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A Reasonable Faith

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews
The Truth Network Radio
September 29, 2021 12:00 pm

A Reasonable Faith

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews

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September 29, 2021 12:00 pm

Luke’s account is a fascinating, accurate, and reliable source for anyone who has questions about Jesus’ identity, mission, and relevance today. May God shine in your heart to give the light of the knowledge of his glory in the face of Jesus Christ as you study with us.

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Hello this is Matt slick from the match look like podcast ready from the Christian faith and lay out our foundational truths of God's word for chosen Truth Network podcasts of starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing The Truth Podcast Network.

This is the Truth Network do you feel like you're on a religious treadmill. Do you feel like Christianity is just a system of rules and regulations, I can do this. I can't do that.

Do you feel like your efforts to reach God. Find God, and please God. If you do you feel like your faith is dead or alive today.

Pastor Russ Andrews will walk us through Scripture to answer these questions join us on finding purpose of local tribal ministry glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living.

For more information and to connect with Russ Andrews and finding purpose could visit us online@findingpurpose.net or connect with us on Facebook.

Now let's listen to Russ Andrews as he teaches us how to be a Christian without being religious, we struggle with the Yale Law school graduate work for the Chicago Tribune 14 years as an investigative journalist and he approached every crime saying. Using this principle follow the evidence wherever it leads. And he was very gifted in a great mind and he was an excellent investigator and journalist have a when it came to matters of faith, he had not followed his own principal. Thus, at this point in his life.

He was an atheist. He said he believed that God was merely a product of wishful thinking of ancient mythology of primitive superstition. He said how could there be a loving God if he can sign people to hail just for not believing in him asking question struggle was trained as an expert in examining the evidence of crimes things he would examine every possible of evidence like a scientist looking through a microscope at a Boris. However, when it came to Christianity merely gave the evidence a cursory glance that's what so many mandate they just give it a they just give Jesus a cursory glance in 1979, the unthinkable happened.

Delay Strobel, his wife walked in the door and told him announced and that she had become a born-again Christian and Strobel couldn't believe that he said was the worst thing that could happen in his marriage and he gave really believe that his marriage was going in a divorce.

However, she began to observe his wife. He liked what he saw.

She didn't ask him to become a Christian.

She can try to convince him argue with him about her newfound faith.

Instead, she was more kind and caring and loving. She seemed to exude peace and confidence and hope and he was attracted to that. Eventually Strobel decided that he wanted to get to the bottom of what he calls these changes in his wife life so he began an all-out investigation into into the facts surrounding the case for Christianity.

He read books.

The interview experts. He asked questions he analyze history and explore archaeology and for the very first time in his life. He actually picked up a Bible and began to read it and over the course of time is skepticism gave way to two of of growing faith as he follow the evidence where it led.

Prompted by the results of his investigation at the age of 29 he told his wife that he too was now a born-again believer. If you want to read about how he became the faith. You can read his personal testimony in the in a book entitled the case for Christ in us a great book. Tonight's message is entitled to reasonable faith.

We are going to examine the first four verses of Luke, chapter 1 and by the way these four verses in the Greek text, or just one sentence, a beautiful imbalanced sentence that is considered one of the best compose sentences in the entire Greek New Testament, and here's how Dr. Luke is a position, begins his gospel to go follow along with me. I will be using the NIV translation is what Luke writes, beginning with Luke chapter 1 verse one. Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who, from the first witnesses and servants of the word therefore since I myself have carefully exhibit investigated everything from the beginning it seemed good also to make to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you've been taught from this one incredible great sentence I want to I want you to understand, listen, if you take away one thing out. You take away this tonight.

One key truth about Christianity.

Christianity is a reasonable faith, you see many people believe that to become a Christian requires blind faith. In other words, before you become a believer not heard this before, if you will become more than born-again or is you better check your brain at the door that could not be further from the truth. The Christian faith is a reasonable faith that is a Christian's faith. My faith grants faith is based upon reason faith when properly defined, is personal trust developed through the examination of reliable information such as that of an eyewitness account reason is the ability of your mind to process this information and usual intellect to come to real truth and logical conclusions.

Hebrews 11 one in the King James version goes like this. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. You see the Christian faith relies upon substance and evidence is in the same way that a husband has complete faith and trust in his wife. The coalition, the Christian faith is not based upon the unseen hearing is not based upon the unseen is based upon that which is known first Peter chapter 1 verse 13 says, therefore, prepare your minds for action and that's what were going to do this year when you come here on Tuesday night and when you pick up your study guide during the week you will have your mind fully engaged.

We go to prepare our minds each and every week to study God's word and listen if you do that with an open mind with an open heart and you ask God to you. Understanding he will Martin Darcy was just a believer once said there is no salvation saving truth in the royal road of truth is by the mind, Martin Lloyd Jones want to grants favorites once said, let us never forget that the message of the Bible is addressed primarily to the mind to your understanding God is given as a mind to be used to make reasonable decisions and judgments regarding his existence.

The truth of the gospel and the credibility of the Christian faith. Just like Strobel. All we have to do is follow the evidence, and then I'm telling you this, the evidence will lead us to the truth.

So why is Christianity a reasonable faith limit give you three reasons. First, Christianity is a reasonable faith because it is based upon fulfilled prophecy, Luke, who was a Gentile position.

He was a historian and theologian. He set out more than you might think about this more than 1900 years ago to carefully investigate every piece of information he could gather concerning the life and death and ministry of G of a man called Jesus not notice in verse one.

That Luke informs us of the many who would undertaken the task of drawing up an account of the things that have been fulfilled, fulfilled among them receipt. Luke wanted to make sure that Theophilus and anyone else who were the gospel of Luke and he didn't know this at the time, but even a group of men who would be sitting here on January September 7, 2021 that we actually have an accurate account but avoid drawing up an account refers to the act of writing a sequence of events as they happen in chronological order and that's what we have about what we would be spending two years in Luke and will will go deep. Luke the first of these events is the fulfillment of prophecies events that were happening among them that they were eyewitnesses of he calls them the fulfillment of prophecy. You see many of the events that were happening during the years that Jesus walked this earth were prophesied hundreds of years before they ever happened to John though this the Bible is the only book in the world that contains fulfilled prophecy. This know the book of Hassett, not Shelley.

One. The Quran doesn't the science of Confucius don't contain fulfilled prophecy. No other religion has a book like we have we have the only book in the world that contains fulfilled prophecy what prophecies was looking forward to.

He was referring to the Old Testament, which predicted hundreds of years in some case a thousand years earlier of one who would come into the world could be called the son of God who would lead them the promised Messiah.

The coming Savior of the world and the Old Testament predicted that this one who was coming would do incredible things, things that can only be defined as supernatural miracles. The prophet Isaiah lifts 700 years before the birth of Christ, and we have the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament in Isaiah chapter 7 verse 14. This great prophet prophesied. Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign evidence if you will, the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him what Emmanuelle God with us in Isaiah chapter 9 verse six he prophesied for to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be in her shoulders and he will be called wonderful Counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of peace. He went on to say that his kingdom would be an everlasting kingdom that would never come to an end. The prophet Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah and Micah 5 verse two he prophesied again 700 years before the birth of Christ. But you right here will go to see it.

The Old Testament is so specific it identifies each other to Bethlehem's and Israel. It identifies the one particular Bethlehem from which this promise Sadie would come listen but you, Bethlehem, Ephrata. That's the one, the one in Ephrata from that one though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come from the one who will be ruler of Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times, referring to his eternal tonality. Isaiah also prophesied that this Messiah will perform many wonderful miracles in Isaiah chapter 35 verses four through six. It says be strong. Do not fear your God will come, he will come with vengeance with divine retribution will he come to save you talking about Israel. Then with the house of the blind, the open and the ears of the death death unstopped then will the lame leap like deer in the mute tongue shout for joy in Matthew chapter 11, when John the Baptist was in prison. Can you imagine that if you were announcing the coming of the Messiah and also you find yourself in prison don't think you have a few doubts Hecate let me get locked up in prison. It is the Messiah, so he sent the disciples to Jesus and said are you the one who was to come, or should we expect somebody else out of the question. Jesus replied go back and report to John what you hear and see the blind receive sight, the lame walk does have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear the general raised and the good news is preached to the poor. He went on to say that no man born of woman is greater than John the Baptist. John the Baptist, of course, was beheaded by Herod. You see, I could go on and on. If we had all night there more than 300 prophecies in the Old Testament that will fulfilled in one man. A man by the name of Jesus.

You know what the odds of that are one in 10 to the 27th hour, which I love into what that number is that I don't know what it is especially an impossibility, but it happened.

So when I ask you. I plead with you if you come in tonight and you're not sure about your faith is. I want you to do stick with us. Follow the evidence, and it will lead you to the truth.

You see fulfilled prophecy will lead a reasonable man to Jesus.

That's what happened to the scrubber Christian. His original faith, not only because is based upon fulfilled prophecy but also its reasonable because is based upon eyewitness accounts look back again with me at verses one through two. Don't you guys to understand is critically new guys we stick to the Scripture here.

If second trouble if I wander away from the Scripture so I mostly anchor to the text and make sure that we understand it to his what Dr. Luke writes, many of undertaking to draw up an account of the things that been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who, from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word see these accounts were handed down in both oral and written form by eyewitnesses. Credible witness accounts are in essence a guarantee of the reactive reliability of the truth claims joy that credible now many credible eyewitness accounts are in essence a guarantee of the reliability of truth claims. That's why they are so important in a court of law.

All you need is really one, but in a murder case probably two or three and ask you what I came from that low.

The Bible most the laws of our land.

By the way started with the Bible just occasion figure that out so Luke did you read through the book of acts. You said he traveled all over Asia Minor and Greece with the apostle Paul with Mark with Timothy and with many others.

He himself had apparently not seen Jesus, therefore he relied on the eyewitness accounts of the men to travel with. And so is a historian just you can see this as a historian.

He took notes and he documented all that he heard these were credible witnesses, many of them listen, you know what really made in front of credible you know Nancy credible that he believes what he saying is willing to die for many of these eyewitnesses later die for what they believed, just like Menard and women are dying in Afghanistan right now as we sit in freedom there dying for their faith article know this puts I got her an email from a guy out at Southeastern Baptist theological seminary back when you know this whole thing blew up in Afghanistan and he said pray for the missionaries in Afghanistan because many of them believe that they're going to be seeing Jesus in the next 24 hours your lemmings is on whether we'll see him. That's if they God which no one many of them are a dead you think I want to come back there delighted that they got beheaded there delighted that they were you executed is nether with their Savior.

Do you have the counter faith in acts chapter 12, we learned that James the brother of John was the first Christian martyr of the early church. He was put to death by the sword on the order of King Herod Paul to was later beheaded in Rome under Emperor Nero for his faith in Jesus. Hebrews 11 versus 35 through 37 says others were tortured and refuse to be released so that they might gain a better resurrection some face jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. There was stone that was salt into they were put to death by the sword wanted wild that happened them. You know why because they were not deny their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And guess what, with a cross through death's door. He would not deny them. Luke listen to their stories. We travel with Paul and Mark and Timothy.

He heard about the miracles. But you know more than anything else. He looked into the rest of men like Peter and Paul you so he sulfate that was unshakable. He saw men who are ready and willing to die. He saw men who were eyewitnesses of his Majesty, first John chapter 1 verses one through three says again, this is the disciple John who wrote for second and third John shrugged in the back of the Bible right before Revelation and really first John is written to believers is to eventually examine to examine ourselves to see if were really in the faith in his what he says is is that which was from the beginning who's who's he talking about Jesus in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. In verse 14 of John chapter 1 and the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us that which was from the beginning, which referred which was seen with her eyes which we've looked at in our hands have touched this we proclaim concerning the word of life.

The life appeared.

We have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the father does appear to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us and our fellowship is with the father and with his son Jesus Christ. And then when you walk into here tonight. Some of you don't really understand what needs have fellowship with a Christian brother. Some of you don't really understand what it means to have fellowship with your heavenly father who we can actually call Bob which is another term for basically daddy that's our personal lives. Jesus is under my sheep and my sheep. What know me.

They hear my voice a call for them and they follow me. Listen if you don't have fellowship with God and you never said you never you never see heaven and only that you have fellowship with God and with his son Jesus is to believe these eyewitness accounts that have been recorded for us in the Bible not to have Luke will seven Matthew, Mark, John, Paul, Peter, James and Jude the desk.

The writers of the other out of the collective body out of the entire New Testament. By the way James and Jude were two of Jesus's half brothers. You can get a more eyewitness than that became the live them. Who can you believe so let me ask you question how many eyewitnesses do you need before you really willing to believe in God. God has given us so much evidence is ridiculous.

All we have to do is follow the evidence, and it will lead us to the truth. Can you see the Christianity really is a reasonable faith is reasonable because it based upon fulfilled prophecy is reasonable because is based upon eyewitness accounts and third is reasonable because is based on changed lives don't you look back again with the verses one and two.

Luke writes, many of undertaking to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who, from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word so Luke first points to eyewitnesses, and then he mentions service of the word, so it was the main by the servants of the word. This worse important to gonna go back and look at the great Warden really understand what that great Warden ancients of the great war, that you steer refers to someone who not only had personal knowledge of the facts but listen had personal experience of the facts lowers their lives have been changed.

The service or at all really. All ministers, they not only knew the truth, but their lives have been changed by the truth and that's where they went around the countryside preaching the gospel your they were doing.

They were testifying about how this gospel to change their lives and people consider changing them as you like and changed get people to change and you just the same old man you've always been. Listen, you cannot encounter the risen Christ and not have a changed life in John chapter 4. One of our favorite stores in the Bible Jesus encounters the Samaritan woman at the well. She was a woman of ill repute. She had had five husbands in the man she was currently shacking up with was not her husband. Jesus near the thing about her and what she doing when she realized who Jesus was, she dropped her water but bucket and she went back to her town. The reason she was. She was at this whale at high noon. Chris nobody went there when it had nine so she would be by herself and she was ashamed of herself when she went back to the town she told everyone. Come see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ is all she said you're the people did they flock out there to meet this man. You know while they went because he saw a woman whose life is been changed when Jesus was arrested in the garden all the disciples fled in fear including Peter and John. The letter denied Christ three times basic is a little girl questioned him fear concerning them that they can have any bonus in acts chapter 4 we wish we find we see Peter important John again and they had been arrested and thrown in jail because that out. They walked out the preaching about Jesus and they were brought before the Sanhedrin of the Sanhedrin was a group of religious leaders who would accuse Jesus of blasphemy and then condemned him to the cross and so now you can imagine Peter Jonas standing there before this august group who had the power to execute them. Verse eight says, then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit stood before them and boldly proclaim salvation is found in no one else, for there's no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved if universe 13 it says when the religious leaders saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with her. Jesus.

What do these religious leaders see Peter and John, this change lives will cause this change in Peter John one minute they were running for their lives in fear and now they were willing to die you know what happened. Hiroshima did and I saw the living Christ with their own two eyes and their lives were never the same again.

Paul's life was changed. One minute he had a letter from the high priest. He was headed to Damascus to arrest Christians and he encounter the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. He went on to become the greatest evangelist. The world has ever known. All because his life was changed because he saw Jesus listen. A changed life is the greatest evidence of the validity of the Christian faith.

People can argue against your truth claims they can try to refute the Bible, but the only response to you when you tell about your change life is silence. No one can argue with your personal testimony. Consider the blind man in John chapter 9, the religious leaders question you read this story tonight the religious leaders, even he was healed by Jesus and then the religious leaders summoned him and question him. They said it was his many huge and he really did not is a bigger profit then he threatened his parents with excommunication in the sum of the blind, then a second time and they are at this point there so angry they accused Jesus in front of him up in a blatant center like everybody else.

This is coming from the religious establishment.

You know what the blind man said. He said whether he's a sinner or not. I don't know one thing I do not want to outline now I can see can you say that you say. Once I was blown but now I see is your life or the been changed. If you surrender your life to the risen Christ in the summer when you get to go to heaven there is no other way. Jesus is on the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but from the being a Christian is not about being religious but about having a dynamic and alive relationship with Jesus Christ you been listening to finding purpose with pastor Russ Sanders, a local triangle ministry glorifying God by helping men and their purpose for living. You can discover more about finding your purpose in life by checking out the resources@writingpurpose.net will connect to finding purpose on Facebook pastor Russ would also like to extend a special invitation for you to join him in over 300 other local tribal men study God's word together every Tuesday night at 7 PM in downtown Raleigh. Find out more finding purpose.net.

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