Posts tagged apologetics
Posts tagged apologetics
How often have you heard this verse used when someone needs to reassure him/herself that they can do anything? This verse has become one of the most misinterpreted parts of scripture in the Christian culture these days it seems. Is Paul really trying to tell us that we can do anything we want if we have Jesus? We can get straight As in school, win every football game, etc. We have to remember that this verse isn’t to be used as a self-confidence boosting motto when we’re challenging ourselves in an area of life.
So what then does this verse mean? Let’s look at the text surrounding it:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Paul is trying to simply tell us that we can be content in all situations when we depend on Christ for strength. When time are bad, when you lose your job, when your girlfriend breaks up with you, when you flunk the semester, you can get through all of that when you turn to Jesus to strengthen you. Through Him you can be content in bad situations.
But this isn’t just for the bad times, it is for the good times too. In times of plenty and abundance our contentment is to come from Christ not from what we have. I think an example of this is when we see people who have many possessions or much wealth but are just never happy. When our contentment is based on having things, even if those things are necessities in life, we will never be truly content. We can only find consistent satisfaction in the One who gave His life for us. Our sufficiency for life in any situation is in Jesus Christ
What’s the big deal about the Resurrection? As a non-believer it is the best point to start at when one is trying to decide is Christianity is true. Christians say that Jesus is God because prophets said that he would be born, do all of these miracles, be crucified and rise again so that sin could be forgiven, allowing people to be “saved” and spend eternity with God. The fastest way to prove Christianity wrong is to show that Jesus didn’t come back from the dead…easy enough right? It isn’t like people die and come back from the dead everyday so it shouldn’t be that hard to prove that that whole story is just a myth.
Paul felt this topic was of utmost importance, . Don’t believe me? Let’s check out 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 (The Message translation) Read this as if Paul was talking directly to you:
“Now, let me ask you something profound yet troubling. If you became believers because you trusted the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead, how can you let people say that there is no such thing as a resurrection? If there’s no resurrection, there’s no living Christ. And face it—if there’s no resurrection for Christ, everything we’ve told you is smoke and mirrors, and everything you’ve staked your life on is smoke and mirrors. Not only that, but we would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits we passed on to you verifying that God raised up Christ—sheer fabrications, if there’s no resurrection.
If corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t, because he was indeed dead. And if Christ weren’t raised, then all you’re doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they’re already in their graves. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot.
Paul brings up many good points:
If Christ didn’t die and resurrect then the Christian faith is a sham.
If it is a sham then we are denying to true God by believing lies.
If Christians are just believing lies then Jesus was good for some momentary warm & fuzzy feelings but that is all.
Our eternity rests on the Resurrection, our entire religion does.
Anyone involved in Christian Apologetics has usually heard this reaction when telling someone that they are learning about Apologetics.
So if Apologetics isn’t about apologizing for being a Christian, what is it?
Textbook definition: “:Reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.”
Real life application definition: Being able to use reason, logic, and evidence for your faith in Christ.
Biblical example: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..” 1 Peter 3:15
One of the things that amazes me about God is that He has given us so much evidence to use when explaining why we believe what we believe. He knew people would ask us why we are Christians, why we believe in the Bible, why we believe we are saved through Christ’s death & resurrection…and He put everything right there in His Word and through other sources to show that He is real! Peter wrote to the Church telling us that we need to be prepared to explain to others why we are followers of Christ. He also commanded us to do so kindly with respect for others.
“Do we really need Apologetics? Isn’t just believing enough?”
Here’s the thing, just believing something without any real reason to believe it is blind faith. The Bible does not ask us to believe anything blindly. Throughout the Gospels we see Jesus doing things to show people that he was the Messiah. He didn’t just tell people he was the Messiah and expect them to just believe it without any real reason to.
Think about it, if someone asks you why you believe Jesus is God and died for your salvation, and your reply is “Because the Bible says so”, it will likely not sway that person to believe also. Anyone can write in a book that they are God right? What makes the Bible the Truth? The Gospel is said to be the most offensive doctrine out there. Think about it, if you don’t believe that Jesus died for your sins then you can’t get yourself in Heaven. Many people find that offensive.
Look at John 14:6- Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Many people think that isn’t fair and therefore need to see some sort of proof that Jesus really is the only way to God. In all of his infinite wisdom God has provided us with plenty of proof to backup our beliefs, we just need to equip ourselves!