The book Core Christianity by Elmer Towns was written by the author with the aim to explain people the core truth of the bible and Christianity in general. Such malpractice, which according to the authority of religion through the bible is a sin, has been for reasons that go beyond individual manipulation. For instance, many theologians are of the opinion that the media through the notion of politically correct has redefined the true meaning of religion’s history of the world. To remain relevant and consistent to the truth of the bible which is God’s word for humanity, the faithful followers must stick to the face value of the bible and acknowledge that Jesus himself is Christianity. In realization of the confusion and ambiguity, with which biblical truth has been dealt with, this paper seeks to thoroughly present the biblical truth in three dimensions, that is, Did Jesus Claim to be God?, Does the bible have authority?, And lastly, how to be confident that Jesus is coming again?
Did Jesus claim to be God?
The truth of the bible is that Jesus never logged any claim making him to be God; the truth of the matter right from the teachings of the Old to New Testament is that He was, is and will always remain God. The authenticity of this information can be looked into three dimensions where God is seen as one, has a sacred name and Jesus being the son of God. In all these three dimensions, Jesus is clearly exalted as God (Elmer, 2007).
Throughout the bible, God is presented as the creator of the universe commanding infinite power. Sacred descriptions such as all knowing, infinite, holy and righteous are only attributed to God. All these descriptions also apply to Jesus meaning that he is God. Turning to the Old Testament in the first encounter between God and Moses in the burning bush, God reaffirms to Moses that He is the only God, meaning there is only one God. Actually we find the sprouting of a very eminent word, Yahweh, which means I AM and it can be read in Deuteronomy 6:4. What is striking in this part is the term I AM, which Jesus also used later, when He came to the earth actually 1500 years after Moses’ encounter with God. His use of the term I AM all reaffirms that He was, is and will forever remain God (Elmer, 2007).
It is well outlaid in the bible that Jesus name is sacred. The only being with ability to be sacred is only meaning that Jesus was God. He never went to the roads to announce that he was sacred, but all his actions confirmed this truth. It is to be recognized that it was Jesus’ majestic works and miracles that drew a lot of multitude to him and subsequently arousing the hate from Jewish leaders. For instance, at the temple in Jerusalem, where Jesus was talking to some Pharisees and made a remark that He was the light of the world, something that angered the rulers of law. Such resentment by the Jewish leaders is further re-affirmed in John 8:13, where they accused Jesus of making false assertions. It is such assertions that people confuse that Jesus claimed to be God (Elmer, 2007).
It is to be realized that the wages or penalty of blasphemy was death by stoning according to Jewish rules. This is what they did with an intention that He would withdrew his statement of I AM. On the contrary, Jesus kept quiet till death. I, therefore, find sufficient grounds to believe that Jesus did not claim to be God as such action would mean He was campaigning for that position.
Does the Bible have authority?
There is no doubt, I strongly confess that the bible has authority since it is the only physical and remaining vessel, through which God communicates His authority to mankind. Just to highlight, authority is synonymous to rightful power and this kind of power is immensely witnessed in the bible, where God alone has been exalted as the only source of ultimate authority. To show that the bible has authority, I will examine this subject in terms of God’s authority and Jesus Christ’s authority all of which have a strong foundation in the bible.
First and foremost, the bible`s authority is premised on the fact that it is the avenue through which God’s authority over mankind is communicated to all. God’s sovereign, universal and eternal authority over the universe is implicitly communicated through the bible. Bible verses such as Exodus 15:18 and Job 26:12 are some of the definite places, where people find God’s authority. Therefore, in this sense, what God trusts and uses to convey his authority is an ultimate authority as well. Just to be aware of God’s authority, which is directly communicated through the bible is the fact that this kind of authority is not only limited providence of human needs and history, but also places important affirmation for man to be submissive to God and accountable for all his deeds. Failure to adhere to such facts will call for devastating consequences like what was witnessed in the Garden of Eden (Elmer, 2007).
The authority of the bible can also be explained in terms of the absolute authority given to Jesus by God the Father. This authority is explained deeply through biblical documentation, which further reaffirms that God and Jesus the son are one, even in authority. Jesus, whom many theologians and religious teachings confirm to be the incarnate son of God, has authority which He manifests in duality with God. This immense authority is deeply explained to human kind through the bible. For instance, in John 10:18, Jesus declares his authority to all by saying that his coming to the world did not strip him of any authority. In Luke 7:11-17, Jesus’ power is taken further, when he raised the dead, something that was and is only confined to the Almighty God. What these manifestations mean is that, God the Father and the Son gave the bible the authority to inform humankind of the power of God. And in normal circumstances, the person to whom authority has been delegated also assumes that authority, which can only be stripped by the source of that authority who is God (John, 1998).
How can we be confident that Jesus is returning?
First and foremost, Jesus made it clear in the bible, especially in Mathew 24:36 that the actual date of his return is known by nobody, even the angels and Him Jesus does not know of it. God himself is the only one with the custody of this date. However, Jesus sought to provide insight to his followers of the last days to his coming as this would aid the Faithfull’s preparation to receive their king. This information is particularly elaborative in the book of 1 Thessalonians 5:2-6 where Jesus informs His followers of the nature of events that will characterize his return. What all these information means is that Jesus never wanted to leave his followers to a total point of speculation of his return as such events would have an impact in making the souls of Christians weary. Therefore, correlating the events happening in the world to those written of the end times in the bible, Christians then find a reason to build their confidence of the second coming of Jesus (John, 1998).
To build the followers confidence on His return, Jesus through the bible provided certain signs to be looked at, these include signs talking about the nature of end time’s society, technology, and world politics among others. Mathew 24:37, for instance, has given the followers information about the kind of society to expect during the world last days, which he says will just be like the days of Noah. That is, the world will be just as corrupt and bad as the days of Noah, when vices and sins like immorality characterized the lives of inhabitants. When we evaluate such stand points and compare them to the current world behaviors, we develop confidence that in deed what Jesus said will surely come to happen and the end of the world ultimately comes to be true (John, 1998).
In conclusion, the above discussions are fundamental in alleviating the religious malpractices, which have been used by the devil to confuse the world by altering the true meaning and intention of God`s messages to humankind. I strongly believe that in order to understand the true sense of biblical messages to humankind, man has to devote a good chunk of his time for personal meditation with God through prayer as this will unfold even the hidden biblical meanings.