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The three ‘grand miracles’

25 Dec

c5f6b188dcd185fbe7f76b5ab2474b96Three “Great Miracles” described in scripture shape the Christian’s understanding of God. Each of these three grand miracles have been challenged by non-believers and watered down by believers.

  1. The Miracle of Creation

(Gen 1:1 NIV)  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

 (Gen 1:2 NIV)  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

John 1:1-3 (ESV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  He was in the beginning with God. 3  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

The most insidious and damaging ideology ever foisted upon the mind of modern man is the notion that human beings are but animals, and the offspring of other, more primitive creatures. It’s known as the theory of organic evolution.

 Tragically, multiplied thousands across the land have ingested this dogma. Evolution is not a scientific law. It is a mere hypothesis that falls quite beyond the pale of the scientific method (observation, experimentation, and verification).

 Many scientists dispute that evolutionary dogma is true science. Evolutionist Robert Jastow has conceded that belief in the accidental origin of life is “an act of faith much like faith in the power of a Supreme Being.”

 Theodore Tahmisian, a nuclear physicist with the Atomic Energy Commission, has said: “Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever. In explaining evolution we do not have one iota of fact … It is a tangled mishmash of guessing games and figure jaggling … If evolution occurred at all, it was probably in a very different manner than the way it is now taught”.

  1. The Miracle of the Incarnation

How does God reveal Himself?  Through scripture…through our conscience…through the indwelling Holy Spirit. But it begins for many through nature.

 (Psalms 19:1-6)  “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. {2} Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. {3} There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. {4} Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, {5} which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. {6} It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.

 (Romans 1:18-21)  The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, {19} since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. {20} 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. {21} For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

 In the Bible God tells us what He is like. We learn how He thinks, how He feels, and how we can expect Him to act. If we want to know God, we must begin by opening the Bible and reading what He has to say about Himself.

 But God is infinite, and we are finite human beings. How can the finite ever really understand the infinite? How can the human ever truly know the divine?

 It seems that God must reveal Himself to us in some way more personal than mere written words if we are ever to know Him genuinely.

 And that is exactly what He did through Jesus Christ.

(John 1:14-18)  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 and truth. {15} John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'” {16} From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. {17} For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. {18} No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.

 (Hebrews 1:1-3)  In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, {2} but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. {3} The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

 Jesus Christ is the out-shining of God’s glory and the perfect expression of God’s essential being. To know Him is to know God.

 Jesus Himself made that claim when He said: If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him. (John 14:7).

 The miracle of Jesus’ Birth.

We often set an unnecessary and unfair standard as it pertains to the birth of Christ, growing concerned whether we should honor His birth on a day chosen by men to be Christmas Day (December 25). Paul dealt with such controversy in his day, when he wrote to the Christians at Colossae: Colossians 2:16 (NIV) Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

The Message put it this way: Colossians 2:16 (MSG) So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days.

Biblical names frequently have a profound theological meaning. For instance, in Isaiah 7:14 the prophecy was given: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

 The name “Immanuel” in Hebrew means “God is with us,” and the prophecy finds its fulfillment in the birth of Jesus Christ.

 By the use of  “Immanuel,” at least two things are in view:

First, that Jesus is a divine being; he is God.

Second, there is the implication that in some way Deity has identified “with us.”

 As the sustainer

The Bible teaches that the divine Christ sustains the very universe in which we live. In that great chapter which is designed to exalt the Lord, Paul affirms that in Christ “all things consist” (Col. 1:17).

In human nature

Though Christ was existing eternally as Deity, yet it was the divine plan that he become human. So in the fulness of time the “seed” of woman came to earth (cf. Gen. 3:15; Gal. 4:4).

In order that he might identify with us, Jesus came “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom. 8:3). The Lord was tempted in all points, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). So He is able to deal compassionately and justly with those whom he is not ashamed to call his brethren (cf. Heb. 2:11, 17; 4:15).

Further, it was essential that he become human in order that he might die! The writer of Hebrews makes it clear that Jesus partook of human nature that “through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (2:14).

Through his vicarious death

The identification of God the Son with us in his death is vividly stressed in Isaiah 53. Note the interchange of pronouns:

“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows…he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:4-51).

Paul states that Christ died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3). Again, “Him who knew no sin he [God] made to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21). The death of Christ is given a very prominent place in the Bible.

 With daily watchfulness

The Scriptures are filled with promises that God will be with his saints on a daily basis. He was with Joseph as a slave in Egypt (Gen. 39:2-3, 21). He was with Moses (Ex. 3:12) and Joshua (Josh. 1:5). The Psalmist could confidently claim: “Jehovah of hosts is with us” (Psa. 46:7). 

Similarly, Jesus, in concluding the Great Commission, announced: “lo, I am with you always (pas hay-mer’-ah– literally, all the days – i.e., day by day) even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:20).

If not even a sparrow falls to the ground without the Father’s knowledge, and if the very hairs of our head are numbered (Matt. 10:29-30), we may be assured that the Lord watches over us and that he sees our ways and numbers our steps (Job. 31:4).

 3. The Miracle of the Resurrection

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the foundation of the Christian system (cf. 1 Cor. 15:14ff). If there was no resurrection, Christianity is a hoax, and we are wasting our time. But the truth is, the event of Jesus’ resurrection is incontrovertible.

 Professor Thomas Arnold of Rugby, a world-renowned historian, once said that Christ’s resurrection from the dead is the “best-attested fact in human history” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, IV, p. 2569).

  (Rom 1:1-4 NIV)  Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God– {2} the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures {3} regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, {4} and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

 (1 Cor 15:20 NIV)  But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

 (1 Cor 15:23 NIV)  But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

 First, the resurrection is one of the major evidences that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Paul affirmed that Christ is “declared to be the Son of God with power … by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4).

Second, Jesus’ resurrection represents an assurance that we can have forgiveness from our sins.

Paul contended: “… if Christ hath not been raised, our faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17). The reverse of the apostle’s affirmation would be this: If Jesus was raised, sins will be forgiven when we obey the gospel – Acts 2:38; 22:16.

Third, the resurrection tells the world that the kingdom of God is ruled by a living sovereign.

The founder of Islam is dead and his bones lie dormant in the earth. But the founder of Christianity – sixty years after His death – appeared to John on the island of Patmos and said: “I am the first and the last, and the Living one … I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore …” (Rev. 1:17-18).

Fourth, Jesus’ resurrection proves that physical death is not the termination of human existence.

God, who is the giver of life (1 Tim. 6:13), has the power to reanimate the human body. Christ’s triumph over the grave is Heaven’s pledge to us that we too shall be raised. This is why Jesus is referred to as the “firstfruits of them that are asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20, 23).

Fifth, the Lord’s resurrection previewed the ultimate victory of Christianity over all its enemies.

In the book of Revelation, Jesus is depicted as a lamb that had been slain, but was standing again (5:6). This same Lord was “the lion of the tribe of Judah” that had overcome His foes (5:5). Christians too will overcome as a result of the Lamb’s sacrifice and victory over death (cf. Rev. 12:11).

  1. These Questions Must Be Asked and Answered.
  2. Do we accept these three “Grand Miracles”?
  3. Do we accept the belief in a God who exists apart from and superior to all others?
  4. Did God become man?
  5. Did Jesus experience resurrection?

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2016 in God, Jesus Christ

 

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