1. Can you prove God?
2. The Bible: Can you trust it?
3. Jesus: Magician, Maniac or Master?
4. Why do we have problems in the world?
5. Where do we go from here?
This short course is designed to give you background information
on the basic beliefs of the Christian faith as presented in the Bible.
It will also look at the facts that underlay this belief.
Why do we have problems in the world?
Types of suffering in the world today.
1. Creation Earthquakes, floods etc.
2. Person against person Lying stealing, rape etc.
3. People cause directly War, famine etc.
4. People's Imperfections Poor car design etc.
5. Personal suffering Lonely, sad, selfish.
6. Self inflicted Suicide or drug abuse.
Who can people blame for suffering?
6. Past lives
8. The Spirit World
How can people interpret the cause of suffering?
1. Suffering is an illusion.
2. Suffering is good for it balances the world.
3. Suffering is a direct result of personal sin.
4. Suffering is good for evolutionary growth.
5. Suffering is the survival of the fittest. 6. Suffering is the result of corporate human sin.
1. Is the material world good or evil?
Genesis 1:31 "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good."
1 Timothy 4:4 "For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,"
2. How did suffering enter the world?
Through the sin of Adam. As a result man's sin his relationship to God, creation, other people and to self have been impaired and damaged by sin. See Genesis 3:15-17
3. Does God cause direct suffering as a result of sin?
John 9:1-3 "As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."
Matthew 5:45 " He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."
4. Will suffering and evil last forever?
Isaiah 65:17 "Behold, I will create a new heaven and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered"
5. In what ways did Jesus suffer?
Philippians 2:6-8 "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!"
6. Why did Jesus die on the cross?
Romans 3:23-26 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified (made right) freely by his grace (free gift) through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished - he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."
SUMMARY OF WHAT WE HAVE LEARNT
The world was perfect, when God made it and suffering came about because of people sinning. This sinning has affected the whole of creation and will not stop till the Day of Judgement. It is because of sin that God sent Jesus into the world to suffer on our behalf, so that all who trust Him will receive eternal life in Heaven (a place without suffering)
Why do people need God's help? The key teaching of the New Testament is that man cannot have a personal relationship with God by anything that he does but by accepting Christ's forgiveness brought about by His death on the cross and confirmed by His resurrection. Sin is not just a list of wrong actions but is a state of rebellion against God.
1. Is mankind sinless?
Romans 5:12 "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned"
2. Is mankind neutral and can choose to sin or not?
Romans 3:10-11 "As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God."
3. Are people born sinful or do they become sinful?
Romans 3:10-12 "As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."
4. How does God help us through Jesus?
Romans 3:21-25 "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished"
Mark.10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." "
Romans 8:3 "For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,"
The death of Christ is on our behalf
The death of Christ brings salvation that man could not.
Romans 5:6 "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly."
The Death of Jesus represents His close association with mankind.
Mark.8:31 "He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again."
2 Corinthians 5:14 "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. "
His death is a substitute for ours, so through Him suffering the penalty of Death we receive freedom and eternal life.
Mark.10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
2 Corinthians 5:21 "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
The death of Christ is sacrificial
The N.T. uses words like blood, covenant, poured out etc. which point to the Old Testament sacrificial system.
1 Corinthians 5:7 " Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast - as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed."
1 John.1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin."
Summary of what we have learntPeople since the beginning are born sinful. There is nothing that we can do yourselves to renew our relationship with God. God through Jesus has chosen to provide us with a way to return to him.