Portswood Church Blog

The Reason Why

The Reason Why
Thursday 25th February 2016

It is commonly read or heard that the Christian faith is a ‘shot in the dark’, or believing without any evidence’ or we sometimes hear it said, ‘Don’t ask questions, just believe’. I would like to share with you 3 three reasons why I believe. I would also like to state that if the Christian faith was as described above then I would certainly not believe. The three reasons are:

  • A) Creation
  • B) The Bible, and,
  • C) Jesus Christ

A) Creation

I believe that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. There are several reasons why I believe that, but here are 2 of them:

1) Origin and Complexity of Life

Scientists who have no faith in God would say that the universe came about through natural means. Once it was thought that life could spontaneously generate, such as maggots, apparently appearing from nowhere out of raw meat. Now we know that life does not spontaneously generate. Presenters on popular science programmes sometimes suggest that living organisms such as ourselves developed from chemicals commonly found on earth. However, there is a huge divide between naturally-occurring chemicals and the extremely complex chemistry going on in living organisms.  It surely takes a leap of faith to believe chemicals through unclear processes became conscious beings. Each human cell, contains approximately 3 billion DNA base pairs forming the ‘instructions’ to make us what we are. It is said that over one million pages of text would be required to represent the information in the DNA of one human cell. Could random mutations guided by survival of the fittest compose such complexity? Consider for a moment the systems of the human organism each extremely complex in its own right:

  • central nervous system
  • musculoskeletal
  • cardiovascular
  • respiratory,
  • digestive
  • urinary
  • reproductive
  • immune
  • sight
  • hearing
  • taste
  • smell
  • balance
  • lymphatic
  • endocrine and
  • integumentary system

and it seems almost preposterous to believe that human and other life forms were created by natural means.

2) Origin of matter

Some scientists used to hold the ‘steady-state theory’ of the universe which stated that the universe was eternally existing and did not have a beginning. Now, mainstream science has come to agree with the Bible when it states that the universe did have a beginning (the ‘Big Bang’). This raises a new problem for atheistic scientists because, if it is believed that the universe had a beginning, then where did the matter come from which expanded to make the universe?

B) The Bible

1) Authorship

The Bible is not one book but a library of 66 books written over a period of about 1,000 years by about 40 different authors. Sometimes people dismiss the Bible – ‘Oh, you don’t want to believe everything you read in there,’ but is that fair? If the Bible had been written by one person, then, one might say ‘The writer might be right, or he might be wrong’.  If 40 pieces of written evidence, provided by 40 different people were submitted to a court of law wouldn’t that carry some weight in arriving at the truth? The writers testify not only to the existence of God but their experience of God in their daily lives.

2) Inspiration

i) God speaks:

The Bible not only claims to be inspired by God, but also appears to be so. For example, in many places, God speaks in the first person:

 “’I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.”’ Book of Malachi, chapter 3 and verse 6

‘“Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.”’ Book of Isaiah, chapter 45 and verse 22.

ii) Prophecy:

The Bible mentions things that have already happened and things still to happen. For example, in the book of Isaiah we read about the birth of a baby who would be divine (Isaiah chapter 9, verse 6), about someone who would suffer and die to earn forgiveness from our sins (Isaiah chapter 53) and about a ruler, born in Bethlehem who would have existed eternally (Micah, chapter 5 and verse 2). In the book of Daniel chapter 7 and verses 13 and 14 we read of a man who would be/is equal with God: ‘In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,  coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.’

iii) Unity:

Even though the Bible was written over such a long time, it exhibits a unity. It teaches that there is a God against whom we have offended (‘sin’), that sin has to be paid for by sacrifice and that Jesus came to be the once-and-for-all sacrifice to get rid of our sin for ever for those who ask God.

C) Jesus Christ

1) His existence

Apart from in the 27 books of the New Testament, Jesus, or the early Christians are mentioned by many writers, such as:

  • Cornelius Tacitus (55-120 AD)
  • Gaius Suetonius Tranquillas, chief secretary of Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD)
  • Flavius Josephus (37-97 AD), court historian for Emperor Vespasian
  • Pliny the Younger, Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor around 112 AD
  • The Jewish Talmud, compiled between 70 and 200 AD
  • Lucian, a second century Greek satirist
  • Mara Bar-Serapion, of Syria, writing between 70 and 200 AD

2) His teachings

Here are some of His sayings for you to consider:

‘When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”’ Gospel of John, chapter 8 and verse 12. 

‘Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”’  The Gospel of John, chapter 11 and verses 25 and 26.

John 8:58
‘”Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”’ Gospel of John, chapter 8 and verse 58. Here Jesus not only claims to have existed forever, like God, but he also uses the divine title from the Old Testament, ‘I Am’.

‘Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him... Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father”’ Gospel of John chapter 14 and verses 6, 7 and 9b. Here Jesus claims to be the embodiment of Truth and Life; as well as being the sole way to God the Father; as well as being one with the Father.

At his trial, Jesus makes reference to the Divine Man mentioned in the prophecy of Daniel, chapter 7 relating to himself: ‘Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”’  Gospel of Mark chapter 14 and verses 61 and 62.

The Bible says:

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…”’ The book of Acts, chapter 16 and verse 31.

‘“…everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”’ The book of Acts, chapter 10 and verse 43.

Over 50 years ago that is what I did. I trusted (‘believed’) in what Jesus did for me on the cross – that He earned forgiveness for all my sin.  Now I live by those promises in the Bible that my sins are forgiven and that I am heading for Heaven when I die.


Bill H.

Gideons
Gideons are probably best known for distributing Scriptures in what the founders called the “The traffic lanes of life” ie. hotels, hospitals,...
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