First Baptist Church of Minneola
Christianity is Built to Last
- Look What The Lord Has Done
- “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” — Jesus ChristINTRO - This morning we are embarking on a series “Small Starts and Big Beginnings” which is an abridgement of the book of Acts.The series consists of 10 messages that will help recall or learn about many of the themes contained in the book of Acts.Outside of several special Sunday messages, such as one I’m planning near Valentines Day, our Sundays now through the end of March will come from the book of Acts.Once we finish the “Small Starts and Big Beginnings” series we will begin another series entitled “Through the Resurrection.”That series will fall on either side of Easter Sunday and the messages will all come from the book of John.So, get busy and try to read both the book of Acts and the book of John so the Holy Spirit can teach us as we travel through God’s Word with one another.EST - Our text this morning come at the time following Jesus’ death and resurrection when He appeared to his disciples over a 40 day period.ESS - Our message reminds us about the strength of our proof for the things we believe and how it exceeds the understanding of the worlds misguided.OSS - At the end of our time today you will have a moment to reflect on how God’s placed you into situations where these very “proofs” have aided you to speak to someone with less understanding and how that brings joy to God and strength to you.TRANS - Let’s travel back to the days of of the Bible between the resurrection and the Pentecost.What does it say?He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.What does it mean?BAK - Acts picks up where Luke ends and tells us about the early days of the gospel. The story starts with the ascension and Pentecost.As Gentiles started to react to the gospel, the story moves to more focus on Paul and his ministry.Acts is a book that bridges the story of Jesus and his ministry portrayed in the Gospels to the rest of the NT. It describes how the apostles continued with the work of Jesus and give us the historical background for the rest of the NT through Revelation.The book was a letter of Luke written to Theolphilus written A.D. 62-64.Built on a foundation you can check. “He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs”The words, “proofs, infallible proofs, convincing proofs” are all ways our English translations attempt to convey the meaning of the original language.English has no direct word-to-word correlation for the word “proof” as used in this one and only verse in the NT.We do, however, see it used in the LXX, by Josephus, Philo, and among the Greek classics hundreds of times and that is how we know it means so much more than simply “proof.”The Logos lexicon says the word is a noun that expresses “any extremely convincing, factual evidence that helps establish the truth of something.”Christianity is not a fairy tale, figment of the imagination, or fable made up by people as those so uninformed may describe.Christianity has a foundation of proofs; our faith is built on facts.In state college I was told that religion, any religion, is the creation of people; a myth or make believe. Many instructors go so far as to disallow any use of reference to Christianity. Unless it attempts to disprove it in some way.Just last week I watched a video that ended by stating religions were made up by man to explain what the didn’t understand.Seems the same people who describe religions as something made up to explain what they don’t understand do the very thing they claim religious people do; they make up stuff.Sadly, many people assume they know something without examining the evidence.Our faith is built on facts not speculation or made up stories.Because our faith is built on facts, the message of the Gospel can’t be ignored.A “fool” will ignore “proofs” and following something not based on facts is foolish.Take, for example, evolution which has no foundation or proof.The stupid theory is hardly ever even noted as a “theory.”“There is not even one bit of evidence of a change of ‘type’ found anywhere in any record from archeology or paleontology.”As such, with no verifiable proof, evolution is not scientifically provable.Yet, schools embrace evolution and want nothing to do with the message of the Gospel.Secular education therefore, is teaching lies to young minds.Odd how the “smart” call evolution intelligent and Christians not so smart.Let’s remember:“Unbelievers have a problem of their heart and not their mind.”Perhaps that is why our love does so much more to win people to Jesus than our arguments.Be ready to proclaim the truth, but always in love.TRANS - One way we communicate something can’t be avoided is by noting that something repeats frequently.Built with a frequency that corroborates. “many proofs”My car has a “check tires” indicator that comes on to let me know a tire is low on air. It comes on and stays on to remind me I need to inspect the tires. I can ignore it, but it continues to be right there in front of me. I might get used to seeing it, and it loose it’s importance, but one day I will have a flat tire.When we remind people of what is right there, and do it often enough, it will get their attention. Or, if they get to a point where they are forced to consider what you say, you have their attention.Frequency is important, it doesn’t go away.Note the word “many”This word, “many” used frequently in Acts: many days, many wonders, many persons, many days, many years, many nations.
■ determiner, pronoun, & adjective (more, most) a large number of.It’s an adjective that describes “proofs.”It communicates that the evidence of Christianity comes as a multitude of proofs.The word “proofs” itself is written in the plural form indicating more than one.Yet, compiled with “many” means a who lot of proof.“Christianity does not lack for proof.”Christianity has lots of facts that proof it is true.On earth, Jesus proved who he was and He claimed to be the Messiah, but His evidence was rejected even by the religious elite.Recall, that by the time of the trial of Jesus, he’d preformed many miracles observed by thousands of people.Jesus healed the blind, raised the dead, and delivered people from demonic.Do you know that you can examine something done by God and you will find proof that verifies that it is true?With truth, it is verifiable and often with much verification.God wants his actions scrutinized, looked into, examined.Truth always comes up provable.This is not the same with lies.With error, it remains deceitful and does not want to be examined.TRANS - Let’s look in to this flawlessness.Built to be flawless certifying the Gospel. “many proofs”The wording here, as noted earlier, varies from one English translation to the next.That is because the English language has no direct equivalent to the underlying Greek text.Sometimes we see it translated as “many infallible proofs.”That does a better job of conveying the meaning of the underlying text.The Greek means convincing proofs; more than simply proofs.The word gives the idea of flawless excellence in the quality of the proofs.The evidence is beyond question; it is not weak evidence.In many ways, your personal faith reflects that same excellent quality.Perhaps that is one reason Jesus asks you to be a witness for him.Your words convey the truth in such a way that nobody can refute what you tell them you believe.What did God ask me to do?Knowing this is core to being a Christian, in what way have you applied this in your life?How have you used a “proof” to talk with someone about Jesus?What “speaking about the kingdom” message of Jesus inspires you most often?Do you know that "the joy of the Lord is your strength?”Bring joy to the Lord by telling someone about Jesus this week.(end)
- The Love Of God
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