Faith

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.

By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith.

It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.”    Hebrews 11:1-7, New Living Translation

If I build a house, I’m not going to start framing the walls and setting sheet-rock and putting a roof on that house until I have solid, firm foundation set in place and I am certain and have full assurance that the foundation is solid and stable.

NASCAR is the biggest spectator sport in America (I think in the world).  They know who they can race.  The guys that will hold their line and not wreck them and they will run laps side-by-side because they have a foundation of trust with each other.

Faith is not wishful thinking, wishing something to be true when there is no evidence or support for it.  Faith is certainty of what is real.  Assurance of what I have believed in.  Reality and truth as strong as a foundation with trust that will go along with its truth.

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What About Jesus?

Just say his name.  “Jesus.”  There is something in that name.  Jesus – that’s the Latin form that is so common and well-known.  His name, if we follow a more Biblical approach should be “Yeshua.”  Read a number of articles by Ted Weiland at http://www.missiontoisrael.org/.  He constantly calls him Yeshua.

Yeshua, “The Lord is Salvation.”  The Christ is Savior.

But this isn’t about correcting an obvious mistake in the church’s history, this is about the one called Yeshua.  His life so (in alphabetical order)

  • Awesome
  • Beautiful
  • Caring
  • Daring
  • Eventful
  • Full
  • Godly
  • Holy
  • Immanuel
  • Just
  • Kind
  • Loving
  • Master
  • Name above all names
  • Overcomer
  • Prophet
  • Quench’s spiritual thirst
  • Righteous
  • Son of God
  • Teacher
  • Upright
  • Victor
  • Water of life
  • X-factor (the unknown quotient)
  • Yahweh
  • Zealous

Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, first and last beginning and end (everything in between).  The Bible uses so many terms and word pictures to describe Jesus, it would take a book to list them.  Oh yeah, it did.  It’s called the Bible.

There are many things that we can learn about Jesus.  I have chosen 5 aspects of who Jesus is that are important for people to know to become his disciples.

  • That Jesus is our Healer
  • That Jesus is the Son of God
  • That Jesus is our High Priest
  • That Jesus is the Risen Savior, Our Redeemer
  • That Jesus is the Coming King

Is there more?  Yes.   And time gives us opportunity to look at more.  But we’ll just start with these for now.

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Is There More Than Believing Jesus is the Son of God?

Apostles  37

The beginning of this discussion is this link: https://blogthechurch.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/i-believe-what-do-i-believe/

The implications and understanding of Jesus being the Son of God is huge.  The basic truth is “Emmanuel, God with us.”  I like that.  It’s a whole lot more than the idea that anyone is with us.  When someone we love dies, they’re always with us in our memories and emotions, but God is with us in Jesus.  He came to earth, born to a virgin, a miracle of God, and lived and breathed, ate and drank, experienced emotions and everything that we humans have (Hebrews from beginning to end).  God and man in one person.

But the reason God is with us, that he came to earth was to atone (equal to pay for) our sins.  To wash us clean from the sins that we are unable to do anything about on our own.  Transcendental Mediation can’t take care of them, psychological assessments and treatments only mask an eternal problem.  But Jesus came to die for sins.  Yours mine and everyone’s

So, he went to the cross as a sacrifice for our sins.  All the apostles preached Jesus’ crucifixion.  Read every message that Peter and any other apostle preached, read Paul’s life history and Jesus being crucified for our sins is the crux of their message.  The preaching of Jesus being crucified includes his raising from the dead.

You know there are three critical things that are argued about in the church and even the world wonders about.  One is communion, another is baptism and the other is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  They are all related.  So if the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus isn’t true, nothing else matters.  Read 1 Corinthians 15 and see if it isn’t important.  Read Acts 2 and realize it is the most important thing in the world, ever.  If history from the beginning of time to the end of time was depicted as a line (history is linear), the crucial point would be AD 29 (some claim AD 30 and some AD 33 but that time period) would be the pivotal point for that line.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life, John 3:16.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved, Romans 10:9-10.

A key element to believing in Jesus as the Son of God is believing God raised him from the dead.

If Jesus is not raised from the dead, we’re in big trouble.  Your faith is invalid.  You are lost in your sins without any hope http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2015:12-20&version=NIV .

But he has raised from the dead.  In his life, there is life for you.  Life that is different from the sinful ways that destroy body, emotions, relationships and the spirit.

Next time, before we go to repentance, we’ll examine the evidence that Jesus is alive, again.

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I Believe – What Do I Believe?

crown_of_thorns_cannon_lThey called Jackie Gleason “The Great One!”  Michael Jackson is known as the “King of Pop.”  B.B. King is the “King of the Blues” and Elvis, well, we know him as “The King.”

B.B. is the only one still living and he’s in his mid-eighties.  There is one that is truly Great who is the real King. He was alive, died, and is alive again.   His name is Jesus who is the Christ/Messiah.  He existed before time and creation and will exist after time and creation (John 1) and in fact he is the creator.  He is known as the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and End and countless other titles that imply the eternal character and nature of his existence

But of significance importance to you and me is that Jesus is the Son of God.

Jesus is more than a prophet.  Jesus is more than a preacher.  And, Jesus is more than a healer.  Jesus did all of these things, but each of these characterizations are only representative of God in limited ways, just like the ancient prophets of God.  They only had portions of  God’s revelation and portions of God’s word.  But Jesus is the Son of God which means tons more than the combination of these characterizations.  It means that Jesus fully represented God.  More Biblically put, he is the exact representation of God.

Hebrews 1:1-3 (New International Version)

1In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but 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. 3The 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.

And there is more . . .

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