Sunday, August 9, 2009

You CAN Know Jesus Is Who He Claimed to Be

When asked about God, Brad Pitt replied:

"I'm probably 20% atheist and 80% agnostic. I don't think anyone really knows. You'll either find out or not when you get there, until then there's no point thinking about it."

Contrast this statement with: Luke 1:1-4 (you CAN know with certainty)
1 John 1:1-3 (so you'll REALLY know)
John 20:30 & 31

QUESTION: Can we know???

Assuming: 1. the honesty and accuracy of New Testament writers..... (and we have every reason TO believe them)
2. the proper transmission of the text.... (with thousands of ancient manuscripts we can be certain)
3. a proper translation of the text...... (again, thousands of ancient manuscripts attest to this)
IF 1-3 are correct, THEN we can know A LOT about what REALLY matters.

If Jesus DID and SAID what's recorded, THEN here are some conclusions:

#1. Jesus was a whole lot more than just a good man, wise teacher, enlightened prophet, chosen instructor. Many people have struggled with this. Examples are Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, the Jewish leaders of Jesus' day: John 5:17 & 18 John 10: 30-33 They accused Him of blasphemy.

Contrast these with:
the Disciples (who were first hand witnesses to the reality of Jesus. They saw His miracles, head His teachings, were at the Mt. of Transfiguration, saw Him crucified, saw Him rise the third day, saw Him ascend in to Heaven.
John 1:1 John 20:28 Phil. 2:5 & 6

#2. He came (among other reasons) to REDEEM us. (buy back from our position in life)
Matt. 1:21 Luke 19:10 Matt. 16:21
Therefore: A. the cross was necessary (redemption required removal)
B. there is no (Biblical) Christianity without the cross. (Christianity is more than insight, counsel, challenge) The cross was ABSOLUTELY necessary.

#3. There is no other way. John 14:6 Acts 4:12
On one hand this raises a LOT of questions. However, the questions DO NOT alter the statements.

#4. We can know these things. Granted, there is a need for faith.
But, note: we have the acts, teachings, testimonies of those who were there, results (2000+ years of world changing from knowing Christ), AND, we have the Holy Spirit. John 16:6-8

#5. These things matter. John 3:16-18 You don't want to wait when you DO know.

BUT: #6. You Must Decide (and merely deciding is not enough.

#7. You Must Choose. Salvation is head, heart, and hands. Rev. 3:20
It is not enough to simply believe. You must act on that belief and "cross the bridge".

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