To a devout Christian there is no life more important than that of Jesus Christ. His sacred teachings are fundamental to the way we live our lives, incorporating His principles in to everything we do, from daily prayers and Bible readings to personal hygiene and business interactions. To be a “Christian” is to follow Jesus example and instructions. Not every Christian, however, is fully aware of the essential elements that form the backbone of Jesus’ immutable teachings. The Gospels are a good starting point for referencing Christ’s lessons, but it helps, when seeking His wisdom, to keep in mind the simple underlying principles of His doctrine. Here are some of the core truths that Jesus preached to His loyal followers.
God is Love, and God loves us. The Creator God’s love is not some sappy sentimentalism. It is the principled benevolent concern of a parent toward his child. John 3:16. Because God is the perfect embodiment of love, and because love is a principle, not a feeling, He can love us unconditionally.
Repentance. Turning around, recognition of failure to love in return. The essence of “sin” is simply rejecting God’s love and instruction. John 14:15. “Confession” is the acknowledgement of something, and is the first step in understanding or change. Jesus understands that we are merely human, and that we are prone to making mistakes. Thus, Jesus makes a convincing point to take affirmative action with our sins by admitting to our faults and consciously making an effort to be more aware of our thoughts, attitudes, and actions so we won’t repeat past mistakes.
Forgiveness. It may be hard for us to confess our sins, but it’s much harder to forgive. Forgiveness cost Christ His life, and it will cost us something also. It is hard to forgive, especially when we are the one being wronged. Our pride often gets in the way. But, one of the core concepts Jesus taught was the need for forgiveness. In order to do this we have to have the same principled love that God has for us. But, true freedom and peace comes when we follow Christ’s lead and forgive those who have hurt us, without any pettiness and spite in our hearts, like He forgives us. Matthew 6:14, 15.
Compassion. The response to the recognition of what has been done for us. Mercy extended to us should translate into mercy extended others. Matthew 18:33. Love begets love. Our initial instinct when confronted with the ugly aspects of the world is to turn away from them. However, Jesus taught the importance of living a more compassionate life. He never shied away from any, regardless of their supposed station in society. There will always be those less fortunate then ourselves, to whom we can extend a helping hand. Matthew 7:12
Faith. Far too many people become pessimistic in life because they have lost confidence in their beliefs. Jesus was so firm and secure with His belief in God that, despite all the temptations, suffering, and evils that He faced throughout His life, He never doubted the overriding love of His Father. Christ is the perfect example of holding on to your faith even when the going gets tough. John 19:11
Sincerity. In a world filled with so much hate and lies, Jesus remains the gold standard when it comes to living a life without artifice or pretension. People spend too much time trying to be someone they’re not, just to impress others who are consumed with similar shallow ideals. Jesus was the genuine article. We too would be much better off being true to ourselves, and allow our words and actions to be truthful and sincere at all times. John7:46