Knowing "The Truth"
Acts 17:28 `For
in him we live and move and have our being.'
is a glimpse at my thoughts on these studies - I urge you to read through
them and also to check the passages I've listed. Test what I am saying
(at the very least there could be typos!)
The Old Testament
Acts 18:24-28, and Luke 24:25-27
Remember how Matthew quotes from the OT about Jesus (Matthew 1:22-23; 2:15,
17-18, 23; 4:14-16; 8:17; 12:17-21; 13:35; 27-9-10), and other well-known
passages in the OT about Christ. How does this reflect on the truth about
that at the time spoken of here people would have known whether what was
referred to really took place - Matthew and Apollos could not have been
making things up to fit the prophecies etc. also that this is not a new
revelation but a fulfilment of the first one. this is important! so many
other religions and cults rely on a new revelation from God (like buddha
and mohammed and the mormons etc.) If god has a message for people, why
only give it to a few people at a certain time? why not earlier? why not
to more people? The point is he does. this is the old message, the old
hope the patriarchs looked forward to as Jesus said "Your father Abraham
rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad." (John
How else can we know the truth
about Christ and the accuracy of the testimony about him (or anything for
that matter?) Look at 1 Corinthians 2 (yes the whole chapter)
help lead into the next few studies on the spirit. From personal observation
those who refuse to believe will fail to understand even the simplest,
most logical and obvious statement in the scriptures (or any argument you
make), while to those who believe he opens up new insights from his word
all the time - that serve to further our understanding and reinforce the
revelation of Christ. E.g. psalms about David become psalms about Christ
John 1:14 The
Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory,
the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace
Remember the beginning of
John 1? Who is the "Word" referred to by John?
getting at the divinity of Christ - there are many who deny this, or say
that the spirit of God (or the Christ) came upon a normal man (perhaps
at the baptism) and left him when he died. much of the NT epistles are
devoted to combat this teaching (which was developed into gnosticism -
the NIV study bible has good notes on it in the introduction to various
epistles especially 1 John)
Who's son is "the Christ?"
What does Peter say in Matthew 16:15-17, and what did Jesus say was
the source of Peter's knowledge?
In Matthew 22:41-46 corrects
an error of contemporary theology. What does this imply about the Messiah,
and hence, Jesus himself? (Compare what Peter said at Pentecost)
that Jesus is the Christ "of God," and Jesus says that it is God himself
who has shown Peter this. Jesus goes further in the passage from Matthew,
explaining that the Messiah (or Christ), while he may be considered a descendant
of David, is not a blood descendant, but will actually come from God, and
is David's Lord (like God).
John 10:23, Matthew 21:14-16
Mark 14:61-64 What is Jesus saying in these passages, and what did his
audience understand him to mean?
of these cases the Jews listening to him understood very well that Jesus
was claiming to be God. It was a part of popular theology that Jesus would
have been completely aware of, and yet he doesn't bother to correct them
(like he did in the previous example). He knows very well what people will
think, and says it anyway.
Mark 10:45; Luke 19:10; John
3:16,17; John 10:10
What is Christ's purpose in
How does believing (or having
faith in Jesus) save us? Look at Romans 6:3-10; Ephesians 5:31-32; Ephesians
to add 2 Cor 5:14. The idea is that if Christ is in us (through the Spirit
- which comes by faith in him) then we are also in him - we are made one
with him. So if he died then we (as part of his body) also died and - fair
is fair, justice must be done - have already paid the consequences of our
sins in Christ. In that case we don't need to die again (and some won't),
so its perfectly fair and just for God to resurrect those in Christ who
do (as he demonstrates with Christ). While this is the purpose he came
I think the purpose of salvation is also the method - to establish
some kind of unity with God in Christ - see Eph 5:31-32, and Genesis ("let
us make man in our own image" and "it is not good for man to be alone")
1 John 3:24 Those
who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know
that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
Romans 8:16 The
Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.
What reassurance then, can
we have of this salvation? How can we know that this is the truth?
1 John 3:18-20 as well for a different take. - not only do others know
we are his disciples, but we do too because we desire to love others.
Would we do these things except for Christ in us? Could we? (I doubt if
I could). The other two passages lead more directly into the next few studies
- that we have the testimony of the Spirit to confirm what we have believed
- a divine reassurance - a certainty that comes from God that what we think
is actually true - that we no longer think, and trust in faith - but having
trusted we now know - through the spirit of God in us. I also believe
(neither John nor Paul place any conditions on it) that this knowledge
is for all believers, no matter their faith, maturity or other manifestation
of the Spirit. If you don't have this reassurance, pray for it.
Extra references to check out.
Matthew 24:1-2 (foretelling
the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 - remember when these were written)
Links Calendar Chippies Leaders Home
1 The Reliability of the
Synoptic Tradition. quoted by Martin Hengel at the end of his Studies
in the Gospel of Mark.
2 Eyewitness to Jesus,