Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Six Questions

There are six questions that you may hear often that you should have a prepared answer. Remember, you will not convince or convict anybody of the Truth that Jesus is the Christ with these answers. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. Your job is merely to be a witness to the Light. If you are prepared for these questions then you will be a good witness and the Holy Spirit will have some seeds with which to work.

These answers are merely “my” answers and are therefore brief and incomplete. You may use them to build your own personal answers or find or develop completely different answers.

  1. What language was the Bible originally written in? (Used as a setup question for number 2.)

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Greek although Jesus and his disciples spoke Hebrew and Aramaic as well. In the third century B.C. the O.T. was translated into Greek by 72 elders. It was called the Septuagint. Church father Jerome produced the official Latin version in 340-420 A.D. This is called the Vulgate meaning the Bible of the common people. In the 1500’s Martin Luther translated the Bible into German and William Tyndale translated the Bible into English (the forerunner of the KJV).

  1. With all those translations, isn’t the Bible full of errors?

Some differences do exist between manuscripts with some translations containing what I would call outright errors. KJV includes the word “corn” 102 times. KJV was written in 1611 just after the explorers had returned from the new world with corn for the first time. The correct translation should read “grain.” Does this error contradict the essential message of the Bible that we need a Savior and Jesus Christ who is God Himself is that Savior. I think not.

  1. Can’t I just try to be as good as I can and hope that God finds me good enough to go to heaven?

The Bible is clear on this. Nobody is good enough “for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.” Romans 3:23 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6. A man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. Gal 2:16.

  1. What about the Jews?

Romans 9-11 gives a full answer but the highlights are: For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. And so all Israel will be saved.

  1. Just saying you believe isn’t good enough for salvation. I see Christians behaving the same way I do, so what it is the difference?

This is exactly James’ point. James is not giving a new doctrine of Faith plus works. He is defining what type of Faith saves. Even the demons believe (believe=faith) but it does them no good. A faith that produces a change in you toward the righteousness of God and is therefore evident in your works is the faith that saves. So just believing doesn’t save, but allowing that belief to change you into His image does save.

Oh, and by the way, what other people profess and how they behave is not the right question. The question is Who do you say that Jesus is and what are you going to do about it?

  1. Isn’t it very arrogant to think that Christianity is the only way to heaven?

John 14:6 says it clearly. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” For if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! Gal 2:21 Jesus prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matt 26:39. Since the cup was not taken from Him, I must conclude that there is no other way for our salvation.

I think the arrogant statement would be, “I can get to God on my own. I don’t need the sacrifice that Jesus made for me.”


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