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Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

The Wisdom of C.S. Lewis (Quotes from Brian Sibley’s Book): The Still Point of History

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. (from Mere Christianity)

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2022 in Jesus Christ

 

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A Theological Check-Up: Do You Really Believe? Part 5: Jesus Christ

Why do Christians bother “evangelizing”? Why do Jesus-followers go to the trouble of learning difficult foreign languages, leave the comforts of Western society, and take the gospel to people of other cultures? Why do churches hold services every week for an hour or more and talk about the Bible? The answer to these questions is — or ought to be — the Lord Jesus Christ! HE is the reason we tell others about the salvation we have been privileged to enjoy. HE is the reason Christians commit themselves to doing hard work in difficult situations — and sometimes pay with their very lives. If HE is not who He claimed to be, we are, according to the Apostle Paul, worthy of the world’s pity (I Cor. 15).

These posts are asking the question not WHAT do we believe or WHY do we believe, but IF we believe. Like the orthodox-sounding Jonah we may say we believe certain things, but contradict our claims with our lives. IF I believe in Jesus Christ, if I believe He is the only Savior, I will back up my belief by certain actions.

And part of our challenge as Jesus-followers is presenting the truth about Who He is. His claims about Himself force people to come to a decision, to make a choice. No one enjoys being forced to make a choice. But that’s the reality — and sometimes we Christians get bashed for presenting His claims. C.S. Lewis hit the nail on the head when he wrote —

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Today’s Challenge: Let’s stop apologizing for our Christian faith. IF we truly believe, we will look for opportunities to speak about the real Jesus to others. Are you and I praying for such opportunities?

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2020 in Jesus Christ

 

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Colossal Truths from the Letter to the Colossians! You Can NEVER Over-Worship Jesus! (1:15-19)

We are reflecting on several prominent themes in Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Yesterday we noticed Paul’s labor of prayer in 1:9-14. How wonderful it would be to have an army of prayer warriors praying such meaty prayers for you! How about praying that kind of prayer for others?

Let’s move on to another theme in Chapter One. And that is, the Person of the Lord Jesus. We read —

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Ch. 1)

Has it dawned on you, Christian, that you can never over-worship the Lord Jesus?! Never! Because of His full deity, He materializes the invisible God. His incarnation (becoming flesh) provided the means by which He showed us the Father in all His perfections. All creation focuses on the Lord Jesus. In Him all things were created; all things have been created through Him and for Him! He pre-existed all things. And “in Him all things hold together”! When things fall apart in my life, I need to reflect upon my Savior who holds all things together!

As the Head of His body, the church, He is to have”the supremacy” in everything! How pathetic are aberrant views of the Lord Jesus. The Jehovah Witnesses say Jesus is Jehovah God’s highest creation. If that were true, then Paul is penning blasphemy — for what creature deserves to have “the supremacy” over everything! In the Incarnate Christ God “was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.”

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2019 in Jesus Christ

 

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Some Thoughts on the Book “What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?” (Post #12): Chapter 11- “Jesus’ Identity”

We are reviewing this book by the United Methodist minister Martin Thielen entitled What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian? He has pointed out a number of areas where he rejects such doctrines as the sovereignty of God, the accuracy of the Bible, the exclusivity of Jesus as the only way to God, and the reality of eternal suffering for those who die without the Lord Jesus.

We now move to the second section of his book entitled “Ten Things Christians Do Need to Believe.” And he begins with the person of Christ. Sadly, he starts the chapter with a blasphemous story from the movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby in which the main character says grace and refers to Jesus as “dear Baby God” and “Dear Lord Baby Jesus.” He gives this illustration to point out that there are a variety of views of Jesus — which there are.

In this chapter Thielen affirms the Messiahship and the deity of the Lord Jesus. He says that “Jesus is worthy of our highest praise and ultimate loyalty” (71). He tells how as a teenager he affirmed his faith in Jesus Christ and was baptized the next Sunday. “It’s the most important thing I’ve ever done — or ever will do — in my entire life.” He then says, “My faith in Jesus Christ is the most important part of my life.”

MY RESPONSE: I am glad for Thielen’s testimony. The Bible teaches that conversion involves both repentance and faith in Christ, so I believe that when he says as a teenager that he knew “that I desperately needed him in my life,” this sounds like repentance to me. From what I can see in this chapter Thielen is a brother in Christ (with a number of theological issues). He affirms that the Person of Christ is “the heart of Christianity.” A couple of questions occur to me:

1. If Jesus is the heart of Christianity, then why does he quote people like Marcus Borg who clearly rejects the deity of Christ?
2. If his relationship with Jesus is the most important thing in his life, then why does God’s Word (the Bible) not function as his final authority for his other beliefs?

I’m sure I’ll have a lot more questions as we continue our review. But I am glad that he appears to be a brother in Christ. And yet, sometimes those who profess to be in the family of God produce the most dangerous beliefs about God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2019 in Jesus Christ

 

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Why Should We Believe Anything at All? (Part 2)

In preparing for my next trip to speak at Cedarcroft Bible Chapel in New Jersey (from January 26 to February 4), I want to focus on the two messages I will give on Sunday morning. Both will be entitled —

We considered the fact that we all believe many things.  No person is without a “worldview,” a way of looking at life and at God and at self.  But what should be one’s authority for developing a correct worldview?  Some suggest REASON, some EXPERIENCE.  Other think one’s ECCLESIASTICAL TRADITION ought to suffice.  We suggested that our final authority ought to be God’s revelation to us — the Word of God, the Bible.

But Christianity is not alone in claiming SUPERNATURAL REVELATION!  What about the Mormon’s claims that the Book of Mormon is also the Word of God?  What about Islam that says the KORAN is God’s infallible Word?  What about Christian Science which says that SCIENCE AND HEALTH WITH KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES is the Word of God?

The fact is that merely claiming a book or books to be supernatural revelation from God is not enough.  What are the reasons one should believe one and reject the others?

“Don’t you know the Scriptures?”

There are many reasons that the Bible (composed of 66 books) should alone be regarded as God’s Word:  historical reliability, fulfillment of prophecy, the unity of the Bible, the testimony of the Lord Jesus to the Old Testament and His prediction of the New Testament to come.  In the final analysis, the Bible’s credibility comes down to the question — “Who was and is Jesus — and why should He be trusted?”

If Jesus is God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, then His view of the Bible ought to be my view of the Bible.  If the Bible is my final authority in life, then the way I look at reality and at God and at myself ought to be derived from the teachings of God’s Holy Word.

In our next post, we will draw certain conclusions (if the Bible is our final authority) about the first five areas of theology (introductory matters, Bibliology, Theology Proper, Christology, and Pneumatology.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2019 in doctrine

 

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The Most Interesting Man in the Universe! Part 5 (of 5)

Jonathan Goldsmith, a 73-year-old actor who stars in these beer Screenshot 2016-01-01 06.43.06commercials, plays the role of “the most interesting man in the world.”  His qualities are highlighted by the narrator and include, I think, some very humorous lines.  Here are a few of my favorite in this last post on this topic:

1.    Mosquitoes refuse to bite him purely out of respect.
2.    He is fluent in all languages, including three that he only speaks.
3.    When he goes to Spain, he chases the bulls.
4.    When in Rome, they do as HE does.
5.    Presidents take his birthday off.
6.    The police often question him, just because they find him interesting.

[Dos Equis has just announced that it is retiring its “Most Interesting Man in the World” ad campaign and can be read about here.]

These statements about this fictional character challenge me to ask a critical question: How is Jesus different?  Or one could put it as a statement —

Why JESUS is the most interesting man in the UNIVERSE:

Screenshot 2016-01-01 07.43.531. Jesus is the very wisdom, the very LOGOS, of God!

2.  He can hear — and understand — prayers in every language of the universe.  And do something about what He hears!

3.  One day, Jesus will return and reverse all the effects of this universe’s fallenness — and the lion will lie down with the lamb (without eating it!).

4. When He comes back for His people, He will finally wrap up history, righting all wrongs and judging the whole world with perfect justice!

IF Jesus is the most interesting man in the entire universe, the question we must answer is:  Am I studying what the Bible says about Him — and longing to become more like Him?

STAY FASCINATED WITH YOUR SAVIOR, MY FRIENDS!

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2016 in Jesus Christ

 

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The Most Interesting Man in the Universe! Part 4

I do not usually write a post inspired by beer commercials, but when I do — it’s by the beer Dos Equis!  (an inside joke).  These commercials I find humorous and thought-provoking as they recount amazing facts about a fictional character — “the Most Interesting Man in the World” (who drinks this particular beer).

The actor who plays “the most interesting man in the world” is Screenshot 2015-12-31 06.13.37Jonathan Goldsmith, a 73-year-old journeyman actor who has become so big that Michael Jordan recently asked to have his picture taken with him.

Described as a James Bond-meets-Ernest Hemingway character, Mr. Goldsmith auditioned for the part in 2006.  The beer company was motivated by the idea that “more than anything else, [drinkers] really wanted to be seen as interesting by their friends.”

A self-described Russian Jew from New York, Mr. Goldsmith and his third wife Barbara talked about his life before Dos Equis.  He was “asked to leave” New York University Screenshot 2015-12-31 06.12.02as a young man because he partied too much and had a fling with one of his professors. His psychiatrist suggested he enroll in acting school, went to Hollywood and promptly found himself driving a garbage truck filled with industrial waste.  But later he landed character parts in “Gunsmoke,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “Knight Rider” and “Dallas.”

Mr. Goldsmith described his character as “every guy’s fantasy,” whose old-world charm and “rustic elegance” contrast with today, when “the days of gentlemen and chivalry are long since gone.  “Although he lives well, this man has the accoutrements of wealth and there is also an elegance of relationships,” the actor added. “He hangs out with pygmies. He’s a teacher. He’s a sage. He’s a shaman. He’s a fantasy. He’s an illusion of things past.”

The campaign’s also looks to push boundaries. Last year, this led to some trouble, when a billboard that read “Approach women like you would wild animals, with caution and a soothing voice,” drew complaints from women’s groups and was pulled.  One thing people won’t see is Mr. Goldsmith making public-relations appearances, or showing up in TV programs or movies, as the Most Interesting Man. Heineken USA has said it has turned down plenty of offers because it does not want the character to overshadow the brand.

“I always looked down on commercials.” He said he never wanted to be in them. But “it’s the best thing that ever happened to me in my life.”

A few more of the lines used about “the most interesting man in the world”:

1.    In museums, he is allowed to touch the art.
2.    He once won the Tour-de-France, but was disqualified for riding a unicycle.
3.    Roses stop to smell him.
4.    Bigfoot tries to get pictures of him.
5.    He has taught old dogs a variety of new tricks.
6.    He once had an awkward moment, just to see how it feels.

I am certainly not trying to be irreverent, but these statements about this fictional character challenge me to ask a critical question: How is Jesus different?  Or one could put it as a statement —

Why JESUS is the most interesting man in the UNIVERSE:

Screenshot 2015-12-31 06.22.111. He never bored anyone — ever!

2.  He has promised never to leave any person who has trusted Him.  Never.

3.  His earthly life is worthy of intense study and imitation.

4. He is the focus of the Father’s love.

5. He and the Father have sent the Third Person of the Trinity (the Holy Spirit) to all those who belong to Him by faith.

6.  He is coming back to fetch His followers and to live with them forever.

STAY EAGER FOR HIS RETURN, MY FRIENDS!

 

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2016 in Jesus Christ

 

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The Most Interesting Man in the Universe! Part 3

I do not make it a habit of watching beer commercials, but when I do — it’s Dos Equis!  (an inside joke).  These commercials I find fascinating as they recount amazing facts about a fictional character — the Most Interesting Man in the World (who drinks this particular beer)!

Here are a few more of my favorites about this man:Screenshot 2015-12-28 07.42.38

1.  His feet don’t get blisters, but his shoes do.
2.  He once went to the psychic, to warn her.
3.  He has never waited 15 minutes after finishing a meal before returning to the pool.
4.  When a tree falls in a forest and no one is there, he hears it.
5.  He once got pulled over for speeding, and the cop got the ticket.
6.  Sharks have a week dedicated to him.
7.  He lives vicariously through himself.

[We will look at a few more of these reasons in our subsequent posts, including some true details about the actor playing “the most interesting man in the world.”]

But isn’t the most interesting man in the world, in the UNIVERSE, the Lord Jesus Christ?  Here are a few reasons why that is the case:

Why JESUS is the most interesting man in the UNIVERSE:

1. He got blisters as He walked the earth He created, for He became a true man without ceasing to be the Second Person of the Trinity!Screenshot 2015-12-30 06.44.22

2.  He had no need for any human to warn Him of any future event — for He knew the future before it happened.

3.  To prove his genuine humanity after His resurrection, Jesus actually ate food in front of His startled disciples and invited them to touch Him!

4.  He created the very tree that was used to fashion a cross upon which He was crucified for us.

5.  No one could ever prove Him guilty of any sin!

6.  He died vicariously (as a substitute) for sinners.  He did not need to die for His own sins.  But He came to pay the sin debt that you and I owed!

STAY GRATEFUL FOR JESUS, MY FRIENDS!

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2016 in Jesus Christ

 

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The Most Interesting Man in the Universe! Part 2

I find the beer commercials featuring the ruggedly handsome, Screenshot 2015-12-28 07.42.38bearded spokesman described as “The Most Interesting Man in the World” quite, uh, interesting.  Some of my favorite lines used about this man are the following:

1. Whatever side of the tracks he’s currently on is the right side, even if he crosses the tracks he’ll still be on the right side.

2. He never says something tastes like chicken.. not even chicken.

3. Superman has pajamas with his logo.

4. The circus ran away to join him.

5. Bear hugs are what he gives bears.

6. He once brought a knife to a gunfight… just to even the odds.

7. When he meets the Pope, the Pope kisses his ring.

8. If he were to visit the dark side of the moon, it wouldn’t be dark.

9. He can kill two stones with one bird.

10. His signature won a Pulitzer.

[We will look at a few more of these reasons in our subsequent posts, including some true details about the actor playing “the most interesting man in the world.”]

But isn’t the most interesting man in the world, in the UNIVERSE, the Lord Jesus Christ?  Here are a few reasons why that is the case:

Why JESUS is the most interesting man in the UNIVERSE:

1. He knows what you are thinking before you even form words in your mind.Screenshot 2015-12-25 09.10.41

2.  He never, ever lies.

3.  He has conquered death and proved His deity by His resurrection.

4.  He and He alone could pay the sin debt you and I owed to God.

5.  He is worthy of any sacrifice we could offer Him.

6.  He deserves all our praise and all our worship — We can never over-worship Jesus!

STAY THIRSTY FOR JESUS, MY FRIENDS!

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2016 in Jesus Christ

 

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The Most Interesting Man in the Universe! Part 1

I’m sure you’ve all seen the beer commercials featuring the ruggedly handsome, Screenshot 2015-12-28 07.42.38bearded spokesman under the caption “The Most Interesting Man in the World.”  The narrator gives us a few of the reasons that this man is the most interesting.  Here are several of my favorites:

1. He gave his father “the talk.”
2. His passport requires no photograph.
3. When he drives a car off the lot, its price increases in value.
4. Once a rattlesnake bit him. After five days of excruciating pain, the snake finally died.
5. If he were to punch you in the face, you would have to fight off a strong urge to thank him.

[We will look at a few more of these reasons in our subsequent posts, including some true details about the actor playing “the most interesting man in the world.”]

It got me to thinking (always a bad thing) — Isn’t the most interesting man in the world, in the UNIVERSE, the Lord Jesus Christ?  Of course He is.  And here are a few reasons why:

Why JESUS is the most interesting man in the UNIVERSE:

1. He was God before He became man!Screenshot 2015-12-25 09.10.41

2.  He created man and sustains man by His very thoughts!

3.  He came to earth to invite humans into the Trinitarian love of God!

4.  He not only walked on water — He created water!

5.  He is the very definition of what it means to be a man.

6.  He created Jonathan Goldsmith (“The Most Interesting Man in the World”), the spokesman for Dos Equis beer.

STAY ENTHRALLED WITH JESUS, MY FRIENDS!

 

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2016 in Jesus Christ

 

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