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RAP SHEET 3/17/24

Series: Investigating Easter

Sermon: Keep It 200

Scripture: Colossians 2:9


ICE BREAKER: What is your dream vacation and why?


REVIEW:

This week, we continued our Investigating Easter series by looking at the person of Jesus. Colossians 2:9 says, "For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ." This remarkable verse lays out the Christian belief that:

Jesus Was 100% God

&

Jesus Was 100% Man


We went through verse after verse, looking at the New Testament's clear testimony that Jesus was God and man. This is a real problem for most skeptics, who have a hard time imagining a deity in human form. Yet, that is precisely what Scripture tells us and verifies through miraculous claims.


Since this series is for the skeptic, we asked two fundamental questions:

CAN WE TRUST THE NEW TESTAMENT?

ARE MIRACLES POSSIBLE?


On the first point, we drilled down to understand exactly what the New Testament is. Most people see the Christian Scriptures as a simple religious book. However, when you study the New Testament and compare it to other texts from major religions, you notice massive differences!


Religions first write their sacred texts and then spread those ideas by FORCE or by FEAR. For example, Muhammad first wrote the Quran and then spread Islam, primarily through holy wars. In the same way, Joseph Smith first wrote the Book of Mormon and then spread the Latter-day Saints through fear and Manipulation.


That is NOT how we got the documents we call the New Testament! The New Testament is broken down into the Gospels, which are historical accounts of Jesus's life; the Acts of the early church, which are a history of the movement's start; the Epistles, which were simply letters written by church planters to the churches they started; and Prophecy, especially in the book of Revelation.


These documents were not written to START a Religion - they were written, received, hand-copied, and spread like wildfire by a movement that actually believed God had come to earth, died for the sins of humanity, and risen again. For over 300 years, these documents were copied and spread as the movement spread worldwide - not by force or fear, but through conviction and love!


However, the question remains, "Are the documents in the New Testament reliable?"

We looked at how ancient literary scholars determine the validity of ancient works and found that the key metrics are:

HOW EARLY HOW MANY

HOW MUCH CORROBORATION


Here is what you need to know: The New Testament has more documentation, earlier documentation, more eyewitness testimony, and more significant historical, archeological, and geographical corroboration than ANYTHING ELSE in Ancient History - and NOTHING comes close.


Last, we asked the question, "Are miracles possible?"

To this point, we saw that one historical argument against the possibility of miracles has stood the test of time. The argument was made by David Hume in the 1700s. While his point has carried massive weight in atheist circles, a closer inspection of the argument finds it lacking! In fact, the argument is constructed with circular reasoning, assuming the outcome before proving the outcome.


While miracles are improbable by definition (that's what makes them miraculous), there has never been proof that they are impossible!


APPLY:

Here is why it matters that Jesus is 100% God & 100% man:

Scripture reveals that our sin separates us from God. In the Old Testament, sacrifices were offered to cleanse the people’s sins and bring them back into a right standing with God. However, these sacrifices were temporary. They were officiated by sinful men FOR sinful men.


Only a human could initiate the sacrifice for humanity. It’s our sin, and we must represent our part in the reconciliation. However, only God is perfect and, therefore, could offer a perfect sacrifice.


God, put on flesh SPECIFICALLY to have that flesh torn to pieces for you. God, who is Spirit, dwelt in a body so he could spill his blood to give you life!


What misconceptions have you had about the New Testament in the past?


How is your view of God shaped by a better understanding of WHY he became human?


What is your biggest takeaway from this message?


PRAY:

Spend some time thanking Jesus for His willingness to become incarnate for us. His death as a human paid the price for our sins and brought us back into a relationship with God!










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