My dad would own nothing but a Chevy. My father-in-law would own nothing but a Ford.
I have love, admiration, and respect for both these men. I know neither of them would purposely cause me harm. I know they both love me. I value both of their thoughts and opinions. However, whenever there was an occasion for the two of them to occupy the same room, I prayed the conversation would never move to the subject of cars.
The fascinating thing was both had the same reasons for why one vehicle was superior to the other. Their brand did not break down as much, the repairs were less expensive, the local dealers were more polite, their cars were faster, and more fun to drive. The list goes on, but both their reasons were the same, except one had Chevy written at the top, the other had the word, Ford. Both men preached the same thing about different makes of cars.
With religion, as well as cars, this “preaching the same thing,” is often the case. Most religions have a moral code and encourage righteous living, the giving to the poor, and nonviolence.
While the previous paragraph includes Christianity, Christianity soon takes detours that no other religion takes. In other words, there are beliefs that only Christians believe.
This list will not be exhaustive but will hit on the central issues. 1. Jesus Christ is God and the creator of the universe. John 1:1-3,14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
2. The Trinity – that there is only one God, existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19, 1 Peter 1:2). 3. The virgin birth – Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” See also Luke 1:30-37. 4. Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation – John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” In speaking of Jesus, Acts 4:12 says, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
5. Salvation comes by faith, not by the presence of good deeds in our life or the absence of evil – Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Romans 3:28, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” 6. The resurrection of Jesus Christ – Matthew 28:5-6, “And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
Because of the claims Christianity makes, it is either a complete hoax or the one-hundred percent absolute truth. It cannot be someplace in the middle. It is either take-it-or-leave-it.
If Jesus is not born of a virgin, He is not God’s Son and therefore is not God in the flesh. If He is not God, He did not create the universe.
If Jesus is not God, then there is no trinity. If there is no trinity, the fact that we are created in the image of God by having a spirit, soul, and body, as God does, comes into question.
If our works instead of faith saves us, the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross becomes worthless because it does not have the power to save anyone.
Without the resurrection, there is no hope or peace. There is no hope because there is no example to solidify the hope. There is no peace because eternity becomes uncertain, the best we can hope for is, “maybe I will make it.”
For the record, my current vehicles are a Dodge and a Honda. I have no preference.
For the record, I do believe the Bible is not a hoax, that Christianity is real, and that Jesus Christ is God.
Which will it be? Ford or Chevy?
Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.preacherjohnson.com. E-book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TUJTV2A If you email, inform me where you have seen Preacher’s Point. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.