INVESTIGATING THE CLAIMS OF JESUS--PART I
SERMON TITLE: HOW CAN WE KNOW THE CERTAINTY OF THE BIBLE?
SERMON THEME: WHO IS THIS JESUS?
INTRODUCTION: THE CHRISTIAN FAITH DOES NOT DEPEND ON THE ACCURACY OR INACCURACY OF 66 ANCIENT DOCUMENTS WE CALL THE BIBLE. FAITH DEPENDS ON THE IDENTITY OF A PERSON NAMED JESUS CHRIST.
II PETER 1:21
21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
· FAITH NEEDS TO BE BUILT ON FACTS AND NOT ON FEELINGS.
17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
THE STORY OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH IS BASED ON AN EVENT CALLED THE RESURRECTION FOLLOWED BY A MOVEMENT CALLED THE WAY WHICH WAS DOCUMENTED BY THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE EVENT.
FOUR FACTS ABOUT OUR FAITH
I) YOUR FAITH IS BASED ON HISTORICAL FACTS.
Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us,
· WHY WOULD LUKE EVEN TELL US THE STORY? BECAUSE SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY AND GOOD HAPPEN ON BEHALF OF NOT JUST THE PEOPLE OF JUDEA AND GALILEE, BUT ON BEHALF OF PEOPLE IN THE WHOLE WORLD.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
· CHRISTIANITY IS NOT JUST A RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHY, BUT RATHER IT IS ABOUT THE GOD WHO CREATED THE UNIVERSE AND SENT JESUS TO REVEAL HIMSELF TO US.
II) YOUR FAITH IS BASED ON VERIFIABLE FACTS.
2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.
THE WORK OF LUKE IS NOT A BIBLE STORY. IT IS LUKE TELLING US WHAT HAPPEN IN HIS LIFE TIME, BECAUSE IT WAS EXTRAORDINARY AND GOOD AND NEEDED TO BE TOLD TO EVERY GENERATION.
I JOHN 1:1
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.
· AS A CHRISTIAN WILL YOU TRUST YOUR FEELINGS OR WILL YOU TRUST THE FACTS OF YOUR FAITH AS GIVEN BY LUKE?
III) YOUR FAITH IS BASED ON AN ORDERLY ACCOUNT OF FACTS.
3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
· LUKE WROTE AN ORDERLY ACCOUNT SO HE MIGHT BE AN EYE WITNESS TO THE WORLD FOR OTHERS TO SHARE.
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
· BEING AN EYE WITNESS IS ABOUT FURTHERING THE KINGDOM OF GOD HERE ON EARTH.
IV) YOUR FAITH IS BASED ON THE CERTAINTY OF FACTS.
4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
· "CHRISTIANITY, IF FALSE, IS OF NO IMPORTANCE, AND IF TRUE, OF INFINITE IMPORTANCE. THE ONLY THING IT CANNOT BE IS MODERATELY IMPORTANT." C.S. Lewis
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
· LUKE WANTS YOU TO KNOW THAT CHRISTIANITY IS BIGGER THAN JUST ABOUT FAITH.
CONCLUSION: IF YOU CHOSE TO FOLLOW JESUS IT WILL REQUIRE SOMETHING OF YOU AND SOMETHING FROM YOU.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.