Why I follow and believe in Jesus Christ.

I am a member of Trinity Bible Church in Durham NC and would like to invite you to visit our web site at www.TrinityBibleNC.com.  Recent sermons may be watched there.

 The most important thing anyone can consider is what they believe concerning God and faith.  Our entire existence on this planet is just an opportunity to discover God and establish faith in Him. Every thing else is only temporary.  Establishing faith is the most important thing we can do.  1 Peter 7 speaks of “faith more precious than gold”.  If we could for a second see  heaven, we would be absolutely certain of how right Peter was.  Because even if we had all the gold on planet earth God would not for a second be impressed nor would He allow us to buy a single day in heaven.  If we had the strength of Samson, the wisdom of Solomon, the long life of Methuselah  and worked every second doing good deeds we could not earn eternal life.  It is only given to those who have faith in Jesus Christ. 

The Bible presents faith as a gift from God to be sought and as a  treasure to be found.  I define faith as a decision to believe based on knowledge, agreement, and trust.   Faith is only as strong as the person or object in which it is placed.  Faith can be dead, blind, deaf, dead, baby like or strong.  The choice is yours.  Only faith focused in Jesus Christ will save.

In this article I present 4 topics: 

1.  Why Christians believe in Jesus. 

2.  What Jesus taught. 

3.  Why we believe in the Bible 

4  Why we believe in God. 

Each topic is presented in the form of a memorable acronym.  

WHY I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST

So what makes Christians believe in Jesus Christ?  Let’s take a look at a typical day in Christ’s life.

Imagine a fair size hill.  Christ would have been near the top.  This location would have allowed him the best projection of His voice.  There were no sound systems, so speaking to large crowds would have been real work.  Large comfortable buildings just would not have been available to Him.  At times the weather would have not helped the situation.  His ministry was not easy.  Mark 1 tells us He often had to stay in lonely remote places because He attracted such large crowds.

Speaking of large crowds.  Mark tells us they came from everywhere.  I think some people walked for weeks or even months to get to Jesus.  Travel was difficult, dangerous, and expensive.  Entire towns and cities came out to see Him.  All of the gospel writers spoke of huge crowds or multitudes of people  On one event 4000 people on another 5000 people were there.  If there were thousands of common people there would have been hundreds of the clergy there.  The scribes (the book writers) and the teachers of the law who were the Pharisees loved the front row seats and would have easily made their way through the crowds to be right in front of Jesus.  They would have watched His every move and heard every word.  The soldiers would have been there too – making sure no talk of revolution took place.  The thieves would have come; seeking to find opportunities for evil with so many people. 

The big question is why did so many people come out to see Jesus?  If He was just a carpenter with some interesting sayings, He would have never attracted such large groups.  Even His own disciples didn’t understand what He was saying.  They faithfully took notes but really didn’t understand much of what they were hearing and writing at the time.  The average people were mainly farmers, fishermen, tradesmen, everyday working people – they would not have gone to so much trouble to get to Christ just to hear interesting stories or new ideas.  Why did they come?  Yet they did.  Week after week, year after year, for over three years thousands and thousands of people came to Jesus.

Poor people traveling significant distances may have depleted all their savings to get there.  There was no high way patrol and robbers often waited along the roads to kill and steal from travelers.  Speaking of no highway patrol there were no modern highways, no mass transportation, automobiles, airplanes, or convenient motels.  Travel would have been very costly, difficult, slow, and dangerous.  Most people would have not owned horses; travel would have meant walking endless miles, dangerous boat trips and wilderness camping.  So why did these great crowds come? 

Even after they arrived to the area they would have had to wait and search for Jesus.  He often traveled over 20 miles in a single day.  No news media or convenient signage would have assisted in finding Him.  When people finally did find Him there were no comfortable seats, no inspiring music, no air conditioning, no concessions, no shade or protection from rain not even port-a-potties.  So really why did they come?  What real practical reason would there have been for so many to have come from so far?

They came because of the miracles.  The miracles were amazingly, awesomely, instantly, freely,  totally, completely, powerfully, lastingly, unquestionably real!  Jesus could heal blindness, deafness, or lameness with just a word or touch.  People would be healed just by touching His clothing – never saying a word.  The rich and common people came with their need of healing or bringing sons, daughters, or friends in desperate need.  The Bible says He healed all their diseases; it says everyone was totally amazed!  There was no surgery, no painful treatments, no expensive medicine, no big bills – just total, instantaneous, complete, lasting healing!

At times as many as ten men with leprosy would be healed at once.  Leprosy then was in many ways worse than Aids is now.  People who got it were without hope of any medical help.  They were instantly shunned and ejected from home and community.  Leprosy cause bad smell, claw like hands – until fingers dropped off, the face developed a cat like appearance.  Slow death was a certainty.  People feared leprosy.  The Pharisees would throw rocks at the lepors.  They were supposed to cry “Unclean” so others could stay away from them.  But Jesus wasn’t afraid to touch them and when He did they were healed instantly and completely.  Only God could have done what Jesus did!  Only God would have had the power that Jesus had!

The mircles are just the first reason why we believe in Jesus.  I recently taught a class on this topic, and I gave my students an easy-to-remember acrostic based on the title MESSIAH that will help you remember the reasons why we believe in Jesus.

Miraculous

Who was in front of the crowd every time Jesus performed a miracle? No doubt the skeptical scribes and Pharisees daily pushed their way to the front of the crowd. If they had seen even the remotest possibility that Christ’s miracles were not genuine or did not last, they would have been written those accounts of fraud, and their descendants would cite them even to this very day. But not one word was said or could be said. These religious leaders, who staunchly opposed Jesus, no doubt checked every miracle or healing completely. They questioned family members and neighbors (John 9).  Not a single small detail escaped their notice. Certainly they returned even years later to see if the healing actually lasted. They could not refute the reality of the miracles. So they attacked the source of Jesus power, claiming that Jesus healed by the power of Satan instead of the power of God. However, even this attack testified to the reality of the miracles. The New Testament records over forty miracles, such as healing blindness, lameness, and leprosy, and raising the dead but there were really so many more.  They gospel writers said over and over that “He healed all their deseases.” 

Evergreen

 E is for evergreen, because the teachings of Jesus are like timeless evergreens. People never seem to grow tired of seeing some TV programs, such as Andy Griffith and Gun Smoke, and so the TV industry refers to them as evergreens, like the trees whose leaves never change or die with the seasons. The teachings of Jesus are timeless evergreens. They are as relevant today as they were a thousand years ago. That is in itself a miracle. Isnt it amazing that we still teach our children the truths of Jesus?

 Thousands of years after Jesus first spoke them, the truths Jesus taught are just as important as they have ever been. And if our world should continue for another thousand years, the words of Jesus will continue to shape and instruct His church, and His teachings will still be relevant and loved. This eternal truth reminds me of what He said: “My words will never pass away”. (Matthew 24:35).

Scriptures

One of the major reasons to believe in Jesus is that He fulfilled the prophecies taught for hundreds of years concerning the coming Messiah. Here are just a few: 

Born of a virgin: Isaiah 7:14; Genesis 3:15

Seed of Abraham: Genesis 12:1-2; Genesis 22:18

Tribe of Judah: Genesis 49:10

House of David: 2 Samuel 7:12

Born in Bethlehem: Micah 5:2

Ministry of miracles: Isaiah 35:5

Rejected by His own people: Psalm 118:22

Humiliating death: Psalm 22; Isaiah 53

Pierced His hands and feet: Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:57

Crucified with thieves: Isaiah 53:12

Buried in a rich mans tomb: Isaiah 53:9

Lots were cast for His garments: Psalm 22

Rose from the dead: Psalm 2:7

Ascended into heaven: Psalm 68:18

Sits at the right hand of God: Psalm 110:1

Jesus foretold His own crucifixion, as well as His resurrection from death after three days. And one day soon, He will fulfill many of His other prophecies told of in Matthew 24.

Sunday

The Passion Week was a huge emotional roller coaster for the disciples. What excitement they felt as Jesus entered Jerusalem amid the crowds shouting Hosanna! The excitement continued for days in the festive environment of the Passover, but then  on Thursday night, the mood changed to one of seriousness at the Last Supper. Later that night, the disciples changed from a state of complete exhaustion to feeling total horror as hundreds of torches blazed in the night, accompanied by the rhythmic sound of large numbers of marching Roman soldiers. Absolute terror gripped their hearts, and they ran for their lives! Later, they quietly sneaked back. Then, watching from a safe distance, they saw their leader, friend, and the embodiment of their hopes brutalized by what seemed to be the very demons of hell. Friday must have been a surreal horror show: everything was gone. Three years of following had all come to nothing. Immeasurable grief and tears flooded their souls. Complete hopelessness and despair drowned their hearts. All was gone! All was lost! The future was destroyed! Sunday morning, another complete change overtook the disciples’ souls. What was this? They were dancing, smiling, and laughing. And what were they singing and shouting? HE HAS RISEN! HE HAS RISEN! HE HAS RISEN! HE HAS RISEN! HE HAS RISEN! HE HAS RISEN INDEED!

Impact

Jesus Christ is the most powerful and influential man that has ever lived. Not one world leader, scientist, or doctor has had the impact on the world that Jesus has had. Think of the huge numbers of hospitals and universities that began because Christian men and women wanted to bring the light and life of Jesus to others.  I look at my own life, and I am so thankful for a Christian mom and dad who, three times a week, took me to church and Sunday school. I have no doubt that the teachings of Jesus have saved me from ever having been involved with any kind of substance abuse or being imprisoned. The impact of Jesus Christ on my own life is immeasurable. I cannot even start to think of where I might be today if I had not met Jesus Christ. Thank You, Lord Jesus!

Apostles

The apostles and early church suffered great persecution. They lost their homes and jobs. They were beaten, threatened, imprisoned, and beheaded, yet still they would not remain quiet! Why? Were they getting rich from their endurance? Hardly. What drove them to the ends of the earth? Why not give up and go back home? The answer is Someone who said, I am the truth. These early Christians knew that the only hope for a corrupt, suffering world was a Man who said, I am the way. These men knew that the only thing that has ever made sense in this mad, mad world is the Man who said, I am the life (John 14:6). They knew that the only hope for healing souls filled with the cancer of hatred, greed, lust, and evil was the Great Physician: Jesus Christ!

Historicity

Someone once wrote that history is really “His story.” No credible scholar anywhere would even try to question whether Jesus really lived. That question would be equivalent to a scientist attacking the reality of the sun being hot and bright.

However, the real story of Jesus is the gospel. The central message Jesus taught was the gospel. That message alone is a powerful reason to believe in Jesus, for no other teacher spoke any other message like it anywhere before or after. Continue reading for a summary of what Jesus taught, using an acrostic based on the word gospel.

Jesus is God, whose word is final, who does not change, and who cannot lie.

Jesus is not willing that any should perish.

Jesus is the living water, our daily bread, and the light of life.

What did Jesus teach?   The gospel message originated in the heart of God, and He first presented it to humanity through Jesus Christ. We can use the word gospel as an acronym to remember the major points of Christ’s teaching.

What did Jesus teach?

Good News!  God loves you!  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”  John 3:16

Only: Jesus is the only way to heaven.  He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. John 14  The Bible says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death”. Prov 14  Isaiah wrote, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways”    Isa 55:8

Sin:  Jesus taught that mankind  has a heart problem far worse than any disease we could imagine  It is a spiritual disease called sin and it will lead to God’s rejection of us if not cured.  Jesus taught “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander”. Matt 15:19   The Bible says,  “All have sinned and …” Rom 3:16  “… the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Rom 6:23 NIV

Providence:.          God is absolutely holy He cannot allow anyone who is not also holy into heaven.  David wrote, “Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart”. (Psa 24)   Jesus said “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven”. Matt 5:20  His decibles asked “Who then can be saved?  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”. “my blood . is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”.  Matt  26:28

Eternal  Jesus said “…whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16  and “to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God….”  John 8:12  NIV   See Rev 3:20

Life  “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of  life.”

I believe in Jesus because Jesus:

  • Has the power to save
  • Has the right to save
  • Has the authority to save
  • Has promised to save us (John 3:16)
  • Has paid the ransom for our salvation with His own blood and life.
  • Has taken the shame and penalty of our sin upon Himself
  • Has hidden our sins in the deepest sea
  • Has willed to forget our sin
  • Has clothed those who believe in Him with His righteousness
  • He has promised to save. His promise is backed by His grace, mercy , love, and holiness.  It is a promise you can take much further than to the bank.  It is a promise you can take all the way to heaven and for all eternity.
  • Trust Him now as your saviour. 

  • “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
     So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
    Acts 16:30-31 NKJV
    
     Jesus said, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” 
    Revelation 3:20 NIV

  • The Bible says, “… if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”   For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.  For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:9-13  NKJV
    

Why do we believe in God?

Yahweh is the English rendering of the Hebrew vocalization of the unpronounceable name of GodYahweh makes a good acronym to remember the apologetic points of why we believe in God.

Y: Yeshua is the original Hebrew name for Jesus. If God does not exist, how can anyone explain Jesus? How can we explain the miracles, prophecies, resurrection, and the gospel message? Jesus is not only God revealed but also Gods love proven. Christ gives us proof of immortality and Gods power. Jesus points us to faith in God.  Jesus Christ is a huge reason to believe in the existence of God.

A: Anthropological argument. Almost everyone hates evil, but how do we instinctively know (across racial, economic, and cultural barriers) what is good or evil? How do we all know evil when we see it? How do we know that injustice, prejudice, murder, rape, and robbery are wrong? We dont need a law degree to mark these acts as evil; we instinctively and universally know right from wrong. And only because God created us and has given everyone this knowledge do we all share it. That consensus is an evidence for Gods existence.  God has put in our hearts a knowledge of what is right and wrong.

“Wherever men have gone in the world, they have found certain innate ideas the human heart and mind. They do not arise from experience; they are there, inbred What are they? There is everywhere a belief in God. There is everywhere a belief in right and wrong. There is a belief in cause and effect. There is a belief in time and space. And there is universally found a belief in immortality.”[1]

How can man, as a living, moral, intelligent being, explain and understand himself and his fellows apart from a living, moral, intelligent God?

H: Heaven. People almost instinctively believe in heaven. It is a universal hope, a universal longing. As such it is also an evidence of the existence of God. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV).

But heaven without God would not be heaven.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4 NIV, emphasis mine).

W: watchmaker argument or the teleological argument. The word teleological comes from the word telos in the Greek, which means end. The idea of the word is that most things are designed with an end or purpose in mind. Say that we are walking together in the woods, and we find a watch and see that it is running. We will not, even for a second, wonder how that watch put itself together. The obvious complexity alone is evidence of an intelligent craftsman. 

The purpose, order, and design we observe in the world calls for a designer. Super complexity requires super intelligence to create it. Super power like that which we observe in the sun requires a larger source of power to create it. Therefore, a source of this super intelligence and super power must exist, as this intelligence and power is commonplace in the universe.

Albert Einstein said, the harmony of natural law reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.[2] Later Einstein wrote of his desire to know how God created the universe.[3]

Does he who implanted the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see? (Psalm 94:9)

E: effect requires a cause, or the cosmological argument. The word cosmological comes from the Greek word cosmos, which means universe. The universe around us is an effect that requires an adequate cause, because logic demands a cause for every effect. Scientists may say that a big bang caused the universe, but only God could have caused such an event and supplied its raw materials.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world (Psalm 19:1-4, NIV).

Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing (Isaiah 40:26, NIV).

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse (Romans 1:20, NIV).

Because the cosmos has clearly revealed God’s power and divine nature since the beginning of creation, all mankind should know from observing the universe around us that a Supreme Being exists.

Dr. Robert Jastrow was founder of NASAs Goddard Institute, co-founder of the George C. Marshall Institute, head of the Mount Wilson Observatory, and a selfproclaimed agnostic. After concluding that the universe had a beginning and therefore must have had a beginner, Dr. Jastrow wrote:

For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.[4]

H: His story is the Bible. The Bible not only declares the existence of God but is in itself powerful proof of Gods existence. If the Bible is just another book, how do we explain its fulfilled prophesies, universal wisdom, and incredible power to change lives for the better?

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart (Psalm 19:7-8, NIV).


[1] D. James Kennedy, Why I Believe (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 1980), 64.

[2] Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions The World As I See It (New York: Bonanza Books, 1974), 40.

[3] Albert Einstein, qtd in Nick Herbert, Quantum Reality – Beyond the New Physics (Garden City, New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1985), 177.

[4] Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, 2nd ed. (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1993), 107.

Why I believe in the Bible

We can use the word Scripture as an acrostic to help us remember the different apologetic points.

S Source. The ultimate source of Scripture is God the Holy Spirit. The Bible is His work. However, the people through whom God worked were not your general, run-of-the-mill individuals. If you study the lives and read the writings of men like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Luke, Paul, David, Moses, and others, you will discover men who were not perfect and who did make mistakes but then seriously repented and recognized that a right relationship with God was the most valuable and essential prize for peace, true prosperity, and eternal survival. They were men not easily swayed by popular opinion or greedy for riches. They were not interested in building monuments to themselves, as too many others have been.

They were truly men of God.

C Christ. Jesus Christ believed in the Scriptures, and He quoted Moses, Isaiah, David and other writers. He taught that God’s Word was more important than our daily food and that we should search the Scriptures, because they told of Him. The fact that Jesus believed in the power and authority of Scripture is a huge reason why we, too, should believe in the Bible.

The letter C could also stand for the word “complete”. One of the interesting facts about the Bible is the fact that it is complete. It does not need a second edition. It does not go out of date, as most other books do. Because it is a work of the Holy Spirit, who is perfect in being and work, the Bible does not need constant correction of errors. The Bible is unlike any other book ever written. It is finished. It is timeless, just as relevant today as it was a thousand years ago, and if the world continues, people will still study and read a thousand years from now. It is trustworthy.

R Real. The Bible deals with real people and real places (unlike the Book of Mormon or the writings of L. Ron Hubbard). The Bible deals with real problems and shows real solutions. It is neither a book of fantasy nor the writings of a mad man.

I Impact. One of the reasons the Bible continues to be the best-selling book decade after decade is its impact on the lives it touches. In so many lives, it turns fear into courage, chaos into peace, tears into smiles, and alcohol and drugs into clothes and furniture.

Because the Holy Spirit wrote it, its message has the power to transform lives totally. The teachings of Jesus and the Bible are believable because they really work in the lives of people. So much of the popular teaching of todays culture is just the opposite, destroying lives and families.

P Prophecies. Only God knows the future. Everyone else is just guessing.

And the Bible contains thousands of prophecies made sometimes decades, hundreds of years, or even thousands of years before being fulfilled. D. James Kennedy wrote an excellent book titled Why I Believe in which he does a great job of presenting this topic and contrasting the ability of normal people to tell future events. I really encourage you to get a copy. One huge reason to believe the Bible is the fact that it has been right 100% of the time in the past, and so we can believe it to be right 100% of the time in the future.

T Truth. Truth is that which matches reality. We live now in a society where half the people and large corporations are conning and scamming and scheming to maximize profit. Youd better watch out for the mouse-sized type, because the devil is in those details, even if you dont understand the legalese. Lying has also become the norm in politics. But one of the great tests of truth is time, and the Bible stands the test of time and truth. Jesus says that He is the way, the life, and the truth (John 14:6).

U Uniqueness. There is no other book like this book. No other book transcends the bounds of time, culture, race, or status the way the Bible does. Absolutely no other book comes close to the Bible in its impact on the world, history, or human lives.

R Rocks. Though I have never been to Israel, I have seen lots of pictures. Big stones and rocks cover the land everywhere, and for tens of thousands of years, people have built houses and cities out of these rocks. They have engraved these rocks with names, dates, laws, and declarations. The interesting thing about rocks is their ability to survive for thousands of years. Archeologists are constantly verifying the credibility of the Bible through these rocks. The verifiability of the Bible is, quite literally, written in stone.

E – Evergreen. People never seem to grow tired of seeing some TV programs, such as Andy Griffith and Gun Smoke, and so the TV industry refers to them as evergreens, like the trees whose leaves never change or die with the seasons. The Bible is a timeless evergreen that is as relevant today as it was a thousand years ago and will still be a thousand years from now. It is timeless and trusted.

S Survivability. Evil people have tried for thousands of years to burn, outlaw, or discredit the Bible, yet it survives. Jesus said, My words will never pass away (Matthew 24:35). What a miracle that resilience is, and what a miracle the Bible is!