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Mere Christianity

Introduction to the essential doctrines of biblical Christianity

Mike Dayton

on 6 September 2013

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Transcript of Mere Christianity

Essential Beliefs of Christianity
What are we talking about anyway?
The basic, essential beliefs of the Christian faith
Nothing more, nothing less
You don't need a degree, or even a GED, to get it
We take the topic seriously...
but not ourselves!
We won't be camping out on the non-essentials
Young earth vs. old earth
"dunkin vs. sprinklin" baptism
Millennial views
Free choice vs. predestination
Why is this important?
But how can we share what we don't understand ourselves?
Jesus commands us to go and share the gospel
All paths do not lead to heaven
(we can all be wrong, but we can't all be right)
Only Christianity has the power to save
Don't we already
know this stuff?
Let's look at the numbers...
Only 19% of born again Christians hold a biblical worldview
Only 46% of born again Christians believe in absolute moral truth
38% of born again Christians do not strongly believe Jesus was sinless
Less than half of all born again Christians strongly believe salvation cannot be earned through good deeds
You have to recognize the standard
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

1 John 4:1
And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.

2 Corinthians 11:14-15 NASB
Before you can spot a fake
Deity of Christ
Original Sin
Canon of Scripture
New Creation
Deity of Christ
Who is Jesus?
Jesus is God
He is the creator in Genesis 1:1
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:15-17

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

John 1:1-3
de·i·ty - Noun - Divine status, quality, or nature
100% God AND 100% Man
He claimed to be God
I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

John 8: 58-59

For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God

John 5:18
The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

Matthew 26:33-34
"Just a nice guy" is not a choice
He is either the Lord...
a liar,
or a lunatic
Make your choice
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
- C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity
Original Sin
all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

- Romans 3:23
We are all born sinners
Not forgiving (Mt 6:15)
Failing to trust Christ (Jn 14:1)
Failing to honor parents (Ex 20:12)
Sin of Omission
Failing to do what we should
Sexual impurity (Rm 1:24)
Idolatry (Rm 1:24)
Drunkenness (1Cor 6:10)
Astrology (Dt 18:9-13, Is 47:13-14)
Sin of Comission
Doing what we should'nt
Sin = Any thought, word, deed, or state of being that falls short of God’s standard of perfection and holiness
This may be the nature of our enemy...
But he is much more clever than this...
And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14
Canon of Scripture
canon = standard of measurement
When in doubt, look at the M.A.P.S.
Manuscript Evidence
Archeological Evidence
Predictive Prophecy
Scriptural Synergy
Manuscript Evidence
Archeological Evidence
Predictive Prophecy
Scriptural Synergy
66 Books
44 Authors
1,500 Years
1 Unified Message
The Trinity
Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Luke 1:35
Baptism of Jesus

Luke 3:22

Matthew 28:19
Keep it as simple as ABC
The Jehovah's Witnesses interpret the word "firstborn" here to mean "first created" because it is consistent with their theological presupposition that Jesus is a created thing. Of course, Jesus, the word become flesh (John 1:1,14) is not a created thing. But that hasn't stopped the Watchtower organization from claiming He is.

Nevertheless, there is a Greek word for "first created" and it was in use at the time of Paul's writing to the Colossians. He did not use it here. The Greek for "firstborn" is proto with tikto which would give us "firstborn" and that is what we find here in Colossians 1:15. The Greek for "first created" would be proto with ktizo and it is not used here.

From www.CARM.org
So What?
“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.”
- 1Cor 15:17-19
Vindicates Christ’s claims of deity

Ensures the future bodily resurrection of believers

The cornerstone of our faith
- The body was stolen by the disciples

- Jesus never died on the cross - it was just made to appear so (AKA – The swoon theory)

Jehovah’s Witnesses
- Jesus died physically, but was raised spiritually

- It never even happened
Common theories against the resurrection
The Guards' Report

11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.' 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

Matthew 28: 11-15
The cornerstone of our faith
F – Fatal Torment
Jesus died on the cross

E – Empty Tomb
All attempts to explain away the resurrection, still have the empty tomb to deal with

A – Appearances
To the apostles
To 500 (“… most of whom are still living…” )

T – Transformation
Apostles’ sudden boldness after experiencing the risen Christ
Transformed lives of every day believers
The Resurrection of Christ was
An Amazing...
Many faiths claim to believe in Jesus...
Who do they say that he is?
the question you always need to ask is...
Modern day false, deviant, or diluted gospels
The Bible

The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christians’ beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.

2 Timothy 3:16, 1:13; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Psalm 119:105, 160, 12:6, Proverbs 30:5df

Biblically Centered – The Bible is God-inspired and our absolute truth
From Southbrook Church's Statement of Faith
But what is our position on Sola Scriptura?

Is scripture alone sufficient for understanding God's truth, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and how to live lives of holiness?

Or, do we need something more to teach us?
What do the JW's claim?
Full transcript