Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Recent Survey Shows Christians Don't Know The Basics

A recent survey by Lifeway Research was taken of Christians - those who indicated that trusting in Jesus’ death on the cross is the only way of salvation. They totaled 586 survey-takers.

Seven out of ten said that Jesus was the first being that God created. What?!! Seventy percent were wrong! One of the basic foundational truths of Christianity is that Jesus is God in the flesh - God coming to earth in the form of a man - that Jesus is Deity. Emmanuel = God with us. 

I hope this survey is not accurate. But I'm afraid that there are many who attend Christian churches who don't know the truth of scripture. As a matter of fact, I'm sure of it. I remember teaching a Bible study where we were discussing the first 3 verses of the Gospel of John.  

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word was with God in the beginning. All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created." (John 1:1-3)

I pointed out that if it wasn't for John 1:14, we wouldn't be sure who or what "the Word" was, but it reveals without a doubt that "the Word" is Jesus. "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." (John 1:14). Therefore, when looking at John 1:1-3, Jesus can be substituted for "the Word":

"In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God. Jesus was with God in the beginning. All things were created by Jesus, and apart from Jesus not one thing was created that has been created." 

This is a super powerful, heavy duty verse. And for those reading it for the first time, it's an eye opener. One of those attending our Bible study had never read it before. He didn't admit though until the next week when we met again. When he came into the room, he said "I'm upset. I've been upset all week." I asked him what was wrong. He said, "Nobody ever told me that Jesus was God in the flesh!"

This truth that Jesus is God in the form of a man is reinforced in the verse below:

"Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:6-8)

Jesus is not a created being. Rather, He created all things! Look at John 1:3 again, "All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created."  The "all things" in this verse means everything physical in this universe, and even includes created heavenly beings such as angels. This means Jesus, as part of the three in one Godhead, pre-existed before creation. 

If anyone thinks Jesus is a created being, or even an angel, think again. Jesus couldn't "create" Himself, that would be ridiculous. On the contrary, "all things were created by Him." (John 1:3)

"but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word." (Hebrews 1:2-3a) 

Even the Old Testament confirms that the 3-fold Godhead was involved from the beginning: "Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness..."  (Genesis 1:26)

One piece of advice...don't think too hard trying to figure out how God is 3-in-1. You might short-circuit. We weren't created with brains smart enough to comprehend such spiritual realities. Instead, just trust God's word and believe. It's called faith.