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Can Christ’s Claims be Trusted?

November 29, 2012

When it comes to discussing topics like God and eternity, the likelihood is that there’s no argument that will convince you either way.

Yet interestingly, there’s probably no topic that’s worth discussing as much as the topic of eternity.

Even though it’s unlikely that any one argument will convince you that the claims of Christ and of Christianity are true, hopefully I can convince you that they’re worth exploring.

Jesus Christ actually made some pretty astonishing claims. Perhaps 3 of His most significant claims are listed below:

1. He claimed to be God

No other credible founder of a world religion has ever claimed to be God. Such a claim would be ridiculous and an instant warning sign to anyone looking for faith. Surely no one who claims to be God could be considered trustworthy?

And yet there are countless examples of Jesus either directly or indirectly claiming to be God. (see a few verses below – although there are plenty more)

John 17 v 11  /  John 5 v 18  /  John 10 vs 31-30  /  Mark 14 vs 61-62

2. He claimed to forgive sin

Someone forgiving sin isn’t really a big deal you might think, and you’re right we can all forgive sin. Even I can be gracious enough to forgive someone who has wronged me. However Jesus claimed to be able to forgive all sin, even those that (on the surface) weren’t against Him. (see a few verses below – although again there are others)

Mark 2 vs 5:12  /  Luke 7 vs 36-50

CS Lewis puts it this way:

“We can all understand how a man forgives offences against Himself. You tread on my toe and I forgive you, you steal my money and I forgive you. But what should we make of a man, Himself unrobbed and untrodden on, who announced that he forgave you for treading on other men’s toes and stealing other men’s money?…Yet this is what Jesus did. He told people that their sins were forgiven… He unhesitatingly behaved as if He was the person chiefly offended in all offences. This makes sense only if He really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin.”

3. He claimed to be the only way to Heaven

This claim is hugely unpopular. How dare Jesus state that the only way to Heaven is through Him! Even most other religions often are more accepting of other religions.

John 14 v 6

Jesus here states – every other religion is wrong, every other faith system is wrong – the only way to Heaven is through Him.

IF any of these claims are true, then arguably they have the potential to totally transform every aspect of your life.

The bible states that no matter who you are or where you have come from, as a result of Jesus and his life, death and resurrection you are able to have relationship with God, something that we all crave, whether we know it or not.

How can you and I, as rational humans living in the 21st century, have any confidence that these claims of Christ are trustworthy?

There are 3 arguments that I feel have particular weight to them that when added together present us with a reasonable case that the claims of Christ are, at the very least, worth exploring:

1. The Narrative of the New Testament is Reliable

Due to the overwhelming evidence there is to support the narrative of the New Testament we can be confident that Jesus Christ actually existed and actually made these claims.

For more information please visit my earlier posts:

Can we be Confident in the New Testament? (parts 1 and parts 2)

2. Jesus Christ Never Sinned

If you were to ever meet a man who had never sinned, wouldn’t he be someone that’s worth listening to?

I cannot prove beyond all reasonable doubt that Jesus never sinned, but please see my earlier post to have a look at why I think it’s a fairly reasonable perspective to hold: The Sinlessness of Christ

3. Jesus Christ Rose From the Dead

Someone who has never sinned must be trustworthy, but if there’s any way to top that, it’s got to be the man who prophesies His own death and resurrection and then actually does it!

Again, I can’t prove beyond all reasonable doubt that Jesus rose from the dead, but I think there’s some convincing arguments that are worth exploring. Please see earlier post: There’s Reliability in the Resurrection.

It might be that none of this means anything to you, perhaps you’re reading this and still thinking; ‘I’m just not convinced’. I wouldn’t blame you if that was your perspective. But if there’s one thing that’s a definite, these claims are worth exploring.

Let me finish with one last CS Lewis quote:

“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

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