This sermon was preached Sunday, June 26th, 2011.

Bless God part 3

What matters most.

(The answers are more important than the questions)

Introduction

This is the third sermon in our topical series entitled, “Bless God: God, hell, heaven, and the chief end of man.”

Questions are a part of life.  They can be healthy, or unhealthy; it all depends on the motivation behind the questions.  The original purpose for asking questions was to arrive at the answer to something perhaps unknown; or to discover the solution to a particular problem.  The motivation here behind questions is very healthy; they are asked for the purpose of discovering truth.

But there is an unhealthy aspect to questions.  It is when questions are asked to stir up doubt, produce debate, or deconstruct a particular solution or belief in order to arrive at a new alternative one.

Deconstruction can be healthy sometimes as well; it all depends on what you are deconstructing.  The definition for deconstruct is, “to expose or dismantle the existing structure in (a system, organization, etc).”[1]  So when a particular theological belief is contrary to Scripture, it is proper to expose and dismantle that existing belief, many times before you reconstruct the accurate belief based on Scripture.  But when you are exposing and dismantling a belief that is based on the accurate interpretation of Scripture, for the sole purpose of reconstructing one that is more palatable to our culture, well, that is very unhealthy.  In reality, it is eroding the foundation of Scripture that our lives should be built upon.

The truth is, no matter what many may believe – the answers are always more important than the questions.  But we live in a day that the questions are placed at a higher value than the answers themselves, for how you present the question can reconfigure what the answer might be.

Many people have presuppositions when it comes to what they value as truth.  To deny this would be a falsehood.  Before we go further, what is a presupposition?  The definition for presuppose is, “to suppose or assume beforehand; take for granted in advance.”[2]

I have some presuppositions that I’m going to offer up in this sermon.  I admit that they are assumptions; something I take for granted in advance.  These presuppositions that I will be presenting I believe will help us arrive at the true answers to questions many people are asking that we will deal with in future sermons.  Let’s begin looking at these presuppositions.

The Bible is the only true standard for faith and practice.

Let me say it another way: the Bible is the only standard, not only of faith and practice, but also the only true standard to answering the upcoming questions within this series.

Many will say that they believe this to be true, but then they will also raise additional standards to interpret what the Bible is saying.  Standards like tradition, historical value, the modern world, post-modern philosophy, science, and the list could go on and on.  The problem is many times these added foundation stones will actually twist what Scripture says and doesn’t say.  They water down the true meaning of the text that we have.

Let’s look at a few passages of Scripture for a few moments.

2 Peter 1:16-21 – 16 When we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, we did not follow any cleaver myths.  Rather, we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when these words from the Majestic Glory were spoken about him: “This is my Son, whom I love.  I am pleased with him.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 Therefore we regard the message of the prophets as confirmed beyond doubt, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp that is shining in a gloomy place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 First of all, you must understand this: No prophecy in Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy every originated through a human decision.  Instead, men spoke from God as they were carried by the Holy Spirit.

 

I believe that the New Testament Scriptures were handed down to us through the eyewitnesses.

This is what Peter is saying here.  They were eyewitnesses of Jesus, and His glory.  They heard the voice of the Father on the mountain.  The Scripture he says is completely reliable.  Their origin is not human imagination, but as the human authors were carried by the Holy Spirit.”

 

 

Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow, as it judges the thoughts and purposes of the heart.

 

God’s Word (The Old and New Testament Scriptures) knows the true intentions behind our thoughts and actions.

It exposes our true motivations.  Our motives behind how we live, the questions we ask, and the reason we arrive at the answers we believe.

Now let’s look at the second main presupposition that I propose.

Christ is the only way to both know God Almighty and be saved from His wrath.

There are not many ways to God, but only one way; and that way is through Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

 John 14:6 – I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

It is not living by some moral code, or being a good person, or being religious that we come before the Father, but only through Jesus Christ.

 Eternal, secure life is only found through Jesus Christ.

 John 6:35-40 –  35 Jesus told them, “I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never become hungry, and whoever believes in me will never become thirsty. 36 I told you that you have seen me, yet you don’t believe. 37 Everything the Father gives me will come to me, and I’ll never turn away the one who comes to me. 38 I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of the one who sent me. 39 And this is the will of the one who sent me,that I should not lose anything that he has given me, but should raise it to life on the last day. 40 This is my Father’s will: That everyone who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him to life on the last day.”

 

Jesus is the only exclusive road to the Father and there are man false prophets that will arise to challenge that claim.

 Matthew  7:13-20 – 13 “Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide and the road is spacious that leads to destruction, and many people are entering by it. 14 How narrow is the gate and how constricted is the road that leads to life, and there aren’t many people who find it. 15 Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are savage wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruit.  Grapes aren’t gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles, are they? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a rotten tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good true cannot produce bad fruit, and a rotten tree cannot produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into a fire. 20 So by their fruit you will know them.”

 

Conclusion

These presuppositions will guide the answers that we will endeavor to arrive at to some of the questions that are being presented.  Therefore, the answer to these questions are more important than the questions themselves.


[1] deconstruct. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved May 09, 2011, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/deconstruct.

[2] presuppose. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved May 09, 2011, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/presupposition.

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