Christianity presents a whole new understanding of love. The father of Christianity, Judaism was based more on man’s fear of God. In ancient times gods were respected, feared and tributed, but nobody liked them as single personalities.
Love, as opposed to fear, respect and worship, is mutual – God loves a man, and man loves God. God loved man so much that He gave His only son – Jesus, to save us, people, to give eternal life, even despite the atrocities done by people during all these millennia. But God shows his love… And in the New Testament, God calls the people not the slaves, but friends.
God tells to love your neighbor regardless of their race (in the Old Testament, only Jews were God’s chosen). To love a neighbor as God loves people. Agape is necessary to approach this. But this love should not obscure the love for God.
The Christian doctrine says that sacrifice is an expression of love.
The value of the sacrifice is rather not in itself, but in the state of mind of the person who brings this sacrifice.
The Christian sacrifice is based on love, not on a sense of duty. Love is closely intertwined with sacrifice. «This is My commandment, love each other, as I loved you. There is no bigger love than as if someone laid down his life for their friends» (John 15: 12-13). So love is the source of sacrifice, when you give yours to your beloved. «Love is mercy…» (1 Cor. 13: 4).
Christianity calls for accepting your suffering. Jesus saved us through suffering, thus he showed the way of salvation. One shall live like Christ: to accept the cross and carry it for a lifetime. «And those who do not take the cross, and do not follow me, are not worth of me.» (Matthew, ch. 10, 38). Self-sacrifice is the highest stage of love.
God is the highest free being who creates, regardless of coercion or necessity. He always creates the highest good. Just like God, man is also endowed with freedom. Man has been made to do well in a continuous connection with God. Through this link the human freedom shall constantly grow, because only God is perfectly free.
But after the Fall man stepped on the path of evil. The Fall is a consequence of man’s abuse of their freedom. After the Fall man dropped to the lowest degree of freedom – the ability to choose between good and evil. When a person chooses good, they connect with God and grow in freedom, struggling with sin. When the person chooses evil, they partake of sin which is very difficult to clear.
Man is free to choose what to do; people have the freedom to choose between good and evil. Freedom is the gift of God. God did not want us to obey automatically, he wanted us choose a meaningful obedience voluntarily. God is like a loving father who wants to show the child the righteous path, not breaking the child’s will. He teaches us, listens to our prayers, and creates «accidental» situations that contribute to good, knowledge.
A Christian must be a strong-willed person. Their will must be directed for good.
Evil always opposes good. God created humans in His image and likeness. People are all inherently good. But when the first man sinned, then evil started to grow. The root of evil is the free will of man. The soul who does not do good deeds gradually becomes stale and causes sin, evil, and suffers the most from it. All evil can only come from the person. Good comes from God and man. If everyone loved each other, no one would offend their neighbors, commit robberies, murders, adultery.
People who do evil do not know God and love. Laziness and lack of faith are the path to evil. The roots of all evil are greed and selfishness. Arrogance is the beginning and end of every evil. Not only doing evil, but also not doing good is sin. Deeds of people determine their fate, sooner or later human righteousness will be rewarded, but human sinfulness will be punished. The suffering of people is a conviction human sins by God.
When Adam and Eve sinned, the evil came into the world that affected the man wholly, both spiritually and bodily. To make people realize how much they have committed evil, God allows evil to rule for some time. For human salvation to happen at the free will of the man, not by a compulsion of God, God did not just come into the world to save man in order to help them understand how bad they feel and ask their savior for help.
And only then it will be for their good and fair. When God sends His Son and enables each person to be saved with the example of their lives and the Gospel propagation. Christ taught people how to oppose evil and overcome it. For example, He teaches that if they hit your right cheek, then you should turn the left one. If you answered with a returning hit, you multiplied evil and did not overcome it. Evil may only be conquered with good. Before the coming of Christ, the people were guided by other principles: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. From this we can see how sinful people were.
Satan was the first to choose sin and created the path for the fall of man. Some theologians have made the following conclusion: all created angels were also granted the freedom of choice and had the time for the test: in the moment of creation the angels did not have the ultimate perfection and were intended to achieve it through the constant communication with God, which, in turn, provided them with ineffable bliss. But one of the closest to God cherubs – Lucifer – became tempted with his proximity to the Almighty and his role of a mediator between God and the angels who were the closest to Him.
Being kind, God destroys the consequences of evil and restores the good that has been destroyed.
Salvation from evil is repentance, good deeds, labors for God, life that follows the commandments. Only then come the spiritual abundance, humility, and fullness of love, glorification of God and purity.
Good makes man closer to God. Any kind of truthful good happens only with God’s help.
Christianity teaches that in order to do good it is not enough to love your neighbor, first you shall love God more than your neighbor. But those who say that they do not love the neighbor, and love only God, do not create good, but evil, and run into pride. Because you cannot love God, whom you do not see, when you do not love your neighbor whom you can see.
The Lord will put an end to evil with His second coming to the Earth.