Monday, March 28, 2016

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH DOES NOT ONLY FEEL RIGHT; IT IS RIGHT





It is not enough to preach what we should believe. We must also preach the rationale for believing in Jesus. This is what the Apostles did throughout the Book of Acts. Apollos was no exception:

·       When he [Apollos] arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ [the Messiah] was Jesus. (Acts 18:27-28; ESV; Also 17:2-4; 28:23-24)

How had Apollos “greatly helped those who through grace had believed?” He “refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ [the Messiah] was Jesus.” He provided proof from the Hebrew Scriptures, demonstrating that Christians didn’t have to close their minds off to the evidences in order to believe. Instead, Apollos showed that the evidences favored faith.

We too need to know why we believe, not just what we should believe. Moses had this very concern when he was talking with God in the midst of the burning bush:

·       Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you.’” (Exodus 4:1)

Moses correctly understood that the Israelites would have to be convinced about the “why” question. They needed evidence, and God was prepared to provide that evidence:

·       The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. But the LORD said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand— “that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” Again, the LORD said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” And he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous like snow. Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your cloak.” So he put his hand back inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh. “If they will not believe you,” God said, “or listen to the first sign, they may believe the latter sign. If they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.” (Exodus 4:2-9)

God had provided Moses with a set of three miraculous proofs instead of telling him to tell the Israelites, “Just believe.” In fact, blind belief in not to be found in the Bible. Neither is it ever required. Instead, Jesus directed His disciples to not believe without confirmatory evidence:


·       If I am not doing the works of my Father, then DO NOT BELIEVE me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” (John 10:37-38)

We need to be assured that the Christian faith not only feels right, but that it is right!

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