Ever since Johnny Carson, “The Tonight Show” has been a staple of late night television. Our grandparents invited Carson into their homes, our parents invited Leno, and now we welcome Jimmy Fallon every evening to commentate, interview and entertain.
Fallon has taken over “The Tonight Show” and is cranking out viral videos every week. Whether he is tag-teaming with Justin Timberlake, impersonating Neil Young or lip syncing with a celebrity guest, one thing is clear: people love being on and watching “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon.
Why is Fallon so appealing? What makes his show a joy to watch? Why is he a great host? I think Fallon’s success can be traced to three key practices: He doesn’t take himself seriously, he puts the spotlight on others and he speaks through culture. I believe Christians can actually learn from Fallon’s example as they attempt to demonstrate the love of Christ. Here’s how:
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Fallon is not afraid to acknowledge his faults. He is quick to laugh at his quirks and cheerfully accepts teasing from his guests. Like all great hosts, Fallon demonstrates that people are attracted to those who are humble.
As believers, we are free to take the gospel seriously without necessarily placing ourselves in the same category. James 4:6 reminds the believer, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” We don’t have to present ourselves as perfect. In a culture where pride is pervasively praised, Fallon shows us that humility can be hilarious, endearing and attractive.
Give the Spotlight Away
I don’t know if Fallon has ever read Romans 12:10, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor,” but his show is a great example of how to consistently give the spotlight away. For example, most late night shows have a house band; Fallon has The Roots, one of the most celebrated and sophisticated hip-hop groups of the last decade. On most late night shows, the band plays background music and gets the occasional nod from the host. Instead of following this model, Fallon has made The Roots a huge part of his show, offering sketches, punch lines and applause breaks to the band.
Whether at work, home, church or the golf course, we generally want the attention to be on us. We want people to see and celebrate our needs, our gifts, our property and our persons. It has been said that people rarely care how interesting you are, but always care how interested you are. How interested are you in the lives and gifts of those around you? Fallon shows us that making others the focus is not only wise, but enjoyable.
Learn How to Speak Through Culture
Fallon has learned how to listen to culture and make us laugh by using words, analogies and stories that are familiar to our 21st-century ears. Every time Fallon, a musical guest and The Roots collaborate to do one of their infamous songs using classroom instruments, we all share, tweet and like the video because it does three things: It makes us feel nostalgic for elementary school choir, it connects that nostalgia with a current pop hit we can’t get out of our head and it does these things while making us laugh.
Even the Apostle Paul saw value in using the cultural works of the day to speak to the hearts and minds of his audience. When Paul preaches from the Areopagus, he references an idol to an unknown god and quotes a pagan poet to draw Athenian minds to the superiority of the one true God over the false works of metal and wood they called gods (Acts 17:22-34). Believers should feel free, though not obligated, to use various cultural works (i.e. movies, songs, books, etc.) to point back to Christ. Everything that is Truth will be rooted in the One who gives all good gifts (Jas. 1:17).
So, the next time you tune in to watch “The Tonight Show,” consider these questions: Do I take myself too seriously? Do I outdo those around me in showing honor? Have I learned how to speak through culture by using words, analogies and stories that will make sense? We as Christians have the opportunity to communicate a message that is far more captivating than that of any guest on “The Tonight Show.” The question is, will we be known for communicating this story in a captivating way?
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For months the movie Noah has come under immense amounts of scrutiny from local churches around America, due to it’s lack of Biblical accuracy. Pastors and church critics have even gone to the extreme of announcing to their congregations from the pulpit that this isn’t a movie that they should be watching, or letting their children watch.
The only question that has been running through my mind during this time is; What in the world are you doing? Don’t you realize that we have been waiting for this opportunity?
Evangelism is hard
The harsh truth is that the majority of Christians in North America are very ineffective at reaching people with the message of Jesus.
Non-Chrisitians aren’t interested in the Bible, they don’t want to know what it says. Every time I bring something up in conversation, they switch off or change the subject. It’s too hard for me to push past that barrier, I don’t want them to get mad at me.
These are just some of the excuses that Christians are using today, and if I am honest, they are extremely valid. The truth is that non-Christians aren’t typically interested in the Bible. Therefore, trying to break through that barrier is extremely difficult. It can be exhausting at times, so I can definitely relate!
However, I want you to think for a second… what would be the perfect evangelism scenario for a Christian? What would make your job as a Christian a lot easier? Think about it… It would be if the non-believer approached you, right? It would be if they brought up the stories in the Bible, it would be if they gave you an opportunity to talk about it with them.
Christians, don’t you see that we have been given a unique window, a very rare opportunity? We have a secular world making movies about the Book that we claim to love and follow. We have non-believers breaking down their own walls and giving us free opportunities to bring up the Bible and venture into conversation about faith, Jesus and Christianity with them.
But all we can do is theologically pick it apart, call it heretical, and miss every opportunity to give them Jesus. Opportunities that they are freely giving us.
I struggle to understand how any Christian can validate waisting time to theologically pick apart this movie. Why are we placing a level of expectation concerning Biblical accuracy on Hollywood? Let me say this plainly, they are not out to be Biblically accurate, they are out to make money, and they did, over $44m on opening night.
Why are you placing Christian expectations and standards on non-Christians?
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that it is wise to protect and shepherd the Christians in our lives so that they know what is true and what has been embellished, concerning movies like this. But do we really need to be taking it to the extend that we are?
Wouldn’t it’ make more sense to stop waisting time pointing out everything that is wrong with this movie, ultimately rejecting it, and instead use that time to recognize what elements in this movie can be redeemed? This movie clearly communicates the doctrine of sin and it’s offenses to a holy God, human depravity & the Wrath of God. Even these three elements alone, offer bridges over water we would normally have to try and swim across.
Don’t miss it
Don’t you see that we have been given an incredibly unique opportunity, one that past generations were not. But instead of taking advantage of it, the non-Christian world gets to sit back and watch us emotionally vomit our hateful, judgmental opinions on them. They get to watch us completely reject the free pass that they are giving us.
I am suggesting that before we cast judgement so quickly, we prayerfully discern the opportunities we have been given in the middle of a fallen and sinful world.
Are you rejecting something that could actually be redeemed for the glory of God?
If you’ve ever experienced disunity in a church, you know how upsetting it can be. Not many of us enjoy conflict in general, so the thought of conflict within the body of believers is particularly uncomfortable. But conflict happens, just as it does in any committed relationship. Christians are exhorted to be known by their unity even in their diversity, but does that mean we never raise a concern? How can we know if an issue is worth fighting for? Is there ever a time to break unity for the sake of integrity?
Every member of the body of believers possesses a set of beliefs that can be divided into three categories: essentials, convictions and preferences. Understanding how these relate to unity can help us know whether to speak up or to remain silent, whether to break fellowship or to stay put.
Essentials, Convictions and Preferences
An essential is any truth which, if denied or misrepresented, nullifies the gospel. Examples of essentials would be belief in the deity of Christ, the Trinity, the virgin birth or the inspiration and authority of the Bible. Essentials do not require a seminary degree to understand. They are plainly revealed in Scripture and accessible to believers of all maturity levels. Essentials are what you find in the historic creeds of the church. They define orthodox belief.
A conviction is any deeply held belief which, if believed in error will not nullify the gospel, but can harm spiritual growth. Examples of convictions would be views on baptism, the role of women in the church, eschatology, or the functioning of the charismatic gifts. Some convictions are more deeply held than others, depending on the church, and unlike essentials, not all convictions must carry the same weight. Some convictions, if held in error, have greater potential to harm than others. Disagreements surrounding convictions usually have to do with how we interpret Scripture.
A preference is something I care about, but that is a matter of personal choice. I can readily acknowledge that there is more than one possible right answer while still feeling strongly that my answer is the best one. Examples of preferences would be whether I prefer contemporary worship or traditional worship, casual dress or dressy clothes, smoke machines or stained glass. Disagreements surrounding preferences usually have to do with how we apply Scripture.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
So, how can we judge whether an issue merits division? Think in these terms:
- Essentials are worth dying for.
- Convictions are worth debating.
- Preferences are worth discussing.
Unity must be broken if an essential is compromised or denied. If your church suddenly decides that Jesus is merely a man and not also God, you need to pack your bags.
Unity may be broken if a conviction is violated but must not necessarily be. It could be possible, for example, to remain a faithful member of a congregation that affirms believer’s baptism while still holding to belief in infant baptism.
Unity should not be broken if a preference is not shared. To leave your church because you dislike the worship style (assuming the worship style is not anything sacrilegious) or disagree with its ministry model is to hold in light esteem the beauty of having shared essentials and convictions. This doesn’t mean that preferences are unimportant. They are. And we should be able to dialogue about them with charity. They just aren’t deal-breakers.
Stay If at All Possible
Unfortunately, we often sacrifice unity on the slipshod altar of our preferences. Many a church split has happened over whether God loves the organ more than the electric guitar.
The book of Acts celebrates unity, and it stands as an exhortation to the Church throughout the ages to work hard to prize it. Never has such a diverse assembly of believers been reconciled to one another as in the days of the early church. Acts records the uniting of Jew and Gentile under one God, and the debates and discussions necessary to join these two groups as members of one body. It details the differences in ministry philosophy between Peter and Paul, two men united in the goal of spreading the gospel but divided as to how it should be done. Acts shows us that the tension of the interplay of essentials, convictions and preferences is a natural part of church life, and that unity is worth fighting for. But unity does not mean unanimity.
To be a member of a body of believers who affirm every essential and many of my convictions is a rare gift. I need not require that every conviction be held in unity, and I need not require that any preference be held in unity. A marriage is more likely to be easy and enjoyable when a couple shares the same convictions and preferences. So is church membership. It isn’t wrong to long for that kind of harmony, but it is wrong to break or withhold relationship over the lack of it. As with all relationships, our list of preferences should receive due consideration before we commit but far less consideration after.
The way we express our concerns matters, too. Just as no spouse benefits from being nagged or attacked about a conviction or preference by the other spouse, no church benefits from a nagging or attacking member. Far better for the member to hold a respectful debate or dialogue with someone in leadership than to complain publicly or privately to other members of the body. One approach demonstrates a love of unity. The other does not.
As we each soberly evaluate our essentials, convictions and preferences, we are well served to remember the watchword of the Lutheran theologian Meledenius: “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.” May we meditate on the beauty of a church seeking unity in diversity, whose crowning virtue is love.
Essentials and Non-Essentials in a Nutshell – C. Michael Patton
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In our attempt to continue to provide excellent written communication to the church, the Elders are pleased to offer this report of their current work. Similarly, we would also ask that all other ministry leaders prepare a written report each month to share with the church. Please send your monthly reports to Elder Doug Farley by the 15th of each month.
After a review of our office space situation in the church, the elders decided to make some changes to make best use of our limited space. Youth Director Renae Mansfield will have an office on the second floor of the Fellowship Hall. Pastor Stephen & Pastor Tim are relocating their main offices to the parsonage, and will be sharing an office space on the second floor of the Fellowship Hall. Pastor Tim will be there Tuesday & Wednesday and Pastor Stephen, Thursday & Friday. We are also setting up a conference room that can be used by any ministry that would like to use an appropriate meeting space.
The elders continue to monitor the finances of the church, especially for the property purchase planned for 2014. The good news is (Praise the Lord!) we ended 2013 with $25,000 more in funds then we had at the start of the year. Right now we have about $30,000 dedicated to the land purchase in a savings account. (The purchase price for the property is $85,000.) There is also an additional $15,000 remaining in our operating account to start 2014. We have received financial information (pledge cards) from 17 families in the church (15 that are able to assist over and above their tithe) with pledges that total $25,000. Of that amount, $7,500 has been received and $17,500 is still to come in. Also, several people are giving towards the building who did not give us pledge cards. Thank you all for your prayers and support as we draw closer to our planned purchase date of June 1.
As we mentioned last month, we are now ready to ask everyone who attends church to complete a Connect Card. You will be receiving these cards in the bulletin. These forms will give us important information concerning our church family. Deacon Sherrie Twist has very graciously offered to assist with data entry into our church management software. Doug and Stephen will also work with this. The Welcome Ministry will be involved in utilizing this information.
It was decided to hold a meeting after church today to vote on the proposed Biblical Marriage Amendment to our Constitution. The meeting will immediately follow the service in the sanctuary. Please plan to stay for this brief but important business matter. The proposed amendment is printed here for your review.
Marriage between a man and a woman was instituted by God with Adam and Eve. Genesis 2:24 states: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.” In Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus reaffirms this: “He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one’?” In response to this biblical instruction, the church will only perform marriage between one man and one woman.
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Content taken from Vintage Jesus, by Mark Driscoll.
01 The disciples were radically transformed
Prior to the resurrection, his disciples were timid and fearful, even hiding when Jesus appeared to them. Following the resurrection, however, they were all transformed into bold witnesses to what they had seen and heard, even to the point of dying for their convictions. Had they not truly witnessed the risen Jesus, they undoubtedly would have recanted of their teachings and opted for a simpler life, free of suffering. They certainly would have told the truth rather than dying for a lie. Is it really plausible to assert that a group of scattered liars would remain loyal to one another and die for their lie in poverty and disgrace when riches and power could be obtained by their recanting? Apart from the resurrection, is there any way to account for the transformation of Peter-a coward who denied even knowing Jesus before his crucifixion and resurrection, but afterwards became the fearless leader of the early church and was himself crucified upside down?
Regarding the apostles’ eyewitness testimony to Jesus’ resurrection, Simon Greenleaf, professor of law at Harvard University and a world-renowned scholar on the rules of legal evidence, said that it was “impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they have narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact.”
02 The disciples character’s were challenged
To claim that the disciples preached obvious lies and deluded people into dying for the world’s greatest farce, one would first have to find credible evidence to challenge the character of the disciples. These men were devout Jews who knew that if they worshiped a false god and encouraged others to do the same, they would be sentenced by God to the fires of eternal hell for violating the first two commandments. Furthermore, does not such egregious lying conflict with the character of men and women who gave their lives to feeding the poor, caring for widows and orphans, and helping the hurting and needy?
03 The day of worship changed
The early church stopped worshiping on Saturday, as Jews had worshiped for thousands of years, and suddenly began worshiping on Sunday in memory of Jesus’ Sunday resurrection. The Sabbath was so sacred to the Jews that they would not have ceased to obey one of the Ten Commandments unless Jesus had resurrected in fulfillment of their Old Testament Scriptures.
04 The object of worship changed
Not only was the day of worship changed after the resurrection of Jesus, but so was the object of worship. Considering that one of the Ten Commandments also forbids the worship of false gods, it is impossible to conceive of devout Jews simply worshiping Jesus as the one true God without the proof of Jesus’ resurrection.
The question persists, if Jesus simply died in shame on a cross like tens of thousands of other men in his day and had not risen from death, why would people shortly thereafter begin worshiping him as God?
05 Early church preaching wasn’t proved wrong
Undoubtedly, if the empty tomb had not been a widely accepted fact, the disciples would have reasoned with the skeptics of their day to defend the central issue of their faith. Instead, we see the debate occurring not about whether the tomb was empty, but why it was empty. Also, nowhere in the preaching of the early church was the empty tomb explicitly defended for the simple reason that it was widely known as an agreed-upon fact. Furthermore, a reading of the book of Acts shows that on virtually every occasion that preaching and teaching occurred, the resurrection of Jesus from death was the central truth being communicated because it had changed human history and could not be ignored. Jesus’ resurrection appears in twelve of the twenty-eight chapters in Acts, which records the history of the early church.
06 The early church exploded with people
There must be an explanation for the rapid growth and extraordinary level of commitment of the early church. Every effect has a cause, and such a world-changing effect would have necessitated a phenomenal cause. What else could have caused the commitment, perseverance, and rapid expansion of the early church other than Jesus’ resurrection from death? On the same day, in the same place, and in the same way, two other men died, one on Jesus’ left and one on his right. Despite the similarities, we do not know the names of these men, and billions of people do not worship them as God. Why? Because they remained dead and Jesus alone rose from death and ascended into heaven, leaving the Christian church in his wake.
07 Jesus’ family started worshipping him as God
James, Jesus’ half-brother, was originally opposed to the claims of his brother. A transformation occurred in James, though, after he saw his brother resurrected from death. James went on to pastor the church in Jerusalem and authored the New Testament epistle bearing his name. He was also actively involved in shaping the early church, which suffered and died to proclaim to everyone that Jesus is the one true God. Also, Jesus’ mother, Mary, was part of the early church that prayed to and worshiped her son as God, as was Jesus’ other brother, Jude, who wrote a book of the New Testament bearing his name. While it is not impossible to imagine Jesus convincing some people that he is God if he were not, it is impossible to conceive of Jesus convincing his own mother and brothers to suffer persecution in this life and risk the torments of hell in eternal life for worshiping him as the one true God unless he truly is.
08 Jesus’ tomb was never enshrined
In the days following the death of Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, our local television news was filled with scenes of fans gathering to honor him at a memorial that was erected outside of the home in which he died. Fans left numerous cards, poems, letters, flowers, and various gifts. In the same way, it was common in Jesus’ day for the tombs of holy men to be enshrined. In Palestine at that time, the tombs of at least fifty prophets or other religious figures were enshrined as places of worship and veneration. Yet, according to James D. G. Dunn, there is “absolutely no trace” of any veneration at Jesus’ tomb. The obvious reason for this lack of veneration is that Jesus was not buried but instead resurrected.
09 One of Jesus’ most bitter enemies, Paul, started worshipping him
Paul was a devout Jewish Pharisee who routinely persecuted and killed Christians. After an encounter with the risen Christ, Paul was converted and became the most dynamic defender and expander of the church. Had Jesus not truly risen from death, it is absurd to assume that Paul would have ever worshiped him as God, particularly when Paul rightly believed that worshiping a false God would send one into the eternal flames of hell. Simply, Paul hated Jesus and would never have changed his religious practice unless Jesus had risen from death to prove him wrong. Furthermore, Paul insisted that Jesus had risen in almost all of his letters that are saved for us in the New Testament.
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01 He made you new
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
02 He gave you a new identity
22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
03 He won your freedom
6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
04 He gave you a new power
8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
05 He gave you a new mind
22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,
06 He gave you new desires
5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.
07 He gave you new emotions
1 John 4:7
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God,and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
08 He placed you in a new community
1 John 1:3
3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
The Bible declares that Jesus was/is God the Son who in His incarnation (birth into human history as fully God and fully man) provided for us the clearest and most important revelation of God that has ever been or ever will be and can alone forgive our sins and grant us salvation.
In Hebrews 1:1-3 we read, “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
The question of Jesus is of vital importance because while many people believe such things as that Jesus lived, was a good teacher, or a very spiritual man, there remains many erroneous perspectives of Him that deny that He is God. The Apostle Paul spoke of this propensity to reduce the majesty of the real Jesus in favor of a diluted and diminished Jesus that in the end is no longer truly Jesus at all.
In 2 Corinthians 11:34 Paul writes, “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.”
To help you determine your own personal belief about Jesus we have compiled the following eight reasons and hope they will compel you to receive Him as your own God. Each line of reasoning includes a verse from the Bible that is a quote from the mouth of Jesus declaring that He was/is God. Jesus was put to death for continually declaring Himself to be God and in the end it really comes down to whether or not each of us believes Him and on that point His words become incredibly personal and pertinent.
Jesus said He was God
Throughout the history of the world, there have been numerous people who claim to speak for God, but there has also been a surprisingly short list of people who have actually claimed to be God. For example, such religious leaders as Buddha, Krishna, Muhammad, and Ghandi did not claim to be God. But, Jesus clearly and repeatedly said He was God.
MARK 14:61-64 “Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’ ‘I am,’ said Jesus. ‘And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.’ The high priest tore his clothes. ‘Why do we need any more witnesses?’ he asked. ‘You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?’”
JOHN 8:58-59 “I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’ At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.”
JOHN 10:30-33 “I and the Father are one.’ Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, ‘I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?’ ‘We are not stoning you for any of these,’ replied the Jews, ‘but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.’”
JOHN 14:8-9 “Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered: ’Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?’”
Jesus said He came from heaven
On a very rare occasion someone will claim that they have been taken into heaven for a brief experience of its grandeur. Examples would include people who claim to have had a near death experience, and the founder of Islam Mohammad who claimed that on one occasion he was taken from earth to heaven. But, Jesus claimed to have come down from His eternal home in heaven, a claim which has never been made by the founder of any other world religion and evidence that Jesus was/is God because God alone dwells in heaven eternally.
JOHN 6:38, 41-42, 60, 66 “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me . . .’ At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ’I came down from heaven’?’ . . . On hearing it, many of his disciples said, ‘This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?’ . . . From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.”
JOHN 16:28 “I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
Jesus was sinless
JOHN 8:46 “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?”
In the history of the world no one has claimed with any credibility that they are without sin because to do so is to declare that one’s words, actions, thoughts, and motivations are continually perfect and pure. And, as the old adage goes, no one is perfect. Even those religious leaders who are widely recognized as the most devout and morally upright (e.g. Mohammad, or Ghandi) have claimed that they were indeed sinners. But, Jesus declared that He was not only morally superior to everyone who has ever lived, but in fact sinless. The perfect sinless of Jesus makes Him admittedly more holy and worthy of our devotion than anyone who has ever lived and helps to prove that He was/is God because God alone is without sin.
Jesus forgave sin
MARK 2:5 “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’”
While much of the resources in our world are spent on dealing with the effects of sin (e.g. war, illness, death, depression, crime, poverty, etc.) there is still no way for people to have their sins forgiven so that they might be cleansed from their stains. At best, some religions try to teach their adherents what they can do to work hard at paying God back through such things as good works and reincarnation, they still lack any concept of forgiveness. But, Jesus forgave sin because He was/is God and since all sin is ultimately committed against Him, He alone has the power to forgive the sins of sinners.
Jesus said He was the only way to heaven
JOHN 14:6 “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
JOHN 11:25 Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.’”
While there are many religious and spiritual teachers who claim that they can point you to heaven’s path, they themselves do not claim that they are that path. But, Jesus promised that He was the way to eternal life in heaven. This also proves that Jesus was/is God because since heaven belongs to God, it is God alone who determines who will live with Him forever there. And, Jesus’ ability to give spiritual life after physical death to those who believe in Him is further evidence that He was/is God who rules over heaven and our eternity.
Jesus confirmed to others that He was God
MATTHEW 26:63-65 “But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, ‘I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.’ ‘Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus replied. ‘But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.’ Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.’”
Not only did Jesus repeatedly declare that He was God, but He also reiterated this fact when others who doubted or opposed that claim inquired of Him. For example, as the verse above describes an occasion in which a religious leader sought to condemn Jesus publicly for committing blasphemy, or declaring Himself to be God. The penalty for blasphemy was death and if Jesus were not convinced that He was God then we would expect Him to clarify the misunderstanding about Himself in an effort to avoid a bloody death. But, Jesus declared that He was God which further proves that everyone throughout history who has believed that Jesus claimed to be God has not misunderstood His words but rather understood them clearly.
Jesus accepted worship as God
MATTHEW 14:33 “Then those who were in the boat worshiped him Jesus, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
JOHN 9:38 “Then the man said, ‘Lord Jesus, I believe,’ and he worshiped him.”
The 10 Commandments which governed the life and worship of God’s people begin with the declaration of who God is and the commands to worship God alone and no one or nothing but Him (Exodus 20:1-17). To worship anyone or anything other than the One True God as the incredibly sin of idolatry that is forbidden throughout the Bible. But, Jesus freely welcomed other people to call Him God and worship Him as God without correcting or rebuking them for being in error. Therefore, Jesus acceptance of worship also proves that He was God.
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- The Celebrity Pastor from a small church perspective
- How far will you go to save your soul?
- One-on-One with Jerry Gillis on The Church of Western New York
- Pictures from January 27, 2019
- Don’t Weaponize Your Wound