on to emulating the life of Christ recorded in the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, as practiced in the Acts of the Apostles by the first century followers of Christ and then explained in the epistles.
First, we are redeemed by His blood, and then we become followers (students) of His by completely following His practices, life and teachings. That’s what makes a Christian. It was this kind of life and practice by the first century believers of Christ that the people of Antioch saw that made them to term these Jesus followers “Christians.” They were like Christ in words and in actions. So a Christian is one who is saved by the blood of Christ through His faith in His atoning sacrifice and who best of all imitates Christ in all things.
Well then the movement called Christianity today was just one which began in Jerusalem and then spread to the then known world. But as time evolves and as it began to spread to people of different cultures and languages (as it is with the human people), factions began to set in (we first saw that faction setting in as recorded in the book of Acts of the Apostles chapters 6 and 7). As adherents were becoming more enlightened, they started seeing the practice of Christianity in different light and with different understanding; some started seeing what they could do differently and how they could even do it better than others, and the way it was already done. That was what brought about the different classes of professing Christians today. Thus we have Catholicism, Anglicanism, Evangelicalism, Orthodox Church and Protestantism-every faction believing they know better and can do better. While the Catholic Church claimed to retain the very original of the Christian faith and played host as the mother to all other factions, others believed they know better in a way and are there to restore a path or a truth and revelation that the mother has left out.
Anglicanism is actually a term for the Church of England, otherwise known as the Anglican Communion, and the various other churches that are tied to it by similar beliefs, practices as it concerns its worship and church structures.
Catholicism is the term used to describe the belief and practices of the Catholic Church faithful, which claims that there is one true church founded by Jesus Christ, that its bishops are the successors of Christ’s apostles, and that the pope is the successor to Saint Peter, who founded this Church.
Evangelicalism is another term for the body of Christians known as Evangelicals with strong emphasis on the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ’s atonement as the essence of the Gospel.
The Orthodox Church is supposedly the original church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and His early apostles. The Church is said to begin at the day of Pentecost with the 120 in the upper room in Jerusalem as recorded in Acts of the Apostles chapters 1 and 2.
Protestantism is a sect of the Christian body which was birthed on the premise of correcting the errors and excesses of the Roman Catholic Church. It has its origins in Germany in 1517 with Luther Ninety-Five Theses publication