Theology

Theology - The study of religious faith, practice and experience; especially: the study of God and of God’s relation to the world.

Theology – Theos is the greek work for god and olgy means study of. 

 

Inside theology there are a number of different ideas.

  • Pantheism – ‘pan’ meaning all and ‘theos’ meaning belief in God/gods
    • The Star Wars god
    • Also the god of the New-Age or Cosmic Humanist worldview.
    • Views god as some power which encompasses all things and can be channeled or plugged into. 
    • This god is not conscience or personal.  This god sets no moral standard.
  • Polytheism – ‘poly’ meaning many
    • The gods of Roman or Greek Mythology
    • Modern example would be Hinduism.
    • The view recognizes many gods of various forms and powers.  Often there are gods for every aspect of life, a god who brings rain, a god who brings sun, etc.
    • These gods are not consistent.  They do not give a moral standard.
  • Atheism – ‘a’ as a prefix negates the rest of the word
    • This view is held by all Humanists and Marxists.  Its roots are in Greek philosophy.
    • This view holds that there is no external power which created/interacted with the world.  This leads to either the deification of chance and natural selection as the originators of all things or leads to the deification of self as the provider of one’s destiny.
    • Holds that there is no purpose higher than this life and no moral law.
  • Deism
    • Supposed (often falsely) to be the belief of many of the founding fathers.
    • This view is held by some scientists today.
    • This view holds that a god created the world but after creation has had no interaction with the world.
    • This god is not personal and only created natural law, not moral law.
  • Theism – from ‘theos’
    • This view holds that there is a God who has created the universe, interacted with it and given it a moral standard.
    • Only 3 main religions hold this view: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
    • God has given both natural and spiritual laws and has a purpose for which He created the world.

 

Nature/Character of God

1)   God is Infinite

a)      Aseity   - God is self existent (Ex 3:14; Ps 90:2; Is 40:28-31)

i)        "And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”" (Ex 3:14 NKJV)

ii)       "Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. " (Psalm 90:2 NKJV)

iii)     "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:28-31 NKJV)

b)      Omnipotent - God is all powerful (Rev 19:6; Job 42:2; Jer 32:17,27)

i)        "And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!" (Revelation 19:6 NKJV)

ii)       "“I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. " (Job 42:2 NKJV)

iii)     "‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You." (Jeremiah 32:17)

iv)     "“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?" (Jeremiah 32:27 NKJV)

c)      Omniscient - God is all knowing (Ps 147:4,5; Isa 46:10, Acts 15:18)

i)        "He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite. " (Psalm 147:4-5)

ii)       "Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ " (Is 46:10)

iii)     "“Known to God from eternity are all His works." (Acts 15:18 NKJV)

d)      Immutable - God is unchanging (Ps 102:27; Mal 3:6; Heb 6:17-18)

i)        "But You are the same, And Your years will have no end. " (Psalm 102:27)

ii)       "“For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. " (Malachi 3:6 NKJV)

iii)     "Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us." (Hebrews 6:17-18 NKJV)

e)      Holy - God is separate from evil (Ps 145:17; Isa 6:3; I Pet 1:16-25; Rev 4:8)

i)        "The Lord is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works." (Psalm 145:17 NKJV)

ii)       "And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!”" (Isaiah 6:3 NKJV)

iii)     "because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you." (1 Peter 1:16-25 NKJV)

iv)     "The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”" (Revelation 4:8 NKJV)

f)        Eternal / Immortal - God is forever and thus cannot die. (Ps 90:2; Deut 33:27; I Tim 1:17; I Tim 6:16)

i)        "Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. " (Psalm 90:2 NKJV)

ii)       "The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, ‘Destroy!’ " (Deut 33:27)

iii)     "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." (1 Timothy 1:17 NKJV)

iv)     "who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen." (1 Timothy 6:16)

g)      Truth - God does what He said He would do. (Deut 32:4; Ps 33:4; John 17:2-3,17)

i)        "He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. " (Deuteronomy 32:4 NKJV)

ii)       "For the word of the Lord is right, And all His work is done in truth." (Psalm 33:4)

iii)     "as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (John 17:2-3 NKJV)

iv)     "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." (John 17:17 NKJV)

h)      Love - God is love (I John 4:8,16; I Cor 13:13; John 15:9-14)

i)        "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." (1 John 4:8 NKJV)

ii)       "And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." (1 John 4:16 NKJV)

iii)     "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV)

iv)     "“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you." (John 15:9-14 NKJV)

i)        Life - God is life and gives life (Gen 1:27;Ps 84:2; I Thes 1:9; Mat 16:16)

i)        "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (Genesis 1:27 NKJV)

ii)       "My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. " (Psalm 84:2 NKJV)

iii)     "For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God," (1 Thessalonians 1:9 NKJV)

iv)     "Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”" (Matthew 16:16 NKJV)

2)   God is personal

a)      He is aware/perceptive/responsive (Ps 33:13; Ps 34:17; 1 Kings 20:42; Ps 40:17; Jer 15:15)

i)        "The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. " (Psalm 33:13)

ii)       "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. " (Psalm 34:17 NKJV)

iii)     "Then he said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Because you have let slip out of your hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people.’ ”" (1 Kings 20:42 NKJV)

iv)     "But I am poor and needy; Yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God." (Psalm 40:17 NKJV)

v)      "O Lord, You know; Remember me and visit me, And take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In Your enduring patience, do not take me away. Know that for Your sake I have suffered rebuke. " (Jeremiah 15:15 NKJV)

b)       He has emotions (Gen 6:6; Ps 78:40,58-59; Is 62:5; Ps 86:15)

i)        "And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart." (Genesis 6:6 NKJV)

ii)       "How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, And grieved Him in the desert! " (Psalm 78:40 NKJV)

iii)     "For they provoked Him to anger with their high places, And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images. When God heard this, He was furious, And greatly abhorred Israel, " (Psalm 78:58-59 NKJV)

iv)     "For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you." (Isaiah 62:5 NKJV)

v)      "But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth." (Psalm 86:15 NKJV)

c)      He interacts, dialogues, and discloses His heart to His confidants  (Ps 16:7; Ps 73:23; Ps 25:14; Gen 18.17; Prov 3:32; Mt 13:11f; Jn 14.21; Phil 3.15)

i)        "I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons. " (Psalm 16:7 NKJV)

ii)       "Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. " (Psalm 73:23 NKJV)

iii)     "The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant. " (Psalm 25:14 NKJV)

iv)     "And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing," (Genesis 18:17 NKJV)

v)      "For the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord, But His secret counsel is with the upright. " (Proverbs 3:32 NKJV)

vi)     "He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given." (Matthew 13:11 NKJV)

vii)   "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”" (John 14:21 NKJV)

viii)  "Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you." (Philippians 3:15 NKJV)

Because of God’s personal nature we can say that we have a personal relationship with the Living God instead of just saying that we follow a religious system.

The basic attributes combine to give complex attributes. God is love so He shows mercy, gives grace, and is kind.  God is holy so He is just, is good, is righteous.  God is omnipotent so He is a refuge, is mighty, cannot be mocked, etc.

From these attributes directly come many of the commands from God. "Do not bear false witness" comes because God is truth. "Do not murder" comes because God is life. "Do not worship other gods" comes because of God's aseity and giving of life. The commands follow from His nature and are to shape our nature to be like His.

 

3)   God is a community

a)      The Godhead (Col 2:9)

i)        "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;" (Colossians 2:9 NKJV)

b)      No need for creation -- God was not 'lonely'!

c)      Love and commitment (Jn 17.24)

i)        "“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world." (John 17:24 NKJV)

d)      Intimacy -- the unity of 'essence' and interaction

e)      Individuals--they are still separate agents (I Tim 2:5)

i)        "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus," (1 Timothy 2:5 NKJV)

f)        Unity - God is one (Deut 6:4; Jn 17:11,21)

i)        "“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!" (Deuteronomy 6:4 NKJV)

ii)       "Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are." (John 17:11 NKJV)

iii)     "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me." (John 17:21 NKJV)

4)   Creatio Ex Nihilo (Created out of nothing)

a)      God designed, created, and sustains (Gen 1-2; Job 33:4-6; Ps 139; Heb 1:1-3)

i)        "The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life. If you can answer me, Set your words in order before me; Take your stand. Truly I am as your spokesman before God; I also have been formed out of clay. " (Job 33:4-6 NKJV)

ii)       " God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high," (Hebrews 1:1-3 NKJV)

iii)     "For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. " (Psalm 139:13-16 NKJV)

b)      Because we are created in the image of God, our lives have value over the other created creatures.

c)      Man was given dominion over the rest of creation, not to misuse but to use.

d)      All was good

 

5)   What Happened?

a)      So if God created everything and said it was good, why is there all this suffering in the world?

b)      If God is all powerful, all knowing and good, couldn’t He make a world in which there was no suffering?  Can’t He fix this world to get rid of the suffering? Or isn’t He good?

6)   Sin and the fall of man

a)      The Christian answer to this question does not blame God for the problem of suffering  (Genesis 3 & Isaiah 14:12-15)

i)        "“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. " (Isaiah 14:12-15 NKJV)

b)      God gave man one rule and man broke it.  By doing so man attempted to exalt himself to be like God and create his own moral standards. 

c)      Suffering is then the result of human rebellion against God.

7)   Can’t man fix his mess?

a)      The Mosaic Law was given to show man the standard of perfection.  Man, if he could follow the law would be justified by his works (Deut 8:2,17:9-11,16:20,4:1,40; Lev 18:5; Ezek 18:4-9 )

i)        "And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not." (Deuteronomy 8:2 NKJV)

ii)       "You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God is giving you." (Deuteronomy 16:20 NKJV)

iii)     " “Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you." (Deuteronomy 4:1 NKJV)

iv)     "You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”" (Deuteronomy 4:40 NKJV)

v)      "You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord." (Leviticus 18:5 NKJV)

vi)     "“Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die. But if a man is just And does what is lawful and right; If he has not eaten on the mountains, Nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife, Nor approached a woman during her impurity; If he has not oppressed anyone, But has restored to the debtor his pledge; Has robbed no one by violence, But has given his bread to the hungry And covered the naked with clothing; If he has not exacted usury Nor taken any increase, But has withdrawn his hand from iniquity And executed true judgment between man and man; If he has walked in My statutes— And kept My judgments faithfully— He is just; He shall surely live!” Says the Lord God. " (Ezekiel 18:4-9 NKJV)

b)      But even with the standard and help from God by miracle after miracle, the whole OT shows us that man completely fails.

8)   Then What?

a)      Since man can’t justify himself are we left with no hope?  Is there no way?

b)      It is impossible for man to justify himself but it is possible for God to justify man.

c)      “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3)

9)   Who is this man?

a)      Virgin Birth & Surrounding Miracles (Matt 1-2; Luke 2)

b)      Doctrine of the King (Matt 5-7)

c)      Power to heal sick (Mt 8:1-17; Mt 14:34-36)

i)        "When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour. Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them. When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.”" (Matt 8:1-17)

ii)       "When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well." (Matthew 14:34-36 NKJV)

d)      Power over nature (calming storm) (Matt 8:23-27;Jn 6:16-21)

i)        "Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”" (Matthew 8:23-27 NKJV)

ii)       "Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going." (John 6:16-21 NKJV)

e)      Power over demons (Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-43,Matt 8:28-34)

i)        "And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?” Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.” He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”" (Mark 9:14-29 NKJV)

ii)       "Now it happened on the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, that a great multitude met Him. Suddenly a man from the multitude cried out, saying, “Teacher, I implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child. And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him so that he foams at the mouth; and it departs from him with great difficulty, bruising him. So I implored Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” And as he was still coming, the demon threw him down and convulsed him. Then Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave him back to his father. And they were all amazed at the majesty of God. But while everyone marveled at all the things which Jesus did, He said to His disciples," (Luke 9:37-43 NKJV)

iii)     "When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. So the demons begged Him, saying, “If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine.” And He said to them, “Go.” So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water. Then those who kept them fled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region." (Matthew 8:28-34 NKJV)

f)        Power to provide (feedings of 5000, 4000) (Matt 14:13-21;Mark 8:1-10)

g)      Power to forgive sin (Lk 5:18-26; Lk 7:44-48)

i)        "Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him. And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus. When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today!”" (Luke 5:18-26 NKJV)

ii)       "Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”" (Luke 7:44-48 NKJV)

h)      Power over death (Matt 9:23-26; Jn 11:1-44)

i)        "When Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing, He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him. But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. And the report of this went out into all that land." (Matthew 9:23-26 NKJV)

i)        Fulfillment of Prophesy (Isa 7:14; Micah 5:2; Hosea 11:1; Ps 78:2; Zech 9:9; Isa 53;Jer 32:6-9; Ps 22:18)

i)        "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)

ii)       "“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” " (Micah 5:2 NKJV)

iii)     " “When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son. " (Hosea 11:1 NKJV)

iv)     "I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, " (Psalm 78:2 NKJV)

v)      "“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. " (Zechariah 9:9 NKJV)

vi)     "They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots. " (Psalm 22:18 NKJV)

j)        Death as the final sacrifice (Heb 9:11-28,10:11-14;Ro 8:1-11)

i)        "But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation." (Hebrews 9:11-28 NKJV)

ii)       "And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified." (Hebrews 10:11-14 NKJV)

iii)     "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." (Romans 8:1-11 NKJV)

k)      Resurrection proves acceptance of the sacrifice  (1 Cor 15:12-28)

i)        "Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all." (1 Corinthians 15:12-28 NKJV)

10)          What must I do to be saved?

 

 

11)          I’m a Christian, Now What?

a)      "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen." (Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV)

b)      "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”" (1 Peter 1:13-16 NKJV)

c)      Serve others - "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’" (Matthew 25:34-40 NKJV)

d)      "pray without ceasing," (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV)

e)      "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:24-25)

 

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;" (1 Peter 3:15 NKJV)

 

The idea here is not just giving a testimony about your belief but sharing the reasons and evidence which would compel  someone to come to the same conclusion.

Faith is not some blind hope based on nothing, it is solidly grounded in evidence.

 

"For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." (1 Corinthians 9:19-22 NKJV)

 

Christians need to know how God’s word applies in every area of life.  Being Holy is not just a theological thing reserved for Sundays.  It pervades all fields and all places and all times.  There is a holy way to carry out business, a holy way to deal with people, a holy way to practice politics, etc.

Christians must be able to customize the gospel message for the audience.  This doesn’t mean changing the message.  It means changing the presentation of the message.  Someone who believes in God and accepts that the Bible is the Word of God should receive a very different presentation of the Gospel than someone who believes there is no God and everything evolved.  Ultimately the Christian message is a uniform package.  But depending on who it is being shared with, we need to start explaining things in different places.  One needs to be start by convinced first that God exists.  Another needs to start by being show the creation account.  Another needs the presentation to begin with the law and to be convinced of their own sin.  Still another already sees their sin and simply needs to be pointed to the cross and empty tomb. 

 

If Christ is Lord at all, He must be Lord of all.

 

© Ben Kuehmichel, 2004 and 2005