April 22, 2012 The Search For Truth

The Search for Truth

I grew up in Greenville, SC, with lots of Baptists, Methodists, and a few Presbyterians.  My elementary school class included only one Catholic girl, whose family had relocated from somewhere up north.  My only knowledge of Jews was my uncle in Charleston.  So, moving to Kensington, MD, during my teens was eye-opening, because about 60% of Montgomery County was Jewish, 30% Catholic, and only 2% Baptist.  Lots of my neighbors did not even attend church or temple.  Now, my ‘international’ community includes worshippers of different ‘gods’.  What is common among us is the search for ‘truth’.  But, what is truth, and, if we have found it, how do we share it with others?

‘What is truth?’

  • This was Pilate’s question of Jesus during his interrogation of Him on Good Friday morning.  John 18.33-37 tells the story.
  • Notice what Jesus said was His reason for being born and coming into this world, in verse 37.
  • So, Jesus is the only ‘witness’ to the truth.  What does a witness do?
  • And, only people who listen to Him know the truth.  See John 8.31-32.
  • Why do you agree with Him, or not?  Your ‘world’ wants to know!
  • Those in your world are searching for truth, and you have it! Share Him!

Statue to the ‘Unknown God’

  • Apostle Paul found this statue among the many others in Athens, Greece, on Mars Hill.  Acts 17.16-31 tells the story, illustrating his assigned task from Jesus, in Acts 26.15-18.
  • Acts 17.16-17 call to question what you observe between appointments or while waiting on your spouse or friends when away from home.
  • The different statues characterize different ‘truths’, much like the complexity of our ‘international’ communities today.  Verse 21 describes them.
  • Paul ‘reasoned’ in synagogues, churches, and the marketplace ‘with those who happened to be there’.  Isaiah 55.5 comes to mind.
  • Verse 18 gives Paul’s ‘reasoning’; what point was he ‘reasoning’ listeners toward?  Why was the resurrection of Jesus important to his point?  Paul comments about this in Colossians 2.8-10 and Ephesians 4.11-16.
  • Listen to Paul as you read his discussion in verses 22-31, and you will learn how the Holy Spirit leads truth-seekers to the absolute truth.  Remember Matthew 10.19-20.
  • Notice how He gathers diverse believers into ‘one man’ in verse 26 and gathers their various journeys as searches (‘groping’) for God in verse 27.
  • Why do you agree with Paul or not in verse 30 that their journeys expressed ‘ignorance’?  What is God’s ‘command’, and how does this include John the Baptist?  See Mark 1.2-3Hosea 4.6 and 1 Samuel 15.22-23 tells what happens to ignorant people.  Are there animal sacrifices in pagan worship?
  • If their ways are false, what does Paul say in verse 31 is the truth?  This brings Hosea 14.9 to mind.
  • Thus, God has ‘fixed a day on which He will judge the world’ against the standard of His right ways and by a His chosen Man, Whom the world cannot deny, because God ‘has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead’!

Were all convinced? Verses 32-34 gives the answer that continues today.  But, our ‘reasoning’ must be Hebrews 3.7-14Praise God!!!

Copyright by Maurice Painter, 2012.  www.sozoclass.com for more studies.

April 15, 2012 Certainty of the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Certainty of the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ

In a court of law, the testimony of two witnesses is required for convicting someone of a crime.  This comes from Scripture, Deuteronomy 17.6 The rendered decision, then, becomes case law for adjudicating similar crimes.  So it is with Jesus’ bodily resurrection from the tomb on Easter morning.  Among the Bible’s witnesses, Apostle Paul stands unique, as he states in 1 Corinthians 15.3-8 Similarly, we stand as witnesses of Jesus’ bodily resurrection today, having not seen Him but convinced by faith and evidence.  Why is this important to us?

Three realities distinguishing Jesus from other, so-called gods

Affirmation of Jesus as God’s Son by Non-Believers

Witnesses to Jesus Bodily Resurrection

  • Paul’s research of the events following Jesus’ resurrection identified several individuals and groups with whom He met; 1 Corinthians 15.3-8.  The 500 ‘brethren’, in one assembly, were Jesus-followers who had died during His three years on earth.
  • Greek Doctor Luke’s research identified two specific disciples’ encounter apart from other believers; Luke 24.13-35, especially 30-31.
  • Mary Magdalene, from whom Jesus had cast seven demons, held Jesus’ feet outside the tomb; John 20.11-18.
  • ‘Doubting’ Thomas saw the nail prints and spear-wound on Jesus’ body; John 20.24-29.
  • Peter, John, and other disciples who went fishing had breakfast with Jesus; John 21.9-14.  Jesus probably ate with them.  Exact Doctor Luke stated that Jesus ate fish and honey-comb to prove to His apostles that He was with them in body; Luke 24.42-43.
  • In his second letter, Doctor Luke tells an inquirer about Jesus’ bodily departure from His disciples after exhibiting ‘unmistakable proofs’ during the 40 days after His resurrection; Acts 1.1-3.
  • Apostle Peter testified to the Jews in Jerusalem for Pentecost about Jesus’ bodily resurrection; Acts 2.22-36.  Note his quotation of Psalm 16.8-11 that Jesus body would not decay.
  • Apostle Paul testified to Greeks at Mars Hill in Athens about Jesus’ bodily resurrection; Acts 17.29-31.  Note the certainty of judgment assured by His bodily resurrection.

Fascination about a ‘glorified’ body at resurrection

  • Will our resurrected bodies be like Jesus’?  Will we eat and drink, walk and talk, and, even, walk through walls or suddenly appear and disappear?
  • Paul discusses this in 1 Corinthians 15.35-49.  Note specifically verses 42-44, 49.
  • Be encouraged by Apostle John’s words in 1 John 3.2.

Praise God!!!

Copyright by Maurice Painter, 2012.  www.sozoclass.com for other studies.