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October 28, 2021 6:39 am
Christianity is different than any other faith for one primary fact: we believe Jesus to be God's only son and the only way to salvation. Part 1.
Jesus was God's son claims that people who believe in him and his sacrificial death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins have eternal life. He said I am the one who came to live and die and was resurrected for the forgiveness of people since it is known as a self lifting Christianity is different than any other faith for the one primary fact that we believe Jesus to be God's only son only through Handy we have a personal relationship with God the father today.
David continues in his sleep series we can import look at what is about who Jesus is.
Today let's look at the exclusivity of Christ. So let's just do a bit of a root the first week we looked at the fact that there is objective truth in the world and Arthur echoes all around us.
That's just the really is absolute truth. The echoes around us, within us, for example, the echo of creation we see creation and its majesty should there be a create tour who gives us absolute truth, and the fine-tuning of the universe. If the earth was just a few miles closer to the sun would be burned if the oxygen didn't exist at the levels that exist. We cannot live here. The fine-tuning of the universe. The order of the world to design the majesty, the beauty of everything around us if there's beauty. There's got to be someone who defined that beauty. There's also morality. Every culture has moral laws with we have that inner conscience. Should there not also be a moral lawgiver who knows absolute truth, the cries for justice that people won't get away with the evil they've done in this world are accountable to the ultimate judge of this universe.
The cries for justice express an echo of the heart that there is absolute truth. And deep down all of us desire to be loved by a person intimately.
Personally, if that exist within us. There must be someone who wants to place us in that love relationship with him who is perfect love, who is the perfect lawgiver who is perfect truth, so we believe there is absolute truth in the universe, then the question comes from where does that absolute truth come and we who are followers of Jesus believe it comes through the word of God.
Last week I gave you the seven reasons I believe the Scripture can be reliable. The seventh one was that we Christians believe that Jesus is God.
Therefore, we must have his view toward the word of God in the Old Testament. He quoted it constantly.
If Jesus is God and he quoted from the Old Testament. Therefore the Old Testament must be the word of God in the New Testament, Jesus sent out his apostles into the world, he said to them, in John 1613, that the Holy Spirit who lives in you will bring to your mind and remembrance all that I have taught you kind of a supernatural promise for these apostles and as they went out into the world and spoke to the people who needed to hear about Jesus then wrote their letters to the church. They wrote with a sense that their apostolic authority was really speaking the very words of Jesus himself to those people and of the church.
So therefore if Jesus is God and he set out the apostles and said their words will be his words, then the words of the New Testament written by the apostles must be the word of God so that's what we believe the there is absolute truth. That truth is found in the Scripture. Jesus is God.
He's the one who reveals himself through the Scripture and then this causes folks many people to ask the question, are you sure that Jesus is God.
We say yes. The Scripture absolutely teaches it. John eight verses 56 through 59. He said your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day he saw it and was glad. So the Jews said to him you're not yet 50 years old and have you seen Abraham. Jesus said to them, truly, truly, I say to you whatever you hear Jesus I truly truly means. Really listen up.
This is really important before Abraham was, I am he uttered the unutterable description of God, as I am the way, God described himself to Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3 Yahweh I am and then he said, before Abraham ever existed. He existed that that means that Jesus was saying before the world was ever formed. I was a part of the triune God father son and Holy Spirit.
I was preexistent before Abraham ever existed. I am eternal in my concept and in my being amazing. They knew what he was saying. Why so they picked up stones to throw at him. Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
The Jews knew Jesus was claiming he was claiming to be God.
They wanted him dead. He blasphemed to be God and the death penalty needed to be upon him then about the 14th chapter versus 61 through 64 Jesus before Caiaphas the night before he was to face the cross being quizzed by the high priest, Jesus remained silent and made no answer. Again, the high priest asked him are you the Christ the son of the blessed and Jesus said I am Yahweh uttering the unutterable and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.
The prediction of his second coming that something a mere mortal would never predict God can go and the people knew what he was saying in the high priest tore his garments and said what further witnesses do we need you have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision, and they all condemned him as deserving death live, because he claimed to be God and the famous first John 316, Jesus said for God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Jesus was God's son and he claims that people who believe in him and his sacrificial death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins have eternal life. If I made that claim folks you would say I need to be locked up in a crazy person's prison. But Jesus did make those claims and were confronted as he makes those claims with these possibilities. Either he is a liar he is a crazy man or he's telling us the truth. Those are our only three options.
Some people today want to say Jesus was just a mere teacher. He was a grand philosopher, you don't have those options why he never said those things about himself.
He said I am the one who came to live and die and was resurrected for the forgiveness of people since I am God.
That was his claim, and what will you do with this Jesus the objections the people have at this point is what they believe is a circular argument. I say Jesus is God. The question is asked about what how do you know Jesus is God of the answer is will because the Bible says so how do you know the Bible is true with us because Jesus is God and he said the Bible is true. How do you know Jesus is God in the circular argument continues ad nausea.
In my opinion, that which breaks the circular argument is the resurrection. The resurrection in my opinion proves that Jesus is God and I will challenge all of you to think about the fact there have been people who come back to life only to die again.
There's only one man who's ever been raised from the dead, never ever to die again. The resurrection proves that Jesus is God.
Now there have been people throughout the ages who have tried very hard to deny the resurrection, and here are some of their explanations against the resurrection. First of all that the apostles merely saw hallucinations, but in first Corinthians chapter 15 Paul says that over 500 people saw Jesus raising the dead even list a couple of them my name Peter and James and then himself. Here's the explanations answer the 500+ people don't see the same hallucination that that doesn't happen psychologically, that just is impossible to occur, so the hallucination Siri's theory simply doesn't make sense on the basis of the eyewitnesses who all saw a similar risen Lord Jesus Christ. Second one people suggest the disciples went to the wrong tomb. Had they gone to the wrong tomb.
They would've quickly discovered the right one because Joseph of our Mafia gave the tomb to Jesus body and they would've known where that was. And it would've quickly given them the right place to go more over Romans and the Jews did not want Jesus to be raised from the dead. They didn't want the rumor about Jesus being raising the dead to occur.
So if they knew where the tomb was and they certainly did because Pontius Pilate the guards outside of that tomb. All they have to do is to go to that to produce a body and the whole movement is over game set match over produce a body and everything in its but they couldn't because there's no such thing as the disciples going to the wrong tomb. The third option is that the really Jesus really didn't die. It's called the swoon theory that he was almost dead on the cross but taken down and put into that cool tomb, and then he was revived, resuscitated, and then came out and went to his disciples and they together made up the whole idea of him being raising the dead to give his followers hope their silly flaws in that particular explanation. Let me give you several of them of first of all, how does a man who'd been beaten to almost an inch of his life be placed in the damp tune then rolled away from the inside of 1 ton stone building carefully guarded by crack Roman guards who knew that if anything happened with the resurrection. The pilot never wanted to happen. They would lose their lives, that he alludes them then goes to his disciples, and here is the most incredible part of this theory.
He looks to his disciples with his badly beaten and bruised body and says, here is your resurrection hope you can have a body just like this one and that causes them then to be willing to die for what they knew wasn't true, and have that kind of resurrection hope it simply doesn't make sense, every medical examiner who's ever looked at what's described in the New Testament about Jesus death knows that when the blood in the water mingled together coming out of his chest with a spear, being stuck in him indicates that he was dead. Water had filled his heart, an indication of death.
Fourth, the disciples stole the body for 200 years.
That's what the Jews offered that the disciples stole Jesus body that's what's offered to Pilate by the Jews in Matthew the 28th chapter. Here's the bottom line. Problem with that the disciples were Integris Jewish people.
They live by the 10 Commandments, one of which is thou shalt not bear false witness. That means first of all, they stole the body then lied about a resurrection and and secondly there willing to be persecuted and martyred for something they knew was a lie.
As I've said to you before, people may die for what they think is true but is really a lie like driving an airplane into a building and that will give you nirvana. Heaven immediately, but people don't willingly die suffer for what they know is alive, the disciples were Integris people. They didn't believe in line they wouldn't die for what is a life that opportunity makes no sense. Another one is that the body of Jesus was substituted on the cross. This is what the Koran teaches that God somehow miraculously form someone who looks just like Jesus and put him on the cross and Jesus really didn't die because there's no way Jesus this wonderful prophet could ever die on the cross. The problem with this is were trusting the Koran written 600 years after the life and death and resurrection of Jesus to be more powerful and authoritative and dependable than the eyewitnesses who work in the environment and saw the Jesus had been raised from the dead. Jesus had died on the cross.
Mary, the mother Jesus, other women, John with the foot of the cross and they saw Jesus on the cross. They knew it was Jesus full. She just got a make a decision either. The Koran is right saying the Jesus never went to the cross or the Bible is right that Jesus went to the cross and died on the cross.
They are contradictory to one another every philosophy demands that we live by the moral law of non-contradiction. You can have two opposite truths also be true. I tend to believe the eyewitnesses I tend to believe as Pascal, the famous mathematician said the one who's willing to have his throat cut for what he believed.
The disciples were willing to die because they knew Jesus had died and had been raised from the dead. Other people suggest that the New Testament was copied pagan resurrection stories. If any of you know your history, you know that Marmaduke and Adonis and other mythological pagan figures died and were raised from the dead and they became deities and other worlds religions. The problem you have with this particular perspective is first of all the eyewitnesses the eyewitnesses in the New Testament said that they saw Jesus raised from the dead. Secondly there willing to suffer martyrdom for that believe that they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, and thirdly, I would suggest to you that there are echoes of God in the universe as we began this message with and every person everywhere wants to believe in eternity wants to believe there's life after this one wants to believe will be reunited and I believe with all our loved ones and I believe God has placed that eternity within all of our hearts. Every single one of us in every culture everywhere. So naturally there would be mythological pagan stories about life, death and resurrection to fulfill that hope in their hearts. Those stories about Moore Duke and Adonis or truth. But the story about Jesus is true why we can rely upon the testimony of the eyewitnesses who were willing to die because they'd seen Jesus alive. And for those of you are skeptics, let me ask you a few questions right now.
First of all, how do you explain the transformation of the disciples. Let's just look at three of them. For example, the life of Peter. He was a coward.
He had run away from Jesus, but then he experienced the resurrected Jesus and cheap Peter then becomes the pillar of the Jewish church. He becomes a leader in the church and the legend has it that Peter died in Rome crucified upside down because he loved Jesus so much, why would Peter go from a coward to the pillar of the church unless he had seen a resurrected Jesus, what about James, the half-brother of Jesus. He was one of Jesus family that came to Jesus continually and said you're causing all kinds of problems you need to come home.
Your mom is worried about you.
Get yourself killed. Stop this foolishness and in the same James was a skeptic not only writes the book of James in the New Testament.
Not only becomes the leader of the Jerusalem Christian church. This James is willing to give his life for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why wanted to go from skeptic and critic to leader of the church, he'd seen a resurrected Lord Jesus Christ and also look at the apostle Paul. He actually persecuted Christians he killed dozens, maybe even hundreds of Christians. What moves this Paul from being a persecutor of the church to the major proclaimer of the gospel to the Gentile world. What caused that to occur. He had seen a resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus. How do you skeptics account for the dramatic life change. Of those disciples and others. Second, what about the massive Jewish social religious changes that occurred right after the resurrection.
For example, the Jews worshiped on Shabbat from Friday evening on through and through all day Saturday. Saturday was there worshiped day and suddenly by the snap of the fingers with a resurrected Lord Jesus. The early Jewish Christians changed the major worship day of the week from Saturday to Sunday because that was the day the disciples had seen Jesus raise from the dead, for the first time also Passover becomes the Lord's supper in the Christian tradition.
There's no more Temple sacrifices of the animals. How did this happen. How do you change massively important Jewish societal religious structures in one quick breath that had been in existence for over 1200 years.
How does that happen. It happens because these questions these Jewish believers have seen a resurrected Jesus and they transformed all their social structures and alignment to who they knew Jesus was third question, why did Jesus receive worship over and over again throughout the Bible. When people worshiped him. He received for example Thomas after he realized Jesus was raising the dead started worshiping him, and Jesus received that worship. He did not rebuke Thomas as a don't worship me. I'm a mere man. He received that worship because he knew he was God. Also, what about the forgiveness of sins. Jesus forgave sins over and over again in John 20 verse 23.
Forgive the disciples since he breathed the Holy Spirit upon them. Only God can forgive sins. You know, I can forgive you for something you did to hurt me that I can forgive. Ultimately, how you forgot only God can do that and Jesus forgave all our sins listening to known as a helpless child that thanks for listening, not joins me in a studio with a conversation about the relations that our current circumstances and our faith will be right in our community.
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Thanks so much for being with us today. It's great being with you as well. Jen will dated in this morning's moment of hope you have either our circumstances defines our faith where our faith defines our circumstances waning night not well Jen I think another way of saying that is a previous David is him that we had is you are either focusing on the size of the mountains in your life or your focusing on the size of your God in your life is one of the two. Everybody goes through difficult times. Bad circumstances happened every single one of us, but when they do notice I said when they do not. If they do, do we let circumstances define our faith or vice versa. Do we let the huge size of the mountain overcome our faith or do we let our huge faith overcome the size of the circumstances. Jesus said the tribulations happen to us all.
In John 1633, but don't forget the second half of this verse where Jesus says, but rejoice I have overcome the world. And if he lives in us that means his strength is in us to overcome the circumstances, the mountains, no matter how big they may be that we are facing. If our life is hidden in Jesus. We believe that he is working in everything for our good and his glory. Therefore, we look at life's circumstances through the lenses of faith, trust, hope God's perfect and eternal love and know that our daddy in heaven is in even our worst circumstances. Working all together for our good and his glory.
So again, what's your mind focused on the size of the problem or the size of your God.
The size of the mountain or the size of your God. The difficulty of your circumstances or the greatness of your God, you're focused on one or the other, may I exhort everyone today to focus on the greatness of your God. Don't let your circumstances define your faith, let your faith define your circumstances. I love the sound match and I needed to get back to this micro level, but doubts does little words, if and when for me right now is a game changer just to see that it's not in the face circumstances. There are hard, it's when.
And I just think us as believers when we are able to to say this. This was something I was supposed to walk into you, and there's a reason for this, and this is when it is when moments when we really can't lift our eyes to the Lord and ask for his help and his strategy to walk through and he will give it to us and what's interesting in that verse John 1633 Jesus said in this world you will have tribulations. That's right before he went to the cross is in the upper room discourse.
He is within hours of going to the cross. He also said right before that. In John 16 in John 15. The pupil is not greater than the master if I have to go through this, you're gonna have to go through this Jesus himself had to face huge tribulations, but he did so depending totally and completely upon his father in heaven.
Indeed, his last words on the cross were father, into your hands I commit my spirit. Knowing that three days later. That spirit would be enshrouded in a new perfect resurrection body and Jesus would be alive, so powerful think he sound match stated for these trees today. Thank you, Jen and listeners. If you would like to receive daily from me a written moment of hope, please go to moments of hope Church.org subscribed there free of charge for my heart to yours to give you a moment of hope and then moments of helping to make senior pastor as moments of hope charts, we would love to have you join us for worship this Sunday morning.
We meet at Providence day school located at 5800 Sardis Rd. in South Thailand at 10 AM. You can find more information on our website. Moments of hope Church.org again comes a Sunday morning at 10 and Providence day school located at 800 Sardis Rd. in South Thailand that it just isn't moments of hope Church.org for dated and the entire moments of hope charts James Easton asking for God's spirit to prevail