INTRODUCTION Salvation is a common belief for many religions despite the difference in their Supreme Being or Beings, which they seek deliverance from. In this research, a comparison between how salvation is viewed by Christians and Hindus will be examined so a conclusion can be formed. What is Christianity? Christianity is God’s revelation of himself and purpose to mankind. And his revelation was designed to bridge the gap between a rebellious world and a caring God. Christianity is found in most parts of the world, with in the region of one hundred million followers and could be the world’s largest religion.
There are many branches of Christianity, namely Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant churches. There are many Protestant Churches called denominations. They include Lutheran, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Pentecostals and many others. Protestant churches stress the importance of reading and understanding the bible. The members of these de-nominations are called Christians. Christians are described as people who follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. Christian teaching is written in the bible, which is divided into two parts called the Old and New Testaments.
The bible is also used by Christians during worship, and it serves as a guideline on how to live their lives. Christian Beliefs Christians has many beliefs, some of which will be mentioned below. Christians believe that the universe was fashioned by God. According to the scriptures God created the heaven and earth in six days, and rested on the seventh day. They also believe that it is wrong to act against God’s laws, for example; killing and stealing. Any action against God’s law is referred to as a sin. The bible teaches that Jesus, who was without sin, came to earth and sacrificed his life for the sins of the world.
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Christians believe in life after death, because Jesus was raised from the dead. They also believed that Eternal Life is a gift from God. Christians believe that there will be a judgment, when Jesus will judge the living and the dead. Christians believe in a God who offers salvation to all who wish to take it. But there is a cost, and that is for people to accept God as rulers over their lives, their thoughts, motivations and actions. What Jesus’ Death on the Cross means to Christian The most commonly used Christian symbol is the cross.
The cross is also important because his death on the cross mended the broken relationship between God and humanity. Christians used the word atonement to describe Jesus’ death on the cross. They also believed that Jesus redeemed mankind when he died on the cross. He paid the price for their sins. Jesus Christ died in our place, so that we will not suffer eternal death but become partakers of the life that he offers, we should have paid the penalty of eternal death ourselves since, we are the guilty ones. But the Saviour was willing to take our place.
That was what happened at the cross. “The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was given to commemorate the great deliverance as a result of the death of Christ. The Lord’s Supper is the Christian’s Passover. The bread is a symbol of his broken body and the wine signifies his spilt blood which is shed for many for the remission of sins. In scripture Paul wrote “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come’ (1 Cor. 11:26). It is God’s grace that will bring about the change we need in our daily lives which will enable us to do “good” works.
This race is free. It cannot be earned. It is undeserved favour from God. Satan is real, the battle is real, and only at the Cross was he defeated and his destruction made certain. Christian ways of Salvation Chris Wright in his book Beliefs, Questions and Issues stated that Christians are sometimes described as people who follow the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ. They believed that by looking at Jesus, a person can see what God is like. Christians worship the Creator of heaven and earth the Father the son of God Jesus Christ, who is the Creator of all things.
Most Christians believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ, to judge the living and dead. They believe that through Jesus’ death on the cross, salvation became possible as his death on the cross mended the broken relationship between God and humanity. This relationship was broken when humanity rebelled through sin against God. According to Oxford School Dictionary and thesaurus, salvation is the act of saving from loss or damage. This is a general view of the term. In the religion Christianity, salvation is saving souls from sin and its consequences.
Salvation is achievable by first accepting that a mistake was made and so the feeling of sorrow and guilt is experienced. This is the act of repentance, the sin is then confessed, and the act of forgiveness is desired. When this is done, the sinner’s desire is to forsake the sin. This is a combination of step two and three. The fourth step in the salvation process is justification. According to the book Growing in Christ, in justification the sinner is forgiven, acquitted of the charges of sin and reckoned righteousness. This act brings about the assurance of the believers acceptance. It also brings the joy of being united with God. ” Sanctification is a result of true repentance and justification. The word sanctification means holiness or consecration which is a result of what God does in us. The blood of Christ for many Christians brings forth transformation. The believer becomes a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Why do Christians need Salvation and how is it Achieved Christians need salvation because of sin, which is the transgression of the law.
The sin problem refers to the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, which brought to the earth the Great Controversary between good and evil. And it is God’s action to rescue his people from the destruction of sin, which brings about salvation. The consequence of sin is death. Human beings live their lives every day with the reality of sin and its effects. The effects of sin were so great that without a divine solution, there would be no solution. We should all be grateful that the solution was given. It is called “the plan of salvation” and its purpose is to solve the problem of sin
Only through Jesus Christ can one experience salvation, “for there is no other name under heaven given among men which we must be saved” Acts 4:12. The experience of salvation involves repentance, confession, forgiveness, justification and sanctification. Sins have to be confessed and repented of before it can be forgiven. Sin does not only have to do with wrongfully committed acts. It also includes the desire and fantasizing about things that we know are wrong. There is also a category of sin that usually referred to as “sins of omission. This is the willful neglect of duty; a conscious refusal to do something one knows ought to be done. As sinners who have violated God’s law, we can do nothing to make ourselves right with God. The only way to save us was for Jesus to pay the penalty in our stead and then offer us the perfect righteousness, which we claim by faith. We cannot earn our salvation; it is a gift of grace. The Origin of Hinduism Hinduism has its root in the interrelationship of two basic religious systems of the ancient civilization residing in the Indus Valley from the third millennium B. C. nd the religious beliefs brought to India by the Aryan people who began infiltrating the Indus Valley sometime after 2000 B. C. Most Hindus believe in one supreme Spirit, Brahman which is unchanging and eternal. He is also described as “Ultimate Reality” and the ‘Absolute’. Hindus worship a total of three hundred and thirty three million deities. For Hindus, these gods and goddesses are different aspects of Brahman, however the trimurti which is made up of Braham, Vishnu, and Shiva. Together they represent and control creation, preservation and destruction. Hindu Beliefs
For Hindus, death is not the end but merely the separation of the soul from the body. They believe that the body dies and the soul continues its eternal journey. Hindus believe in re-incarnation that the soul is re-embodied according to the law of Karma. The cycle of death and re-incarnation continues many times. Their ultimate goal is to attain moksha. Hindus cremate their dead, since they believe that this releases the soul to continue its journey. Hindus believe that every thought and action has consequences. This is the law of Karma. The goal of Hindus is to achieve moksha that is, to be free from that cycle.
To achieve moksha, it is important to follow the right path in life. The right path is called yoga. There are many forms namely: karma yoga is doing service for humanity; raj yoga is practicing self-control and meditation; bhakti yoga is the path of loving devotion; and jnana yoga is the path of knowledge and understanding through study and discipline. Hindus practice the spiritual exercises of meditation and yoga as ways to help them centre their thoughts on God. Hindu ways of Salvation In the religion of Hinduism, there are four aims of life.
They are Dharma - the aim to carry out ones duty, Artha - the aim to make an honest living, Kama – the aim to enjoy the pleasures of life and Moksha – the aim to become free from the cycle of rebirth. In Hinduism salvation is known as the fourth aim of life Moksha. Moksha is when an enlightened human being is freed from the cycle of life and death (the endless cycle of death and reincarnation) and comes into a state of completeness. He then becomes one with God. There are four ways to Moksha: The way of Action: This involves carrying our certain religious ceremonies, duties and rites.
The objective is to perform works without regard for personal gain. The Way of Knowledge: This requires using your mind and philosophy to come to a complete comprehension of the universe The Way of Devotion: Salvation is reached through acts of worship, based upon the love for a God (there are thousands of gods in Hinduism). The Royal Road: The use of meditation and yoga techniques. This method of reaching salvation is typically only used by wondering monks. Each of these ways to salvation in Hinduism requires that a person do certain things. Salvation is through what a Hindu does.
However, many Hindu believe that this salvation is only achievable by the caste system which is associated with reincarnation. According to Hindu teaching, there are four basic castes or social classes (and thousands of sub-groups within the castes). Each has its own rules and obligations pertaining to nearly all facet of life. At the top are the Brahmins or priests. Second in rank are the Kshatriyas or warriors and rulers. Third are the Vaisyas or merchants and farmers. Below these are the Shudras or laboring class. Salvation is possible only for the top three castes, which are called the “twice born. Outside the caste system are the untouchables or the outcastes. Though outlawed in India in the late 1940’s, many in the countryside are still considered outcastes. Conclusion Hindus are correct in their recognition that all is not right with the world and with human existence in it. They are correct as well in suggesting that the ultimate to the human dilemma is spiritual in nature. However, there is little common ground between Christianity and Hinduism. We will now look at a few more important areas. First Hinduism lacks any understanding that God created the world for a good purpose.
Also lacking is a conception of God as infinitely holy and righteous and as the one to whom we as humans are accountable for the way we conduct our lives. Another area of contrast between Hinduism and Christianity is the conception of human nature and of the source of our estrangement from God. According to Hindu teaching, man is divine at the core of his being. He is one with God. According to the biblical teaching, however, the source of our alienation from God, is not ignorance of our divinity, but our sinful rebellion against God and his purpose for our lives.
This now leads us to our final point—the way of salvation. According to most Hindu teaching, salvation from the cycle of reincarnation is achieved by our own efforts—whether through good works, meditation, or devotion to a deity. According to the Bible, however, our spiritual need is for deliverance from God’s judgment on our sin and for restoration to a life under his direction and care. This salvation can be provided only by God’s gracious and undeserved action in our behalf It is true that in certain Hindu groups there is a similar emphasis on God’s grace (probably as a result of past Christian influence).
But even here, there is a major distinction. The Hindu teaching about grace sees no need for atonement for sin, but simply offers forgiveness without any satisfaction of the judgment on sin required by a holy God. In contrast, the Christian gospel is this: God the Son became human, died a sacrificial death on the cross, making real forgiveness of sins against the real God possible to those you place complete trust in Christ. All who do so can experience true forgiveness, know God and his purpose for their lives, and have the assurance of Eternal Life with Him.
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