Summary: How can we make the message of the Gospel meaningful and relevant to the current generation?

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A Gospel for the well informed

We live in a world where propriety is considered higher than truth. In the name of diversity and inclusiveness, permissiveness is rampant. We live in a country where anything is “worshippable”. A nation where spirituality is equated with “Doing Good” where any religious organisation is automatically termed a “Charitable Institution” there by equating charity with religion and faith. How do we handle people who believe that “all religions lead to god”.

When we present the gospel to anyone, we usually depend on one the Gospel books of the bible. How can we make the message of the gospel more relevant to people who want answers to questions like, why is Jesus Christ better? How is He different from the many avatars that are worshipped in our country? Thousands of years ago a group of Jews faced the same questions and the author of the book of Hebrews puts forward some very convincing answers to their questions. Let us see what we can learn about Gospel from this book.

The book of Hebrews was written to an audience who were struggling with faith, just like some of our friends might be, people who were Judaic Christians struggling with doubts about the relevance of Christianity, struggling to see if Christianity was in any way “better” than the Judaism that they were following. After all, Jews were a nation chosen by God. Jews were also the most hunted, the most hated and the most hurt people on earth (The film “Fiddler on the roof” has a dialogue where the hero asks “God, I know we are the chosen people, but why don’t you choose some one else for a change?”) So what is different about Christianity that they should follow this Jesus of Nazareth? What is different about Him that they should take that plunge? A number of our friends might ask the same question. Ravi Zacharia in his book, “Jesus among other gods” says “Philosophically, you can believe anything, so long as you do not claim it to be true, Morally, you can practice anything, so long as you do not claim it to be a ’better’ way. Religiously, you can hold to anything, so long as you do not bring Jesus Christ into it. How does one, to a mood such as this, communicate the message of Jesus Christ, in which Truth and absoluteness are not only assumed, but sustained?"

The Book of Hebrews gives us a number of reasons to tell us why Jesus Christ is superior. Let me dwell on just three of them this morning.

1. Why Jesus had to come down to earth as fully man?

2. Why did He have to live like an ordinary human being?

3. Why did he have to die a horrible death like an ordinary human being?

1. Why Jesus had to come down to earth as fully man?

Six reasons are stressed here in Hebrews,

1.1 So that he could taste death for everyone, even though He is immortal God 2:9

1.2 So that He could suffer for us, even though He is the omnipotent saviour 2: 10

1.3 So that He could call us brother, even though He is the creator of all 2:11-13

1.4 So that he could share in our humanity even though he is the unlimited perfect spirit 2:14

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