I. Religious Authority
A. Hindu Religious Authorities
- Vedas – Collection of poems or hymns on Ethical conduct
- Brahmanas & Aranyakas – Deals with performance of rituals and sacrifices
- Upanishads – Deals with meditation, philosophy and consciousness
- Ramayana – Story of Rama dealing with good vs evil
- Mahabharata – Philosophical and devotional material
- Bhagvad Gita – Epic poem that deals with spiritual discourse
B. The Bible Doctrine of Authority
- Divine Revelation: Isaiah 55:8,9
- Spoken by God: 1 Thessalonians 2:13
- God’s will for mankind: John 16:13
- God preserves the Word: 1 Peter 1:22-25
- No other authority: Matthew 15:1-9,13
II. The Nature of God
A. The Hindu Concept of God
- God is an impersonal, eternal force having none of the attributes or characteristics of a human being
- Brahman is the concept of the Godhead found in Hinduism
- Brahman can be thought of as a sort of spirit force that has no personal qualities, but which pervades everything in the Universe
- The Divine Essence or Brahman manifests or expresses itself in the physical world in the form of physical beings that possess personality.
- There are three Supreme gods: Brahma, the creator, Vishnu, the preserver, and Siva, the destroyer.
- Avatars are incarnations of these gods who have come to earth as men – Examples: Rama, Krishna
- Religious teachers and dead ancestors are also worshiped.
B. The Bible Concept of God
- God possesses the characteristics of a living, personal spirit Being.
- Living (John 5:26); Loving (Jn 3:16; Rom 5:6-11); Speaking (Matt 3:17); Working (Jn 5:17,20); Knowing (Matt 6:8,32); Willing (Matt 7:21); Seeing (Matt 6:4,6,18)
- Man is not divine and cannot become God: Acts 10:25,26
- Our inner essence is that of God – False: Matthew 23:8-12
- There is only one true God: Deuteronomy 4:35-39
- Use of images in worship is forbidden: Exodus 20:4,5
III. Belief about Human Destiny
A. The Hindu Concept of Man’s Destiny
- Reincarnation: Begin a new life in a new body that may be human, animal or spiritual depending on the moral quality of the previous life’s actions
- Karma: Belief that whatever you do will come back to you, either in this life or the next
- Liberation – defined as being set free from the cycle of reincarnation.
- Hindus seek to be set free from birth, death, and rebirth.
B. The Bible Teaching about Man’s Destiny
- Death: Hebrews 9:27
- Resurrection: John 5:28,29
- Judgment: Hebrews 9:27
- Final destinies: Matthew 25:46
IV. The Doctrine of Salvation
A. The Hindu Concept of “Transcending”
- Good deeds (karma)
- Austerity and self-denial
- Devotion (worship)
- Meditation (Yoga)
B. The Bible Teaching about Salvation
- Our sins spiritually separate us from God – Romans 3:23
- God’s love and grace – John 3:16
- No human effort can achieve forgiveness or restore a relationship with God apart from the sacrifice of Jesus Christ Ephesians 2:8,9
- What do we need to –
- Believe – Mark 16:16; John 8:24.
- Repent of sins – Acts 17:30.
- Confess Christ – Romans 10:9,10.
- Be baptized – Acts 2:38; 22:16; Mark 16:16
- Live a faithful life – 1 Corinthians 15:58
1. What do you think is the main difference between Hindu religious texts verses the Bible?
2. How is the trinity in Hinduism different from Christianity?
3. After learning about Karma, Reincarnation, Yoga etc, how do you think these affects a person’s life in present-day society?
4. After learning about the basics of Hinduism, do you think you have more compassion for those born in this faith? Why or why not?
5. List out 5 major differences you have noticed between Hinduism and Christianity
6. Do you feel better equipped in sharing the Gospel of Jesus with a Hindu and explaining the difference in our beliefs? Why or why not?
7. If given a chance to share or witness to a Hindu, what would you share about Jesus that would show them the One True God and the assurance of heaven that only comes through Him?