Who Told You That You Were Naked?

January 22, 2005

I.  The Issue Is All About Biblical AuthorityWhat is your source of truth?

- if we say, God is our source of truth, then we have to ask . . .

A.  What right does God have to tell us what to do?

[READ Gen. 1:26-31]

> Answer: He’s the CREATOR, the Designer, the Sustainer of life and we are under His authority – and He has given us the Scriptures and that is TRUTH

Point* If man can deny the existence of the God of the Bible, then there is no truth, there is no absolute standard of righteousness (no such thing as sin), and I get to live however I want, and there are no eternal consequences!

- so if that’s true, then forget evangelism/outreach – there’s no point!

> people aren’t going to be interested in a god that doesn’t exist

[Mention Questions That Deserve an Answer series:  Why Should I Believe in Truth? Does God Exist? Is the Bible Reliable? Are Miracles Possible? How Can I Make Sense of Evil and Suffering?]

[Explain the purpose of Gen. 2 – simply a more detailed description of Gen. 1:26-31]

- there is a great attack on these first 3 chapters (actually the first 11 chapters of Genesis)

[Explain the 1stTransparency—The Problem] [note: Adapted from AiG website]

B.  The Problem:

 

PICTURE

 

- This castle illustration sums up the problem in our Western cultures from a Christian perspective.

- The left castle has a foundation of evolution (and/or millions of years)—man by himself determines truth – God’s Word is questioned, therefore no biblical authority

- Out of this foundation comes a CASTLE OF HUMANISM and the consequences that can arise from such a foundation – note the examples

- The right CASTLE OF CHRISTIANITY, built on the foundation of the absolute authority of the Word of God.

> Out of this structure comes a Christian worldview (Christian morality/right and wrong, marriage, sanctity of life, etc.).

Point  Humanism (man as the center of the universe) doesn’t directly attach the doctrines of the Resurrection or the Virgin Birth (too obvious and only weakens the structure)

>  To destroy Christianity, you have to try to destroy the foundation of God's Word.

- The best way to accomplish this is to attack the history that is foundational to all Christian doctrine.

Result:  Ultimately the Christian structure will begin to collapse and the humanist structure will become entrenched in its place.

- no longer is the bible just automatically assumed as being true, so . . .

- To reach these people, you would have to get them to change their thinking foundationally.

- In other words, they need to destroy the wrong foundation on which they have built their thinking, and establish the right foundation from God's Word, beginning in Genesis as real history.

- This illustration helps to awaken Christians to recognize the real nature of the battle: it is a foundational one.

C.  The Solution [see Trans #2]

-  This diagram illustrates the solution to the problem portrayed in Castle Diagram #1

>  Not just fighting social ills, but at the same time dealing with the foundational nature of societal change that has resulted in such issues becoming prevalent in the culture.

- We’re not here primarily to change the culture – we are sent to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and see people converted, committed to the Lord, and standing on the Word of God

- Then these disciple will in turn be the salt and light in the culture, resulting in cultural change.

Point:  More and more, Christians today cannot simply go out and tell non-Christians to trust in Jesus and repent of their sin, because they no longer have a foundation to understand the meaning of sin or who Jesus is.

-  In other words, there are increasing numbers of people in our Western culture who have been taught a different history and therefore don't even understand that they are lost, let alone that they need to be saved.

 

PICTURE

 

D.  Christianity does not begin with accepting Jesus Christ as Savior; Christianity begins in Genesis 1:1

- God created the heavens and the earth for purpose and destiny that He determined

Francis Schaeffer: "If he had an hour to spend with a person on an airplane, a person who didn't know the Lord, he would spend the first 55 minutes talking about man being created in the image of God. And the last five minutes on the presentation of the gospel of salvation that could restore man to that original intended image."

II.  Does It Really Matter Which View You Take? 

- YES, not only for science but also for theology.

- Do you really want to say the Bible is wrong about creation? Are you willing to reject verses like:

  • Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, 2 "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 "Now gird up your loins like a man, and I will ask you, and you instruct Me! 4 "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.”
  • Psalm 95:5 The sea is His, for it was He who made it, and His hands formed the dry land.
  • Isaiah 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing.
  • Isaiah 44:24 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, "I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, stretching out the heavens by Myself and spreading out the earth all alone.
  • Isaiah 45:18 For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), "I am the LORD, and there is none else.
  • Revelation 4:11 " Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created."

III.  In what are you going to put your faith?

- Everyone has a source of truth:

  • It may be the Word of God
  • It may be the logic of man or popular opinions

Bottom Line:  You have a source of truth – the issue is this:  Is it reliable?  Is that what you are going to trust in for your final authority?

- You might say:  “Well, I can believe whatever I want!”

> Yes, but as one man said:  “Choices have consequences!” (our study on March 6)

-  But understand this:  Whatever you believe about creation . . . or evolution – it IS an issue of FAITH!

* We need to begin with the Word of God that clearly and unashamedly provides answers to those questions

- Peter clarified this point when he wrote:

  • 2 Peter 1:3 Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. – Peter was referring to the Scriptures (cf. context of 2 Pet. 1)

- Paul clearly stated to Timothy:

  • 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture [OT and NT] is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction,for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

- To validate the OT writings, Paul even penned these words to the Romans:

  • Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

 

- Just as God asked Adam, “What’s your source of truth?” – we need to ask ourselves the same question

- If you answer is, the Word of God – then the Creator expects us to bring Him glory in the way we reach out to others and tell them about His plan of redemption!