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Showing posts from November, 2013

A Sure Faith, Part 2

(If you missed Part 1, you can read it here .) Did Jesus claim to be God? Another hypothesis for the origin of Christianity is that Jesus did exist but He never claimed to be anything more than a rabbi or guru. This view claims belief He was divine developed later. It was added to the historical Jesus at a later date. At the very least, as Dr. Yamauchi already pointed out (see Part 1 ), even without considering a single New Testament writing we can be sure that Jesus was worshipped as God by the beginning of the 2nd Century. Legends require time to develop. As stories get passed from generation to generation the details change. Over subsequent tellings, and after several generations, even the mundane can become something miraculous. And not just with fishing stories ("the fish was this big!"). Was there enough time for the historical Jesus to develop into the proposed legendary Jesus before He was worshipped as God? The extra-biblical testimony demonstrates tha

A Sure Faith, Part 1

In a recent post, we looked at what believers should do since Christ is risen from the dead. But there are many who claim that the Resurrection never happened. Some, like Earl Doherty, claim that Jesus never even existed, saying that He is nothing more than a myth. Others, acknowledge that Jesus was a historical person but deny either that He claimed to be divine, or that He physically rose from the dead, or both. Does the historicity of the Resurrection even matter? Are the claims of men like John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg that the historical, bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is unimportant to the Jesus of faith acceptable? Is there even a viable faith, without a historical resurrection? The answer to the question of whether or not the Resurrection matters is given to us explicitly in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is

The Call

Thanks be to God, " that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, 'WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.' For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek [Gentile or non-Jew]; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for 'WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.'" (Romans 10:9-13) Who can be saved from the wrath to come? The Scripture declares whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. What is it that results in righteousness? Is it by our own merits, efforts, and works? No. Rather, it is by believing in your heart that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead. What results in salvation? Having our good deeds outweigh our bad?

Nothing New

Solomon was right when he said: What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"? It has been already in the ages before us. Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 So often when I am speaking with those who are not followers of Christ, they point their fingers at God. They blame Him for evil. For their own lack of belief. For this or that problem. But this is nothing new. In Genesis we have the first account of God confronting a sinner. Adam's words are telling. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself." He

How Do You See Jesus?

How do you see Jesus? When you picture Him in your mind what do you see? Do you see Him as an infant? As a man? The Jesus you picture... are there holes in His hands and feet? Some imagine a Jesus that makes them comfortable. But there is only one Jesus. If we follow Him then we ought to follow Him as He truly is. Not how we imagine Him to be. In Revelation we see a description of the exalted Christ. When the Apostle John beholds Him, he " fell at his feet like a dead man " (1:17). It is important to remember the relationship that John had with Jesus prior to the Resurrection and exaltation of our Lord. John, the son of Zebedee, was part of the inner circle of Jesus (Mark 5:37; 14:33). He was the "disciple whom Jesus loved." John was so close with Jesus that he was reclining on Him at the Last Supper. When Jesus told the disciples that one would betray Him, Peter asked John to ask Christ who it was (John 13:22-25). When Jesus was arrested, most of the di

The God of Revelation

I recently read through the book of Revelation again. It's easy to focus on the amazing imagery or the descriptions of The Final Judgment or the New Jerusalem. One can get lost trying to figure out whether or not the descriptions are literal or figurative, whether they are describing events that have already happened (i.e. in the first and second century), or if they are describing things to come in the end times. As I was reading Revelation this last time through, 4:8 stuck out, And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME." The events in chapter 4 clearly take place in heaven (see 4:1-2). Verse 8 describes what these creatures sitting around the throne do without ceasing. They never stop declaring the holiness of God . What struck me as I was reading this book again, was how

The Marriage Feast

In Luke 22:1-14, Jesus tells the chief priests and the Pharisees the parable of the Marriage Feast. This parable is difficult. It's informative. It tells the reader/hearer much about the kingdom of heaven. We know Jesus is speaking about the kingdom of heaven in this parable. He says so in v. 2: The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son." We must keep in mind the original audience so we can understand the points of reference in the parable. Although the story is fictional, it communicates truth about the kingdom of heaven. It is intended to evoke a response in the hearers. Much like a joke elicits a laugh (at least a good one does). We have two figures in view in the parable so far: The King and his son. These figures can be identified as God the Father and God the Son (Jesus). That will hopefully become more clear as you continue to read. Jesus continues: And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to