John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
WHO IS JESUS AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BELIEVE IN HIM?
|THE BIBLE CLAIMS JESUS IS . . .|
|CREATOR||The Bible claims that Christ was the one who created this world and the universe.||Col 1:15-16 And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created by Him and for Him.|
|The Bible claims that Christ is the messiah, the anointed one.||John 1:41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).|
|JUDGE||The Bible states that Christ will be the judge of all mankind at the end of time.||2 Tim 4:1,2 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.|
|GOD||The Bible states in many places and in many ways that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh.||Mat 1:23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” –which means, “God with us.”
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:18 No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
|JESUS CLAIMED TO BE . . .|
|BREAD OF LIFE||John 6:35||“I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.|
|LIGHT OF THE WORLD||John 8:12||“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”|
|DOOR||John 10:9||“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.|
|GOOD SHEPHERD||John 10:11||“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.|
AND THE LIFE
|John 11:25||“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies,|
|THE WAY, TRUTH, AND LIFE||John 14:6||“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.|
|THE VINE||John 15:5||“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.|
|JESUS CLAIMED TO BE GOD|
|HE CLAIMED ONENESS WITH GOD||HE CLAIMED TO FORGIVE SINS||HE CLAIMED THE POWER OF LIFE|
|John 10:30-33 “I and the Father are one. The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me? The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”||Mark 2:5-7 And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven. But there were some of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?”||John 5:21 “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
|WE HAVE 3 CHOICES CONCERNING HIS CLAIMS|
|HE WAS A LIAR||HE WAS A LUNATIC||HE IS LORD|
|He knew He was not God, but He lied.||He thought He was God, but was mistaken.||He is God, He has the power of life and death and the power to forgive sins.|
|Therefore Jesus is a liar. He then is not sinless, and cannot be our savior.||Therefore Jesus was a lunatic. He was sincerely deluded into thinking that he was God and could forgive sins.||Therefore Jesus is Lord and ruler of the universe. His word is law, His life is our example, and His commandments are to be followed.|
|John 8:45-47||John 10:19-21||John 20:28,29|
|“But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”||At these words the Jews were again divided. Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him? But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”||Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God! Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”
|If Christ lied he was a sinner, and a deceiver. In fact the Bible should not be trusted at all because it would be full of lies. Christ would be a hypocrite, and a fool for dying on the cross.||If Christ was a lunatic he was demon-possessed and raving mad. Why should we listen to him or anything the Bible has to say.||If Christ is Lord then His word is Law. Everything that He said is our responsibility to obey. I must have faith in Him and obedience to His word.|
|YOU ONLY HAVE THREE CHOICES, WHICH ONE DO YOU BELIEVE?|
|WHAT FACTS ABOUT JESUS DO WE HAVE TO BASE OUR FAITH ON?|
|HIS FULFILLMENT OF OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES||There are over 60 different predictions about the coming Messiah that are found in the Old Testament. Christ fulfilled all of these prophecies which would be humanly impossible to do unless he was God.||Luke 24:44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”|
|HIS LIFE||He was sinless. No other person has ever lived a sinless life. Christ had many enemies and if he had sinned they would have been sure to point out His sins. No man can live a sinless life, therefore He must be God.||John 8:45-47 “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”
2 Cor 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
1 Pet 2:22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
|HIS MIRACLES||Christ performed many miracles (He raised the dead, healed the sick, and caused the blind to see) that can not be explained unless he was God.||John 20:30,31 Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.|
|HIS RESURRECTION||The resurrection of Christ is the greatest proof for Christ being God. No other religion has a claim of a risen savior. Every other religious leader died and you can go to their grave. The empty tomb is the irrefutable evidence that Christ is God, now and forever more.||Rom 1:4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,
Acts 2:32 “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.
1 Cor 15:14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.
|HIS INFLUENCE||If Christ had been a liar or a lunatic would his followers have been willing to die for him. If His resurrection had been a hoax would his disciples have been willing to give their lives for this lie. There is no way to explain the tremendous influence of a poor, obscure carpenter who has impacted the world for the last 2000 years.||Acts 17:6 And when they did not find them, they began dragging Jason and some brethren before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have upset the world have come here also;
Acts 24:5 “For we have found this man a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.
Rom 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.
|When you consider Christ’s fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, His sinless life, His many Miracles, His resurrection from the dead, and His influence over the last 2000 years, the logical conclusion is that Jesus Christ is both Lord and God. Our faith in Christ is not a blind faith but one that is built on facts and evidence. The evidence is overwhelming, in fact it takes more faith not to believe in Christ then it does to believe in Him. But the next logical question is what is Biblical faith? What is the faith described in the Bible? What is the faith that saves a person?|
Eph 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
|WHAT IS FAITH (saving faith)
Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God
must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
|TRUST||Faith is a deep trust in the one whom you put your faith.||Heb 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.|
|OBEDIENCE||The Bible uses the words faith and obedience interchangeable. To obey Christ is to have faith in Christ.||John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
Heb 3:18,19 And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
|ACTION||The Bible describes a faith that can be seen. The faith of the Bible is one that shows itself in the actions of the person that possesses the faith.||Matt. 9:2 And behold, they were bringing to Him a paralytic, lying on a bed; and Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Take courage, My son, your sins are forgiven.”
Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
|WORKS||The Bible describes a faith that is linked inseparably with works. The Bible in facts speaks of a faith as being dead if it is simple faith alone or by itself. We are never saved by our works, but if our faith does not produce works it is not a saving faith.||James 2:14-20 What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone.
James 2:26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
Let’s conclude: Faith in Christ is the key to eternal life. But who was Jesus, and what does it mean to have faith in Him? Christ claimed to be God, the Bible also claims this and says He was the Creator, Messiah and will also be our Judge. When we live by faith in Christ we believe this, but faith can also be seen in our lives through our actions and works. (“Faith without works is dead” James 2:26) Saving faith is when Jesus becomes our Lord, and we obey His commandments. The Bible says He either is or He isn’t. (Mat 12:30 “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.) Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself honestly.
- Do you believe that Jesus is God and Lord, and are you willing to obey His commandments?
Luke 6:46 “And why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
- Are you trying to pattern you life after Christ. Are you following in His footsteps.?
1 Pet 2:21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.