Who Founded Christianity?

Who Founded Christianity? May 5, 2016

Who founded Christianity?  Some say it was Abraham while others say it was Jesus Christ?

The Author and Founder of our Faith

The question about Who founded Christianity doesn’t take a Bible scholar to find out. One simple reading of what’s in the Bible allows anyone to see how God was progressively revealing Himself, generation after generation, book by book, until the full spectrum of God was revealed in Jesus Christ in the New Testament. There were many prophecies about Jesus Christ so it wasn’t like being left with an enigma.  Of course our finite human brains cannot possibly ever take in all of the infinite God, but we can know a great deal about God by reading about Jesus Christ and reading what He said.  The author of Hebrews makes it clear that we should be “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2) and so “it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering” (Heb 2:10).  So Jesus Christ is the Founder of our faith, He is the Perfecter our faith (2nd Cor 5:21), and He is the One and only way to saving faith (John 3:16).  There is no other way to the Father and the kingdom of heaven than through Jesus Christ (John 6:44; Acts 4:12).

The Way

In the beginning, long before they were ever called Christians, they were referred to as people of “the Way.”  That became synonymous with being a Christian or believer.  This shouldn’t surprise us because Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6), and as the Good Shepherd, He says “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9).  There is no other way and there is no other than Him.  During a time of severe persecution, thanks in large part to Saul, who would soon become the Apostle Paul, he asked the high priest “for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem” (Acts 9:2).  Notice that the “Way” is capitalized, just like Christianity or Christians are.  Luke (the author of Acts) writes as if the “Way” is a proper noun and it is!  The Way is a proper noun for the Church, and since He is the only way to God, it’s no wonder it became known as “the” Way.  Not one way of many or the pluralistic view that there are many paths to God.   Jesus reminds His listeners (and us, if we have ears to hear) that we must “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many” (Matt 7:13).  Based upon the numbers of people, simply mathematics tell us that there are many taking the easy path that leads to destruction, and the path has to be wide enough to accommodate the masses that are going that way.  A veritable sixty-lane highway!  If only they realized that the broadest of paths is the one that leads to the worst of destructions (Rev 20:12-15).  It’s not so amazing that there is only one path but that there is any path at all!  That’s why Jesus warned His listeners and all of us today, “the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matt 7:14).  Jesus’ point is; few will find the “Way” but many will find destruction.


The Great Commission

When Jesus was about to ascend back to the right hand of the Father, He gave the disciples His final marching orders in an imperative command form in the Greek: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt 28:19-20).  The disciples must have felt like falling over!  Go into “all the world!?”  How?  Today, the apostle’s doctrine or teaching (Acts 2:42) is found in the New Testament and is going into all the world and into all languages and tongues.  Jesus, of course, was right.  They did go into all the world, just not in the way that they had imagined.  Jesus sent them by His Word, the Word of God, the Bible!

The Birth of the Church?

Was the Day of Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit the birth of the church?  It may not have been because Jesus talked about the church long before the cross.   In the context of church discipline, Jesus said “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother” (Matt 18:15), however “if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.  If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector” (Matt 18:16-17).  Obviously this means that if someone is living in unrepentant, grievous sin like adultery, thievery, or malicious gossip, it needs to be put before the church as a whole, but only after the person’s been spoken with privately.  Then two or three try to speak with them, and then, and only then, is it brought before the church.  Jesus speaks as if the church already exists, in the present tense, however it is certainly possible that He could be referring to the church that will be birthed on the coming Day of Pentecost, after Jesus crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension.


If people only realized that the vast majority of people are heading down a broad highway to destruction, they might stop, turn around (repent) and go the other way (toward God) and put their trust in Him.  We know that it is only God the Holy Spirit Who can reveal a person’s need for saving and show them their sinful status before a Holy God, but God may use us as a means to His end by telling them about Christ.  God’s will is that none perish but all would come to saving faith in Jesus Christ (2nd Pet 3:9).  Is that our will too?  Do our actions show it?  I ask myself these same questions.   Lost sinners must see their sin and the dangerous position in which they living in without trusting in Christ, and be compelled to run to the cross for forgiveness and believing in the Son of God for eternal life (John 3:16).  No one knows the moment of their death so make today your day of salvation (2nd Cor 6:2) because immediately after death, there will be a judgment (Heb 9:27).   By all means, do not ever say to yourself, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry”’ when God may say, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be” (Luke 12:19-20)?

Article by Jack Wellman  

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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