Jesus emphatically said that there's only one true God.
Do you really believe that? Well, stay with me. You're not going to want to miss today. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. As most of you know, Chip's our regular Bible teacher, but for the past several programs, he's invited his good friend John Dickerson to share his insightful series, Jesus Loves Me, Essentials of the Christian Faith. John is an award-winning journalist, author, and lead pastor at Connection Point Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. In these trying times, Living on the Edge is committed to turning to new teachers like John for a fresh biblical perspective on the issues we're all facing.
Our mission, for Christians to live like Christians, remains the same, whether it's through Chip's teaching or the occasional new voice. Okay, let's get going and join John, where he left off last time, in his message, The One True God. We can summarize this series with a verse from Romans, chapter 1, verse 16. It says, I am not ashamed of the gospel. And that word gospel is really what we're learning in this series. The good news, how do you kind of summarize the message of Jesus? Well, when it comes to Jesus, we need to believe that He is God. One of my challenges as I've prayed for all of you in this series is, how do I take this and help us understand that this is not hypothetical?
This is not just like seminary stuff or big churchy words like divinity and trinity. This is very real. This is very tangible. Did you know that today, one out of three people in the world identify as Christians? That is 2.2 billion people. And to put that into context, the biggest celebrities on Instagram have about 100 million followers. Multiply their followers by 10, then multiply that by two, and then add another 200 million.
That's how many followers Jesus has, not who just think He's a nice guy or want to see pictures of Him on vacation, but who bow down and worship Him as God. This is the most influential person in all of human history. And so the question of who do you believe Jesus is, is the most important question that you'll ever answer in your life. You see if it's all made up and He's not God, but you choose to believe that, what will be the end result?
Well, you'll live a more moral life, and you'll have better relationships by following His example. But let's say that it's true that He actually is God. Let's say that His claims that He is the way, the truth, and the life are true.
Well, then the stakes are eternal. Belief in Him either leads to an eternal life or an eternal death. Secondly, Jesus is fully human without sin. This is part of what it means to be the Messiah.
The Messiah had to be human and feel our pain. He knows the sting of emotional rejection. He knows what it is to be made fun of as a kid. He knows the pain of a splinter under a fingernail. He knows the salty warmth of tears on His face. He felt our pain.
He was one of us. Almighty God humbled Himself and took upon Him the form of a man. And He further humbled Himself by going to the cross.
We'll explore what that cross was and why it's the ultimate symbol of love. When we say Jesus loves me, we're talking about what He did on the cross. But to do that, He had to be God, and He had to be man. Third, Jesus is the one true God within the Trinity. Now, you don't have to fully understand the Trinity to get this, and you don't even have to memorize this little saying. Really, the gist of today is that Jesus is God, okay? But here's what's beautiful about everything in the Christian life and everything with Jesus. You only have to have a childlike faith to receive it, and a four-year-old can understand it.
But if you want to go deeper, it just gets richer and richer and richer. And that's how it is with understanding the Trinity. The Bible's very clear, and Jesus' teaching is very clear, that there's only one God. Theologians call this monotheism, one God. And yet, Jesus taught over and over that He's God, and He has God the Father, and then there's this third part called God the Holy Spirit. And we know this from many, many verses.
Probably the most famous one is at the end of Jesus' life on earth before He ascended back to heaven, He said to His disciples, go and make more followers of Me, teaching them to obey all My commands, and then baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. So it's one God in three persons. It is a mystery, okay? If you're like, that doesn't quite totally make sense, I agree, okay? It's a mystery.
Our minds are a little bit smaller than the mind that created the universe. But what I want to say here is that if you want to know more about the Trinity, or even know more about Jesus' divinity, that is that He's God, you can be a self-feeder. So we talk here often about a packaging of the Bible that's called the Life Application Study Bible. Now the words of God in Scripture are unchanging, but what a study Bible is, is it's a Bible where you've kind of got some notes that walk you through what does this mean? And this is a Bible that really changed my life because it's all about how does the Word of God apply to your life? And I'll just show you, for example, if you were at home and you were wondering, what do I need to believe about Jesus?
You could look up in the back of your Life Application Study Bible, Jesus. And here's the first passage it would take you to, John chapter 1, verse 1. John 1, verse 1 says, in the beginning was the Word, capital W, it's a title for Jesus, and the Word was with God and the Word was God, so Jesus is God.
But then here's what this little footnote says, if you're like, what does that mean? It says this, John, the author of this book, shows Jesus as fully human and fully God. Although Jesus took upon Himself full humanity and lived as a man, He never ceased to be the eternal God who has always existed, the Creator and Sustainer of all things and the source of eternal life. This is the truth about Jesus and the foundation of all truth.
So any time you've got questions, you can come here, that's why we're here, that's why I get up in the mornings, to answer these questions, okay? But my desire for you as a shepherd and as a brother is for you to have a good study Bible like this so that throughout the week, day by day, you're able to learn more and go deeper even on your own. Now we're talking today, how do we access this power of God that leads to salvation? And we've learned that Jesus wasn't just a good teacher or a human, He was the Christ or the Messiah.
This message that I'm not ashamed of, the power of God that leads to salvation is that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the one true God. Well, I don't know if you've ever heard the saying, a watershed issue. Maybe you've heard that, I had heard that for a while and I didn't know what it meant, so I looked it up. A watershed is very simply where water goes when the rain falls, it runs downhill, eventually it finds a creek, that creek runs downhill and finds a river and keeps going to find a lake and eventually most water ends up back in the ocean and that's called the watershed, the path that the water takes. Well, there are places around the world where there's a divide, like the top of a mountain and if you were to drop a bucket of water there, one half of it will end up in one ocean and the other half will end up in the other.
It's called a watershed issue. So this is a literal place where if you were to drop a big bucket of water right here, half of it would eventually end up in the Pacific Ocean and the other half would end up in the Atlantic. Now, if you need to brush up on your geography, those are really far apart. Okay, so it starts close but it ends up at two totally far apart destinations.
In fact, here's a map of some of these continental divides, the watersheds around North America. So there's places all along this where within one square foot it's a world of difference and this is why our beliefs in Jesus are so important. If Jesus is just one God among many then many of the things he said are not true and he doesn't have the power to save us. If Jesus is just a man and a good teacher but not God, he also doesn't have the power to save us. To experience the power of God that brings salvation, I must believe intellectually but then in my heart that Jesus is the one true God. And this is where your will becomes involved.
Your parents can't decide this for you, your spouse can't. Only you can say I believe Jesus is God. That's why we call out to him to change us and rescue us and save us and set us free because he's God. Not just a good teacher but almighty God. I want to show you a story of this power of God that changes us from the inside out.
We know it existed 2,000 years ago because it launched this viral movement that has taken over the globe but this power is alive today. I could tell you so many stories. You're sitting in a room full of stories of people who've experienced the power of God. But let me show you just one. This is an NFL athlete who was a very powerful man and yet when he encountered Jesus he encountered an even stronger power.
Go ahead and take a look. When I was about five years old I got a rude awakening about who I was and what my color was all about. My uncle took me out in the backyard one day and he says, Ken, I want to tell you how rough your life is going to be growing up and living in Alabama. And he got down in a football stance and he took off as fast as he could go. Hit me, bam.
I flipped over rocks and dust flying and I cannot believe he had hurt me so badly. I said, what are you doing? He said, shut up.
Stand back up there, bam, bam, five, six times, bam. And I will never forget what he said. He took me, he stood me up and he says, let me tell you something, whites can never be trusted. You always have to keep your guard up.
You must be better or they will make you worse. My life changed that day. I believe in my honor.
And I graduated with honors in living that life. I was so mad and so prejudice. All the times of walking to the back of that bus. It was about me. All that frustration.
That's right. I was a man. I hated everybody. Anybody got in my way? I was driven by hatred.
Driven. My life is miserable. That was his emptiness. Not knowing that God had a plan. But it's stubborn, prejudice, hate, unbelieving, evil.
Do you think that there's anything on this earth that can change that type of prejudice? Well, I'm here to tell you, I ran into Jesus Christ. What God said is, let me tell you something, boy. And you know, God can call your boy.
That's fine with me. He says, I died for whites too. And if God died for everyone, who am I to have a prejudice thought towards any of God's creatures? Before I became a man, it was all about me.
It's what I wanted. It's about my revenge. It's about my prejudice. I dropped that hatred for whites into the love of Christ. And that's why to this very day, I will fight for white, black, red, yellow, brown, because the love of Christ changed me. Protected me.
Accepted me. And I do the same for all people. Now, that old prejudice guy married one of the whitest white women in the world. I got a cross-culture family. My white was German descent. I'm black. We got four German chocolate kids, two boys, two girls. Gorgeous.
They took out the mom. Praise God. See you pastor of a large church. 65% of the church is white. 35% is all ethnic groups.
Black, white, brown, red, yellow. That is the power changing Holy Spirit of God. And He can do the same for you.
My name is Kent Hutcherson, and I am second. The power of God that brings salvation is alive and well in our time. It can change anyone prejudice of any background. All of us have broken things that have been done to us, and part of the brokenness of humanity is that this injustice and this evil, things like racism and hatred, when they bump into us, very often our response is to then continue it onto someone else, and abuse becomes perpetual and cyclical. Racism becomes perpetual.
Prejudice becomes perpetual. And the God who made us and who designed us to live a life of unity and love with Him and others. When He looked down and saw all of humanity drowning in the sickness of our sin, He didn't walk away, but He humbled Himself. He became human in the person of Jesus.
He showed His power with miraculous deeds, and then He showed that He's God by raising from the dead. And then He made a prediction that's documented 2,000 years ago. He said to a little ragtag group of 120 people, the Holy Spirit's gonna come upon you, and you're gonna go and you're gonna make followers of me in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, and this movement of mine will spread to the ends of the earth. And Jesus made that prediction 2,000 years ago.
That's not controversial. That's well documented. What are the chances of someone in the ancient world saying, my followers will spread before there's airplanes or automobiles or electricity or even fax machines? My followers will spread all around the globe, and here we are 2,000 years later, and that impossible prediction has come true. Also, His prediction that He will set captives free.
Also, His prediction that those who are weary and burdened and come to Him that He will give them rest has come true over and over again. Ken, our brother who you saw in that video, actually is in heaven now. Ken had a cancer condition and at age 61 went home to be with the Lord, and the same power of Jesus that transformed him from a person defined by hate and the past and fear, transformed him into a person defined by love and the future and optimism, that same power is the power that gave Ken the ability to face death knowing the end of life here is not the end. It's just the beginning of an eternal life, and I can't wait to see Ken in heaven. And we're sitting in a room who just like Ken, very many of us have seen this kind of transformation. We weren't all NFL athletes.
Our stories aren't all quite as dramatic, but many of them are if you dig into the details. And God is in the business of changing people today because a proper belief in Jesus is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. So I just want to ask you three simple questions as we sort of review what we've learned today. Jesus is the one true God. First, did you know it's this simple? You don't have to learn those terms like Trinity, divinity, some of those big words I threw around. You don't have to know all those words to understand Jesus is the one true God. Do you know that? If you've been saying, yeah, I'm a follower of Jesus, I'm a Christian, but you didn't know that, it's important.
It's that simple. Second, do you know it's this important that it is a watershed issue whether or not you believe Jesus is God? And most importantly, have you decided what you believe?
Have you decided for yourself? Jesus, I do believe you're God, and yes, I believe it mentally as a fact, but really I believe it in my heart. And where I need changing, where I need rescue, where humanity's broken and where I'm broken, you are the solution, Jesus, as the one true God. In the book of Revelation at the very end of the Bible, it describes a future moment when Jesus will return to this earth and gather his followers to himself. And in that moment, Jesus, he's not gonna come as a baby in a manger. He's actually gonna come as a judge with a sword, with flames of fire in his eyes, scripture says, because you see all the rape, all the genocide, all the racism, all the evil and hatred of human history, it will be judged, it will be made right. And what Jesus says is, for all who trust in him, for all who believe in him, there is no judgment for us. That's what the cross was all about. He took our judgment at the cross. And the book of Revelation describes this moment when Jesus will be lifted up as God and every tribe and tongue and nation, all the people who've ever lived, will kneel before him and they'll bow before him.
And they'll say, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and they're not just gonna admire Jesus as a good teacher or an inspiring example, they're gonna worship him as Almighty God. And we have this choice now in this lifetime to say, do I believe that now? Do I wanna be forced to worship him as someone who resisted him?
Or do I wanna be part of his family and spend eternity with him? It's a watershed issue, what you believe about Jesus. It brings hope, it brings life, it brings purpose.
But it's not just a nice warm thing that, yeah, if you hit rock bottom, maybe try this. It does matter for eternity, what you choose to believe about Jesus. Well, I know there's someone listening right now and in this moment, God is speaking to you and he's prompting you to make a decision. Jesus once said, I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Jesus said that there are two roads, a narrow road that leads to salvation through him and a wide road of doing whatever we want that leads to eternal separation from God.
Which road are you on? I know that right now, God's stirring in someone's heart. He's calling you to make a decision to get onto that narrow road of salvation to decide today that Jesus is God and that Jesus will be your God. If you're wanting to receive God's free gift of salvation, you can do that right now. In fact, scripture promises you this in the book of Romans, if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and if you'll believe in your heart that he raised from the dead, then you will be saved.
So I want to give you an opportunity right now. Maybe you're reconfirming your belief as a follower of Jesus for your salvation or maybe you're believing for the first time. In either case right now, would you just wherever you are declare with your mouth Jesus is Lord?
You can say it out loud right now. Jesus, I believe your God. Jesus, I believe your Lord. And then that verse in Romans 10 says, if you declare that with your mouth and if you believe in your heart, remember, belief is a choice, not a feeling. I choose to believe that Jesus rose from the dead. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved. Please confess that today.
Believe that today. Seal your salvation by believing God's free gift today. And hey, if you're doing that, if you're recommitting or if you're believing for the first time, we would sure love to know here at Living on the Edge. We want to journey with you.
We want to get you the right resources. So I'd encourage you, let us know and let one other person of faith know that you've committed today and you've received God's free gift of salvation. If you prayed with John, we do have a free resource we'd like to put in your hands that was explicitly created for new believers. It's a tool that will help you gain a clear biblical understanding of what it means to put your faith in Jesus. Request this free resource by calling us at 888-333-6003 or by visiting livingontheedge.org, then clicking on the New Believers button.
That's livingontheedge.org or call 888-333-6003. Let us help you get started in your faith journey. Well, before we go, Chip's joined us in studio now. Chip, leading people to Jesus, like John just did, is one of our most important missions here at Living on the Edge.
But it's not the only one. Why don't you take a minute and share how else this ministry is impacting people. I'd be glad to, Dave. One of the great joys of my life is the letters, emails, Facebook messages that I get from people literally all around the country and all around the world, and they tell me these amazing stories of how Living on the Edge has been a tool used by God to change their life. Maybe you're one of those people that have really been impacted by the ministry.
I mean, I hear from people from every age, profession, background, every person imaginable. And what I hear is this same constant drumbeat of, God spoke to me. I took a step of faith.
Now God's using me. And what I want you to know is that that's the heart of our ministry. We want to put teaching and tools and small group materials and downloadable things that we actually give away to help people not just live like Christians, but be ambassadors and agents of change and grace in their homes, their schools, and their workplaces.
And if you're one of those people that God has impacted you and actually you're impacting others because of Living on the Edge, I have a very specific request. Would you consider becoming a monthly financial partner? And of course, it helps us practically, no doubt about it.
It would really help us to know that X amount of dollars are coming in from a monthly partner. But literally, even more than that, it's about a group of people saying, we want to be a part of this mission to make a difference in the crazy world that we're living in. We want to make an impact, and we want to make an impact with you all. God's spoken to us.
God's changed us. We want to help you help others. And so here's my request today. Would you pray and just simply say, Lord, if this is part of your desire for me to partner with Living on the Edge on a monthly basis, will you show me and then show me what that looks like and how much? And what I will say is whatever amount that is, it's perfect, whatever God shows you.
But what I long to see is people who partner that are on the team, a part of the family, and we make a difference together each and every day. Thank you in advance for doing whatever God shows you to do. Thanks, Chip. What a great encouragement. Well, if you want to be a part of Ministering to Believers all across the world, I hope you'll prayerfully consider becoming a monthly partner with Living on the Edge.
Your gift will go places and accomplish ministry work like you wouldn't believe. So let me encourage you to set up a recurring donation today at livingonthedge.org or through the Chip Ingram app. Or if it's easier, text donate to 741-41.
It's that easy. That's the word donate to 741-41. On behalf of Chip and the entire staff here, thank you for your prayers and financial support. Well, before we go, I want you to know about an easy way to listen to our extended teaching podcast. Hear Chip anytime on Amazon's Alexa Echo and Echo Dot. Just say, Alexa, open Living on the Edge, and you'll hear that day's extended teaching anytime you want. Well, for Chip and everyone here, this is Dave Drewy saying thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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