In WHY DO I BELIEVE IN JESUS? — PART 4 , we considered the significance of the fact that God loves us. Here we consider this question: why should we believe the Word of God?
When Jesus walked the earth in the flesh of an ordinary man, He performed many miracles. How many? That the Gospels do not record. What we do know is that those who saw Him did not question His ability to perform miracles. What many rejected was His message of salvation. What Jesus taught stung their pride. Why? Consider what Paul said.
1 Corinthians 1:27-31 Good News Translation (GNT)
27 God purposely chose what the world considers nonsense in order to shame the wise, and he chose what the world considers weak in order to shame the powerful. 28 He chose what the world looks down on and despises and thinks is nothing, in order to destroy what the world thinks is important. 29 This means that no one can boast in God’s presence. 30 But God has brought you into union with Christ Jesus, and God has made Christ to be our wisdom. By him we are put right with God; we become God’s holy people and are set free. 31 So then, as the scripture says,
Whoever wants to boast must boast of what the Lord has done.
Because they would boast first of themselves, the proud reject God. Even Jesus’ apostles, before they learned from His example of humility, competed to be the first in His Kingdom. Thus, Jesus had to explain their error.
Mark 10:42-45 Good News Translation (GNT)
42 So Jesus called them all together to him and said,
You know that those who are considered rulers of the heathen have power over them, and the leaders have complete authority. 43 This, however, is not the way it is among you. If one of you wants to be great, you must be the servant of the rest; 44 and if one of you wants to be first, you must be the slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served; he came to serve and to give his life to redeem many people.
In our natural state we do not readily serve others. We long to be served. Each of us wants the world to inflate our egos, and when the world denies us its obedience, in our hearts we angrily rave. ME! ME! ME!
Long ago, Jesus ascended to heaven, but he did not leave us orphaned. When Jesus returned to heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit to counsel us, and with the aid of the Holy Spirit, the apostles began their ministry. Using miracles as the sign that they spoke for God, the apostles preached the hope of our salvation, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet eventually they too died, and tradition states that all but one died as a martyr.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, that first generation of Christians left us a gift, The New Testament. In conjunction with The Old Testament, The New Testament serves as our miracle, our sign that Jesus lived, preached a message of salvation, died, and rose from the dead. What supports the Bible?
- The Bible itself is a carefully studied work. Research confirms that what we have in our hands today is an authentic copy of the original scriptures.
- What we have discovered of history, primarily through archeology, has always confirmed what we already knew through the Bible.
- Over a 1500 year period, about 40 men wrote the Bible, finishing almost 2000 years ago. Despite what anyone would rationally expect, the Bible provides a tightly integrated work. The history, the teachings, the prophecies, the songs, the proverbs,…– all point unerringly to Jesus Christ.
- In the heart of each man and woman, there exists a moral law. The teachings we find in the Bible resonate with the moral law God put into each of our hearts.
Nonetheless, many it difficult to accept what the Bible says. When God commands to love each other as we love our self — even our enemies — that “me” within each of can grow cold and angry. No pride-filled, vain human being wants to sacrificially love another pride-filled, vain human being. Such are not loveable. Yet that conflict is only where the trouble begins. What the “me” within finds most repugnant is God’s greatest commandment. We must love Him with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind. To obey that command, the “me” within must admit he or she is less than God Almighty, that God does not exist just to serve “me”.
Therefore, we struggle.
- Some finally turn to God. Surveying both the earth and the heavens, finally understanding through His Creation that the Creator is worthy of our adoration, some accept Him as their savior. These accept the gift of eternal salvation.
- Others reject God. Too proud and too afraid to love God all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their mind, others reject God. These choose idols, empty worldly gods of their own making. To those idols these others surrender all their heart, all their soul, and all their mind; for nothing they sacrifice all eternity.
Still Do Not Think The Bible Worth Studying?
Have you considered that the Christian church’s first leaders were ordinary men. Neither the Bible nor tradition tells us of anything extraordinary about the apostles Jesus chose. Before He started his teaching ministry, even Jesus served as just a carpenter, but from this humble beginning Christianity spread, and it is still spreading. Why? People wanted to hear about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What was important was the message, not the apostles. Today the Bible preserves the message of Jesus Christ.
Next, ask a question. How did Christianity affect our culture? To appreciate the answer to that question, we must both study the Bible and history. We must reflect upon the character of civilization before Christ and the character of modern civilizations that have yet to accept Christians. In addition, we must contemplate what occurred after the invention of the printing press. The Bible became the first printed book. Not long after that, learned men began translating the Bible into their native tongue. In time, every household that could afford one soon owned a copy of the Bible. Why was such an expensive purchase so important to people?