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Were Jesus’s Miracles Only Symbolic?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
November 5, 2020 1:00 am

Were Jesus’s Miracles Only Symbolic?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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November 5, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 569 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

1. How do I know without a doubt that a choice I am making is God’s choice for me? It really feels like I am talking and listening to a wall 99% of the time.

2. I believe in the Trinity and in Jesus Christ, but what confuses me is that the Bible also says that “no one knows the day or hour” of Jesus’s return except for the Father. If Jesus is God, wouldn’t he know?

3. Does the bible say anything about the mistreatment of wild or domestic animals? I see so much of that going on today and was wondering if the bible addresses this.

4. I recently have become visually impaired. I have also heard that Jesus’s miracle of giving sight to the blind man was only symbolic of giving the man understanding to the gospel. What do you think?

 

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The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything by Fred Sanders

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In Jesus earthly ministry, he often performed miracles but some people claim. Those were only symbolic that they really happen.

That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's edition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer, along with my friend Pastor Adm. Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question. At 833, the court, that's 1-833-843-2673 and you can email us your question at questions at core, Christianity.com, we'd encourage you to continue to pray for our nation with the aftermath of the election this week, and a drill. I was thinking in addition to the election.

The other major thing that happened this week was daylight savings time came to an end on Sunday so I'm wondering how many clocks did you have to change in your house. I don't change any clocks because MES I have my computer and my cell phone and they do it for me, automatic. It's funny now that I think of it, I don't think we have one clock on our wall at home. We just don't care about time when you are going with the flow, so I thought this was interesting in England. Queen Elizabeth staff had to change over 1000 clocks roster homes in Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, and her other fancy places of the Queens 1000 clocks are large tower clocks so they're not particularly easy to change their to send some dude up there to move the hour hand back and they say it takes about 40 hours for the Queens staff to do the entire job wow well that's and that's exactly why I don't have clocks around my house because you know with all the rooms are not quite the Queens the states, but Hale has a drill pad with his phone and his computer automatically going back to our first question of the day. This one was posted on her Instagram account. How do I know that a choice I'm making is God's choice for me. I can't seem to find the right way to pray and listen. It feels like I'm talking to a wall.

99% of the time and it hurt my faith is a new Christian well brother I can say I totally understand that feeling. There have been times in my own life is well aware any praying to the Lord, but it feels like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling a not a sense of God's presence. I remember specially for myself is a newer Christian to that was one of the things I really struggled with because in the early early days and when I first began walking with the Lord. It did seem like I can really feel God's presence there was this a definitive change.

It might just been that if everything was so new, but then after a while you know those feelings went away and I started to wonder what was God still here with me. Has he abandoned me. Have I sinned in some way like what's going on and I think part of it is just growing in maturity and in the Christian life and realizing that God wants us to put our confidence not in how we feel. Whether we sense God's presence tangibly or not. There are times in our lives, we will feel God's presence very powerfully. Maybe in the context of a worship service. Your singing to the Lord are praying for your reading the Scriptures, but there are other times where you open up the Bible and go to church and you just don't have that strong sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit and that doesn't mean that God has left us with that he doesn't secure your prayers and think what will God is teaching us is that we ought to put our confidence in what he has said in his word, not in how we feel are looking for some some sign from heaven. Let me just say this to you some of the most godly people throughout the history of the church. I felt the very thing that you're feeling wondering God are you hearing me years ago. I remember reading CS Lewis's short little but I guess it would be more like journal entries is called a grief observed. It's what he wrote down reflecting upon the death of his wife and there's a passage there that when I first read it just brought me to tears. But listen to what he said as he was thinking about this very difficult question and suffering going this immense amount of suffering. He wrote this. Meanwhile, where is God. This is one of the most disquieting symptoms when you are happy so happy that you have no sense of needing him so happy that you are tempted to feel his claims upon you as an interruption. If you remember yourself, and turned to him with gratitude and praise.

You will be your so it feels welcomed with open arms go to him when your need is desperate when all other help is vain. What do you find a door slammed in your face and the sound of bolting" thing on the inside. After that silence, you may as well turn away. The longer you wait the more emphatic the silence will become. There are no lights in the windows. It might be an empty house, was it ever inhabited. It seems so once, and that seeming was as strong as this. What can this mean, why is he so present a commander in our time of prosperity and so very absent help in time of trouble is a really just a heavy passage. It also reminds me of what the psalmist said in Psalm 88 with the psalmist throughout that entire Psalm is crying out to the Lord is basically saying the same thing that CS Lewis was saying there God where are you, what you feel so distant, so absent, I call upon you day and night, and yet you do not answer me, as I just want to say to you that this is a part of the Christian life. There are seasons.

Seasons of suffering, seasons of the ordinary Christian life.

We don't feel the presence of God like we once did are likely will at some later point, and that is okay. What you have to do is put your confidence in God's word and what God has already said your question, I know how can I be confident in the choices that I'm making here is the very simple answer for you do they line up with God's revealed will what God has said in his word.

We oftentimes want God to speak to us from heaven. We've already given us his revelation in Scripture, and he speaks through the Scriptures study them know them and use godly wisdom to make everyday life decisions. And when you make those decisions in line with what God is revealed in his word.

You can be confident that you're doing what God wants you to do and that he hears you when you pray to him. John says this first John chapter 5 verses 14 and 15. This is the confidence that we have toward him that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us and if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

When you pray according to the will of God you pray in line with what the Scriptures teach, you can rest assured 100%, but the Lord hears you, and that the Lord is can answer your prayers.

Maybe not in your timing and the way that you would like. He promises to answer met the confidence that you can have annoyed her.

We often talk on this program about the danger of letting our emotions, letting our feelings about God being there God being distant rulers, instead of just resting on the objective truth of his word to us and I'm wondering if you could just talk about that for a second because it seems like so many of our listeners get tripped up by that yeah and it really is. I mean today what a lot of people think about religion and faith. They primarily rooted in feelings. I can't tell you how many people I talked to say I and I tried Christianity up distant feel right and then I went to a Buddhist temple or you know some New Age retreat and boy the feelings were there, so that must mean that it's true. A look truth is not determined by how you feel or don't feel that we feel different every single day and that's one of the dangers as we can.

We can think about the Christian faith. In this way will I feel it I feel the presence of Jesus, so he must be real. I'm not trying to harp on feelings or feelings are necessarily batting is nice to have those those feelings of God's presence. The feeling of joy.

The feeling of excitement when were worshiping the Lord, we don't rest our faith in our feelings. That's disastrous because they're always changing. We rest our faith in something so much more stable in what God has revealed in his word and I think as we mature in the faith. As we continue to grow in our relationship with the Lord we place more and more confidence in God's word because we know that we can trust him and we do and how we feel and that gives us stability in the Christian life so that instead of going back and forth and up and down the sort of spiritual roller coaster was solidly rooted in what God has done for us in his son Jesus Christ and what he's revealed in his word, and so what a call for all of us to know the word and to trust the God of the word MM your listing to core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and here's a question that came in from just through our Facebook account. He says I've had a big question weighing on me lately. The Bible talks about Jesus being the son of God, and yesterday at my church. The pastor kept referring to Jesus as God. I believe in Jesus Christ and I placed my faith in him. But what confuses me is the Bible also says that no one knows the day or hour of Jesus return except for the father. If Jesus is truly God wouldn't he know I fully accept Jesus as my Savior and the son of God, but I struggle to explain to my family how Jesus is also God. Can you shed some light on this for me as such an important question. You know, yeah, I said been preaching through the book of first John, we discovered that passage at our church where John talks about the spirit of the antichrist that is at work in the world today, and he makes it very clear that the primary mission of the spirit of the antichrist in the world today is to deceive us about who Jesus is.

He denies that Jesus is the Christ and at the heart of the Christian faith. To me this is core Christianity is who is Jesus and the devil is at work in the world today trying to convince people that Jesus is not who the Scriptures say that he is as of this is so important. I'm glad you asked this question actually him.

It was one of the most controversial questions that the church took up in the ancient days mean there were there were these false teachings. These heresies that denied things like the divinity of Christ and so the church had to respond to these teachings with the clear teaching of Scripture. What God is revealed in his word and the Bible teaches is you know just in the Old Testament and the New Testament, Jesus is God. Isaiah chapter 9 verse six, unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given in his name will be called wonderful Counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of peace, even there. And these prophecies of the Messiah and the Messiah is referred to as the mighty God we John in John chapter 1 verse one says in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God mean this is the clear teaching of the Scriptures you just find it in clear statements like that. But even in Jesus does. He is the creator by him all things were made apart from him nothing was made that was made.

John goes on to say at the beginning of his gospel, but then you run into passages like the one that you mentioned Mark chapter 13 verse 32 were Jesus said this concerning that day.

That is the final day that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the sun but only the father so I would make sense of it.

If the Bible very clearly teaches that Jesus is God everywhere. And then Jesus has this statement here where he says when it comes to the last day that the day of judgment.

The day of the second coming. No one knows that day or hour except for the father will typically an appeal has been made to the doctrine of the incarnation when God the eternal son assumed humanity that is, he took on flesh for you and for me, he embraced our weakness. So many of understood this verses is Jesus speaking in the context of his incarnation, his condescension and just another thing, especially with everything going on around us, you, here's another thing that you get from this passage very clearly amid don't make a timetable in terms of figuring out when the Lord is coming back.

Jesus makes it absolutely clear here. No one knows the day or the hour and and here again, he speaking in the context of his own condescension, not even the son he says if it's so crazy when people today try to assume you know that little little bill be sort of timetables of the second coming here is when the Lord is coming back.

Must be you know within the next five years, 10 years 40 years.

That kind but they will don't do that. Our job is to fix our eyes on Jesus to grow in holiness to grow in our love for God and for each other by the grace of the Holy Spirit and through understanding the Scriptures.

Let's commit ourselves to that in these days and see what the Lord does in us your listing to core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and as you may know, research has shown that a large percentage of kids from Christian families are leaving the faith as teens or young adults now have your parent. We have an excellent resource that will help you prevent that from happening. Yes it's called five ways to help your kids keep the faith.

It's free for you when you sign up for a weekly newsletter. We often do hear from parents were asking for advice on how to help their children grow in the Christian faith.

This resources practical and it includes down to earth ways to help your kids keep the faith this week, so don't miss out on this one had over to core Christianity.com/offers to download five ways to help your kids keep the faith. You can also call us for that resource or anyone of our resources.

Here's the number it's 833-843-2673. That's 833 the court that are listed to a call that came in from Sharon in Wisconsin thing about animals. Whether there's a mass girl while so much going on and I'm wondering if the Lord has addressed that in any place in the Bible. God bless you and have a good day by thank you so much or anything about the account of the creation. God making all things, including the animals and all things good and God delights in his creation, and there are passages of Scripture that do touch on this very question that you brought up Proverbs 27 verse 23 says this, whoever is righteous, has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel. Why think of that passages quoted in the New Testament by Paul when he writes to the Corinthians, Deuteronomy chapter 25 verse four that says you shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain. The idea there is that while the ox is treading out the grain of its muscle to get also feed on the grain that it's treading out and so it was just a way of caring for animals of both showing compassion to animals and so I would say sure in the Bible step absolutely clear the mistreatment or abuse of animals is not an okay thing. Another passage of Scripture that comes to mind is what the psalmist said in Psalm 104 versus 24 through 26, oh Lord, how manifold are your works in wisdom you have made them all. Here is the sea great and wide, which teems with creatures. Innumerable living things both small and great there go the ships and Leviathan which you formed to play in it that so interesting there in verse 26 Psalm 104, 26, the Leviathan, which you formed play in it.

The Hebrew word there can refer to laughter or making Mary the idea is God delights in his creation. Even the animals we should delight in creation to not abuse it or mistreated. And so, yes, there are numerous passages and those are just a few of the ones that I would go to Sharon and her let's go to another call that came in this one from Lavette in Dallas, Texas right Monica I would like a record low. Do not appreciate will not pick well will Lavette thank you so much for your question you had trouble hearing that question, Lavette mentioned that she just recently became vision impaired and she was listening to an audiobook, where they said that the miracles that Jesus did, in particular, one that she referred to was the healing of the blind, and that was that was more of a symbol of of something else.

A really important question are the miracles that Jesus did symbols just symbolic, or did he actually do these things but then she also brought up Bill. She was speaking to you let us have our candy corn.

I love the fact sheet she actually appeal to Scripture though for that to bill John the Baptist ate locust and honey that event that have tripled and here the last week before Halloween.

We were talking about the fact that the coating on candy corn is made from black bugs and so I was saying is probably not a good idea to eat candy core letters that work at the guard. Yes, well, Lavette. Amen to that. And you're right I think John the Baptist was. He might've been the one that invented candy go black bug in the honey and all that is going to get them is the original candy courts are to go but up yet. Let me just pray for you Lavette.

First, I'm sorry to hear that you recently became vision impaired money. Pray for you father thank you for the event. Thank you that she is your daughter and that she loves you and wants to grow in her faith in and study your word and father would we do ask for your healing in her life.

We know how difficult it is when our bodies begin to break down and vision begins to go pray for her word for your healing.

I pray even for restoration for her site and ask God that in all things Jesus you would be with her that you would cause her to continue to grow in the grace and the knowledge of your word and father that you would just bless her in Jesus name, amen. The passage I think you might be referring to let me there there a receipt different places in the Gospels were Jesus heals in and where he heals the blind. But there's one account in John chapter 9. In particular, I want to read the first few verses there John chapter 9 I'll read the beginning of the text as he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth and his disciples asked him, Rabbi, who send this man or his parents that he was born blind and Jesus answered it was not this man sinned, or his parents that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day night is coming when no one can work as long as I am in the world I am the light of the world. First, this wasn't just symbolic Lavette coming this man was really healed of his blindness and if you continue to read the story that that becomes absolutely clear what Jesus was doing more than just healing them in the signs in John's Gospel, the miracles that Jesus did oftentimes did point to a greater reality, and in this context, you know Jesus is saying I am the light of the world and he's giving a blind man vision and so in one sense it illustrates something to us of the identity of Jesus Christ. But that doesn't mean that the miracle was merely symbolic or that it didn't actually happen. There is theological liberalism that denies the miracles of Jesus in seminary, I had to read the work of a guy named Adolph von Harnack, which I would necessarily recommend to you that he was a quotable theologian who denied the miracles of Jesus. He said the real colonel of Christianity was the moral teachings of Jesus, the husky think about me and of the husk outside of the corn of the stuff you're just supposed to strip often and it was meant to be shut away. Will that was the miracles, those of the things that in a week we started do away with. That's not the real essence of Christianity. The real essence is the moral teachings love God, love your neighbor be a nice person. That kind of thing. Well, he was wrong. The kernel of Christianity. What we can't do without all, were the miracles you think of the resurrection to me posted if Jesus didn't actually rise again from the dead. If you didn't miraculously come back to life. We would still be in our sins and absolutely hopeless. Christianity would be pointless if seven prescriptive 15. If that's the case with eat and drink, for tomorrow we die tears. What we do or how we live.

But that's not the case. Christianity depends on the miraculous work of Jesus Christ. Jesus is miracles. Whether it was giving sight to the blind or walking on water or rising from the dead were not mere symbols legends that we read our own meaning into in their family.

There are churches today. That's how they interpret the miracles.

Even the resurrection of Jesus rising in our hearts are that kind of nonsense. No, they were real events that ground our faith, our hope now that doesn't mean that that the moral teachings of Christianity don't matter they do. But there rooted in the objective truth of the Christian faith. The reason we are driven to love one another to love our neighbors to love even our enemies because that's what Jesus did.

He loved his enemies he came he died for our sins and rose again from the dead, confirming the fact that used God as we talked about earlier in the program that we can really put our trust in him. Our hope in him and one day Lavette the same Jesus who gave sight to the blind man will restore your site may not be until glory. And when God raises your body up in perfect holiness you have that hope and so does everyone who is put their trust in Jesus Christ you know one of the things we've been talking about a little bit on this program is just that the goodness of creation. You think about it. Of the animal kingdom and will and that creatures that the Lord made how God delights in his creation, and even our bodies. Sometimes people today think you know that Christianity is all about the spirit, the soul. Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that one day we can be. These disembodied spirits and have been for floating around playing the harp that kind of thing will know the ultimate hope of the Christian faith is through Christ's work on our behalf the gospel the whole creation is going to be restored our bodies that break down that grow old and tired and weary that ultimately go down into the ground. One day, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ there going to be raised up. Remind yourself the fact that Jesus rose again from the dead, and that one day because you have faith in him due to will rise. Thanks for listening to court Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us at court, Christianity.com and click on offers and the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33, the court when you contact us.

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