The Gospels

The Gospels


Jesus Christ’s teachings can be found in the Gospels in the form of conversations with followers and descriptions of His deeds as well as miracles. The wide spread of Christianity, the need for uniform preaching, and the gradual death of the first generation of Christians provided the impetus for gathering and recording Christ’s teachings (Antonov 21). The oldest sources describing the life of Jesus Christ are the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

The main value of Jesus Christ’s teachings described in the Gospels is that they have made ideological and moral phenomena more understandable. By following the teachings of Christ, individuals can achieve happiness, though it is connected with the inevitable suffering. The primary aim of Christ’s teachings is to put people on the right track and make them understand the difference between sinful and purifying sufferings which help to cleanse the soul and get an inevitable reward.

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The General Ideas behind Christ’s Teachings

Christ’s teachings are the most developed system of rules which people should follow. Jesus Christ teaches individuals to love, support, help, and be kind to each other. He also urges them to forgive and not to judge other people. His teachings are accompanied by miracles that prove His divine origin such as healing the sick by a word or touch, raising the dead, turning water into wine, etc. All in all, Christ’s teachings help people to achieve the mental state that brings them closer to God and leads to spiritual perfection.

The key religious goal of Jesus Christ’s teachings is salvation. The specifics of the Christian understanding of salvation are expressed in the dogma of the Trinity. According to this dogma, God has three distinct persons such as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost united in a single divine essence (Germann 43). The Son of God assumed human nature to atone for the original sin. Salvation is the path to Jesus, spiritual unity with Him, purification, and transformation of sinful nature that lead individuals to the final deliverance from the power of sin. Thus, the primary aim of Christ’s teachings is to show people the existence of a powerful God and prove the necessity of believing in Him.

The main ethical Christ’s teachings are the moral laws described in the Sermon on the Mount. The sermon contains the rules which people should follow to get a reward from God. These rules begin with the word “blessed” and are also called the Beatitudes (Sadleir 47). By obeying them, a person can achieve happiness, bliss, and fullness in life. Moreover, if a Christian wants to get to heaven, he or she should do good to others, praise God, and avoid evil thoughts and actions.

According to Christ’s teachings, true Christian charity includes feeding the hungry, giving drinks to the thirsty, persuading sinners to repent of their sins, and praying for them. It is necessary to preserve the purity of the heart by confessing sins and asking for forgiveness (Germann 61). Genuine Christian believers should possess not external but internal moral dignity and bravely undergo all sufferings without losing faith in God.

Jesus Christ teaches that the human soul is immortal and urges every person to obey God’s laws on earth to achieve eternal bliss in the Kingdom of Heaven. His teachings are based on love not only for friends but also for enemies (Strauss 52). Jesus Christ also asks individuals to take care of those who are in need. Moreover, to obtain eternal life, people should have such characteristics as kindness, meekness, mercy, and purity. These characteristics and forgiving love are incompatible with anger, revenge, infliction of pain on another human being, resentment, and hostility. Therefore, the essence of Christ’s teachings is contrary to the supremacy and dominion of one person over another.

The Historical Context of the Times

The historical context of the Gospels proves that the texts are reliable, but it is difficult to apply them to all circumstances. Some texts are directly associated with the problem of salvation, while others encourage Christians to fulfill their mission and take care of the poor. The desire to write down all Christ’s teachings was caused by two important events – Jerusalem and the temple fell under the onslaught of the Roman army and apostasy became rampant in 70 B.C. (Strauss 47). Consequently, many epistles were written to help believers to find the correct path among surrounding disasters and conflicts.

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However, some fragments of Christ’s teachings were changed as they were open to foreign influence. During the period when teachings were created, Greek philosophy was filled with religious ideas that could be easily adapted to any faith (Germann 64). Therefore, many Christian concepts were borrowed mainly from Greek philosophy due to their perfect state.

Christian philosophy was formed under the influence of the ideas of Plato, Aristotle, stoics, and cynics. The idealistic view of the world and belief in the superiority of the spiritual over the material was adopted from Platonism. Christ’s teachings also used the Aristotelian perception of God as the origin and purpose of the world. The idea that the material world is permeated with spirits was borrowed from stoicism. Cynic philosophy encouraged Christians to realize that temporal things were unimportant. Skepticism was also used since it provided rational arguments to those people who saw the source of truth in revelation (Germann 62). However, despite the great influence of the above-mentioned philosophical schools, Christianity preserved some of its original ideas. Love for all people, mercy, kindness, forgiveness and a strong belief in God formed the basis of Christianity. Penance and contemplation also played an important role in the life of every Christian.

The State of Christianity by the Time of the First Millennium after Christ

Christianity had become widely spread by the time of the first millennium after Christ. It was chosen as the official religion of the Roman Empire under the rule of Emperor Constantine I. As a result, there was a need for uniformity of rituals, texts, Scriptures, and dogmas. The first Ecumenical Church Council was convened to resolve all these controversial issues (Antonov 37). The Council adopted the basic doctrines and tenets of the Christian faith. Christ’s teachings in the form of liturgical texts served as a guide on how human beings should behave in order not to commit sins. All in all, the formation of the basic Christian principles had been completed by the beginning of the first millennium.

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The eschatological ideas which formed the basis of the faith of early communities started to gradually disappear. Church leaders decided to exclude some parts of Christ’s teachings. For example, they removed the part where Jesus Christ explained the meaning of human existence, the essence of preachings, and belief in the coming of God’s Kingdom on earth. As a result, after some time, these teachings and the idea of the second coming of Jesus Christ were forgotten (Sadleir 51). The state and society did not need the belief in the coming of God’s Kingdom since Jesus saved all human beings when he was crucified. People believed that their faith in Jesus guaranteed salvation. Christ’s teachings were deprived of their integrity and lost their completeness to some extent.

The nature of Jesus had also changed by the beginning of the first millennium. Early Christians thought that the man, Jesus, ascended to heaven. However, according to the spiritualistic point of view, not the man ascended to heaven but the Son of God descended to earth to become a human. At that time, Christ’s teachings on moral life were transformed into a philosophical system that included ideas about Jesus’s nature.

The rejection of original strict ethical practices was aimed at reconciling Christians with the state. Early Christianity had been hostile to the state, however, later the situation changed as Christianity became the official religion (Sadleir 83). New Christianity emerged under the patronage of the ruling class. Christianity was no longer the religion of oppressed individuals, it was the religion of rulers and masses manipulated by them. The transformation of Christ’s teachings was necessary for the maintenance of social stability and preservation as well as the protection of the interests of the ruling class.


In conclusion, it is necessary to emphasize that Jesus Christ’s teachings have a huge impact on the Christian religion. They contain the basic ethical, religious, and philosophical views that formed the basis of Christianity. To adhere to Christ’s teachings, it is important to show patience, humility, kindness, and mercy. These qualities and sincere faith in God enable people to achieve true happiness. By the beginning of the first millennium, Jesus Christ’s teachings had discussed not a person’s life but a soul enslaved by the mind. All in all, only if people obey God’s rules, do not commit sins, love and support others, engage in charity, and praise God, they will be guaranteed salvation and eternal life in heaven.

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