Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, our thirteenth post in our new year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” In this post we’ll dive a bit further into three foundational truths of Christianity.
What do Christians basically believe?
For starters, that God has a wonderful plan for humanity — though Adam and Eve mucked up the works pretty darn fast. Were the actions of these infamous first sinners a surprise to God? No. Because in creating us, God intentionally gave us free will. Just like He gave Satan. Despite knowing that we, too, would all too often choose sin over Him, God allows us the freedom to choose. God isn’t interested in robots, but messy people who sincerely love Him.
Amazingly, God continually seeks to bring us back into right standing with Him. That’s true tolerance!
Let’s look at three foundational truths that committed Christ-followers find compelling enough to exclude all paths except Jesus.
Foundational Truth #1: Jesus Proved His Deity
During his 3-year ministry, Jesus repeatedly told His followers that He came from heaven to die for mankind’s sin, in order to reconcile us to God. In dying and resurrecting, Jesus fulfilled numerous Old Testament prophesies uttered hundreds of years before His birth.
But Jesus knows that talk can be cheap. So how did He make good on His claims? Through His actions.
Did Jesus demonstrate compassion, kindness, and acceptance? Yup! Jesus called out sin, but He foremost made it clear that He was motivated by the love that God the Father has for every single one of us. Did Jesus demonstrate incredible wisdom? Off the charts! He left even the most educated stumped. Did Jesus demonstrate miraculous power over nature, disease, demons, and death? Totally! Even over His own death, which validates His claim of the being the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Everything Jesus said AND did were congruent. Everything about Him, as I heard one scholar put it, “Hangs together.” It may still take quite the leap of faith for some of us to believe that God would come down in human form. But Jesus could NOT have done more to relationally prove God’s love.
Externally, Jesus appeared to be just a first-century Palestine peasant. But He proved His deity with His actions. Who can this be, asked His wowed disciples, that even the wind and sea obey Him? Click To Tweet
Foundational Truth #2: Christianity Changes People
The Bible clearly says that humanity’s woes stem from our collective sinful nature. Even our modern technology can’t save us from ourselves. Just look at the online porn footprint, which has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Despite the societal view that modern man has become “enlightened” by leaving God behind, we just can’t get beyond the pull of addiction, abuse, hatred, revenge, and other crippling, destructive behaviors.
Many people actually are looking for a “savior” — but they’re placing bets on the wrong ponies. It won’t be government intervention or subsidies, New Age philosophies, the media, the money of the super wealthy, or even the “right” president who will be able to “fix things.” Because they can’t address the real root of the problem: Us.
As Jesus notes in the Bible, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man.” (Matthew 15:19-20)
It’s so frustrating to Christians that they don’t instantly become like Jesus the moment they accept Him as Lord. God might, of course, immediately release a person from an addiction or situation that had so painfully ensnared them. But to become the loving, patient, self-controlled person that Christ modeled, we must go through the daily (and sometimes painful) process of partnering with God to put ourselves second.
But here’s the good news: because God offers us complete assurance of His love, acceptance, and forgiveness, we can RUN to him and find His arms open to us every time we mess up. We need that grace so much!
Foundational Truth #3: The Bible is Historical & Reliable
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It’s very cool that God not only cares about the issues we’re struggling with, but that in His Word He provides answers to many of our questions about life and purpose. To critics who suggest that the Bible is outdated, irrelevant, and in no way applicable to modern society, I’d have to ask if they’ve actually read much of it. The Bible teaches us how to love, how to forgive, where to place our focus, even how to be great spouses, friends, and parents.
The Bible’s integrity, specific to both its historical and geographical record, continues to be supported by external sources and archeological discoveries. Critics like to claim that the Bible can’t be trusted due to the element of human error. But this just isn’t true. We have lots of blog posts that cover the reliability of Scripture that you can peruse. Just one notable confirmation of the authenticity of the Bible can be found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were discovered in a cave in Qumran only about 70 years ago.
Jesus fulfilled loads of Old Testament prophesy through His birth, death, and resurrection. Even today, the Bible continues to provide convincing prophetic accuracy. The Bible isn’t an ordinary, static book. It contains the Spirit of God!
“I’m just not sure that I can make the leap that Jesus is God. Or that He really cares about me.”
I totally get this! Because I had to overcome these mental hurdles, too. I hated that Christ died such a gruesome death; it took me years to gratefully accept that Jesus purposefully, willingly chose to hang there to express God‘s ceaseless love for ME. Because of that sacrifice — not my actions — I am deemed worthy to enter God’s presence without shame or guilt. That’s mind-blowing!
When Jesus said, “I am the Way,” he meant it. It wasn’t small talk, it wasn’t bragging, it was truth.
Where else, in all of existence, can we find a restorative relationship based not on our do, but on our who? Show me! Among all world religions, ONLY Christianity offers grace and full acceptance of our messy insides — even if they resemble that ghastly Dorian Gray’s portrait. #yowza
The foundational truths of Christianity are based on the historical personage of Jesus. He lived, He died, and He resurrected, to intimately show us God’s amazing power and love. But the choice is up to us: Will we accept that we are so valued and wanted by the Creator of the universe?
In our next blog post, let’s look at five attributes of God. Wanna know God better? Don’t miss that post!
Catch up: The introductory post to this series.