Christians and Truth ... because it matters.
The things Jesus did were not always popular . . . moving into the last verses of John chapter 14, we have seen that.
Neither are all of the things he said, maybe especially this one:
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me.
It is true: people get hostile over this statement of Jesus. I've felt it in various ways personally. But here's the thing: if what Jesus said was the truth, then we absolutely cannot back down, cannot dumb it down or make it more user friendly for the 21st century. Which begs the question: what is truth? And can we know it?
You see, it is so easy to be lulled into extraneous points of view and ways of thinking-- from being heavily influenced by materialism or worn down by the constant media barrage against Christian truths, to being made to feel ignorant because you actually believe the Bible(!), to being sucked into thinking it is true when some agnostic college professor in Boston says that science refutes Scripture, when in fact, science supports the truths of God’s Word--from intelligent design to human biology, and so. much more.
Here are the things we must know and understand as the basics of the historical, biblical Christian Faith~
the standard upon which these truths are based is the Bible.
1. God is an eternal being. In the beginning, God . . . God always was. He was not created. God had no beginning, he has no end. Revelation 4.11; Genesis 1.1; Revelation 22.13
2. The Godhead is triune – God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
You will not find the word "trinity" in the Bible; however, it is a description of both a biblical and a present reality. Each of the Three functions in different ways at different times--aware of the plan of God-the-Father in the vastness of time, space and history; aware of the redeeming, personal work of God-the-Son, both in his ministry on earth and in Heaven; and the comforting, quickening, wooing, convicting, inspiring, sweet Holy Spirit, who helps us in our weakness. John 1.1-3; Colossians 1.15,16; Genesis 1.2; Romans 8.26,27
3. God is the Creator. Genesis 1.1 through Genesis 2.3
God created the Heavens and the earth ~ Genesis 1.1
God created man in his image ~ Genesis 1.26
4. Sin changed everything. Mankind was separated from God by sin. Genesis 3. [What is sin? Rebellion against God, choosing our way over his way; pride, self-absorption. ‘But I don’t sin,’ folks say to me because they think the definition of sin is restricted to the ‘big’ things—murder, rape, stealing, etc. And because so many folks can make a case for white lies, as in the instance of protecting someone’s feelings, lying does not even make most people’s mental sin list anymore. Hence the reason that finite, imperfect beings do not set the standard for morality—the holiness of God does.
Because God loved us, the crown of his creation, he gave us free will--free will to choose to love him ~ to choose evil, (rebellion) . . . or good (obedience).
Romans 5.12 - One man-Adam, one woman-Eve: given everything to enjoy in the Garden of Eden, with the exception of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil--
Of that, they were forbidden. From the beginning, God required obedience of his children.
5. Grace ~ God's way of redemption was Jesus Christ and the Cross.
We were separated but pursued by our loving God who provided a way of escape for punishment of our sin. Ephesians 2.8
Salvation, being saved from ourselves and from separation from God now and forever, cannot be earned by maintaining a code or being a certain percentage holy. God does not grade on a curve.
6. Jesus Christ did what he said he would do -- he rose from the grave! All of Christianity hangs on the Resurrection . . . Check the historians of the day--not just the writers of Scripture. The Resurrection was a recognized miraculous occurrence. We serve a risen Savior. Yes! 1 Corinthians 15.3-4; Acts 2.23-24** remember, Peter was speaking to a large crowd, who would have shouted him down, were these things not known and accepted: Jesus was crucified, and he rose from the grave. >After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples and others.
Jesus assured his loved ones that he had indeed done what he told them he would do. John 16.6; 1 Corinthians 15.5-6; Acts 1.3
7. Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven to return to the right hand of the Father.
He stayed with the disciples and friends 40 more days and then assumed his rightful place in glory. Acts 1.9-11. What a glorious homecoming it must have been! Can you just picture God the Father welcoming home his beloved Son?
8. Christ will come again—in the same way he left—in the clouds.
This is not the end of the story . . . one day, Christ is coming back for his children. 1Thessalonians 4.16-17; Acts 1.11
9. The Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Scripture is purposed to inform, instruct, inspire, correct us, and lead us to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 3.16-17 It is the Word of God. How did we get it? 2 Peter 1.20-21.
10. We are called to be followers/disciples—not just fans--of Jesus Christ. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ Matthew 28.18-20
Disciples = sold-out followers of Jesus.
Disciples study God's Word, go to him in prayer, obey, follow Christ in baptism, partake of the Lord's Supper, and share the good news of the Gospel.
5/Prayer: Lord God, as I see headlines, listen to the news, there are so many lies, so many half-truths... even from "the Church". Give me the desire to search out and know the pure truth of your Word and what it says about You and me and forever. Praise God from your heart. Repent. Ask. Listen. Thank him for his good gifts. O, he is so good.