Thursday, May 08, 2008

Living with Questions 5

Living with Questions: Has God Spoken?

I. Introduction: Review of previous weeks

Assignment from last week: Ask some people at school if they believe God exists – and then ask why or why not. So they seem willing to talk about it? Have they even thought about it much? See what kind of discussion happens.

A. Is Love Possible? Yes, God is love. Love existed within the trinity before creation

B. If God is LOVE and he is the CREATOR then it would seem that He could hardly be silent!

II. Living with Questions: The Question for today is: Has God Spoken?

A. Name some forms of communication that we use to get our message to others
1. Verbal: talk, tone of voice, silence
2. Written: books, IM’s, text messaging
3. Actions: serving, fighting, love, aggression, hate, etc.

B. God has also chosen to speak to us in a variety of ways

1. Through NATURE:

a. Have you ever seen something that just took your breath away by its’ awesomeness? Has being in nature ever affected you in a holy way?

b. Have any of you watched “Planet Earth” or any type of documentary about the planet, animals, wildlife, that just amazed you?

c. Matthew 6:24-25 – Jesus points to nature for us to learn from, that there is a God behind it all taking care of his creation.

d. Forrest Gump: Lt. Dan fought against God and made peace with God in the context of nature.

e. PEOPLE are apart of God’s creation. Has there been a time in your life where God spoke to you through the impact other people have had on you? We all struggle with sin but the image of God is still within us.

2. Through the WRITTEN word: how can we know the Bible is reliable?

a. Test #1: Preservation – proof that the New Testament we have today is what was originally written.

1. Comparison

Author: Plato
Writing: Republic
Time of Writing: 400BCE
Earliest known copy: 900CE
Time between writing and copies: 1,300 years
# of copies: 8

Author: Thucydides
Writing: The History of the Peloponnesian War
Time of Writing: 430BCE
Earliest known copy: 900CE
Time between writing and copies: 1,300 years
# of copies: 8

Author: Many authors
Writing: The New Testament
Time of Writing: 1st Century CE
Earliest know copy: 117CE
Time between writings and copies: Fragments – 50 years Books – 100 year Complete NT- 325 CE
# of copies: 5,000 +

b. Test #2: Reliability – proof that the New Testament we have today is telling
the truth. Is it trustworthy?

1. Tests of Reliability: testing the story of the resurrection

a. Multiple stories about the same thing
1. Gospel accounts
2. Paul’s testimony that hundreds saw Christ

b. My enemy said something about me that benefited me, but
not my enemy.
1. Matthew 28: 11-15 – Soldiers paid to lie
2. The fact that they do not deny: the tomb is empty!

c. Embarrassing information
1. Peter’s denial
2. The women as the first at the tomb

3. Through ACTION

1. The God who created nature BECAME nature through the incarnation

a. Jesus calls himself by the same titles that were used to refer to God in the Bible: the Shepherd, the Light.

b. Jesus forgives sins, which only God can do.

c. Jesus allows himself to be worshiped as God, which is ungodly to allow, unless you are God.

d. Jesus heals the sick, raises the dead, and even conquers death itself.

e. Jesus is God in disguise. God choose a way that is near enough to affirm our minds and hearts, but at the same time far enough not to overwhelm us.

III. Conclusion

God speaks to us through NATURE, the WRITTEN WORD and ACTION.! Have you given serious consideration to the ways in which God has chosen to reveal himself to YOU!


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