Christianity’s Claim of Truth in Jesus:
Americans would ridicule you if you suggested that Osama Bin Laden might be in heaven someday. What would Jews say if you ever considered the possibility of Hitler in heaven? Christians suggest, however, that Jesus’ ministry has the power to redeem anyone; whether it be us, or Hitler and his horrendous, murderous self can be made “righteousness”. This is not bad gramma. The evilest person can become God’s righteousness. That is the proclamation made about Jesus.
The Bible says in (2 Cor. 5:20-21), “Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” The phrase ‘We might become the righteousness of God’ implies that God took an action and it resulted in a product called righteousness and that noun called righteousness is Augustus Henry or possibly the incessant adulterer. That is an extraordinary claim. That claim is further extended to all human beings including Hitler, the obeah man, the child molester, the rapist, and the murderer (John 3:16). That is an extraordinary promise!
Why would someone with no knowledge or convictions about Christianity believe that? Science says that the sun will die one day or the world will be destroyed by climate change some day. Most God deniers do not see hope beyond this life; and, even the bible says that the soul that sins shall die. Knowing of those dire predictions, why then should I accept as truth, that somehow, God reconstitutes humans as moral and indestructible beings for eternity? That sound hyperbolic and like an ambitious claim of truth.
The Truth Standard
Definition of truth: Veracity or verifiability
In the examination of truth, Ravi Zacharias says that the veracity of truth depends on three unavoidable principles: “logical consistency, empirical adequacy and experiential relevance”. It means therefore, any claim must abide by those standards to be verifiably true. In the case of Jesus, both Himself as a person and His ministry must meet the truth standards.
For logical consistency, there must be reasonable trends of the thinking that end in a fact-based conclusion. Empirical adequacy means that it has observable, evidential support that registers with one of your five senses. Experiential relevance means that people have engaged that reality and have consistently testified of its existence.
Questions to establish truth paradigm:
1. Is it logical that, through the ministry of Christ, God’s love resulted in hope for humanity?
2. Does the record bare adequate empirical evidence that Jesus lived here on earth and that he is who he says he is?
3. Are there enough people through history who have left behind testimonials of interaction with the Christ and are those interactions still happening today?
Those three questions are separate sermons and the last two will be addressed in separate future presentations. However, today we discussed the first – logical consistency.
Rationale for Christian’s Hope in Jesus’ Sacrifice of Love
If we as conscious beings believe in love and hope, then the whole notion of Jesus’ sacrifice for the salvation of humanity becomes plausible or even logical. Any reasonable person who accepts the idea that love and hope exist must affirm the saving possibilities of Christ work on earth. Jesus establishes that point in his statement: ‘For God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believe in him will have everlasting life” (John 3:16). For that notion to hold up as realistic truth however, it must be put through logical reasoning.
Here is that rationale: If love is a universally accepted principle by all humans as a matter of free choice, then where love exists, people must have free will. Where there is free will, people can choose to violate moral laws or to sin. Where there is sin, people need a saviour. Where there is a saviour, people find hope (Zacharias).
If we accept that love exists, we must conclude that we need restoration when we violate that eternal principle. A state of hope suggests that you are in an untenable situation; and that you have reasonable belief that someone or something could remedy it. The Christian believes that that someone is Jesus. We have come to understand that, from Hitler to the newborn baby, his sacrifice has the power to remedy every moral violation.
So, what now? Does hope for humanity exists through Jesus? Your response should be to accept him as your hope for eternal salvation. You may ask how to do that?
The three-step answer for accepting Jesus as saviour:
1. Believe in Jesus as saviour and lord of your life:
If you declare with your mouth that “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him up from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9).
2. Obedience to His word (The Bible), is an indicator of our love for Him:
Anyone who loves me and will obey my teaching, my father will come to them and we will make our home with them (John 14:23).
3. Repent, turn away from your moral violations (sin) and biblically confess Jesus through baptism.
Repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:38).