Summary: A sermon summing up the heart of Christianity
Christianity In A Nutshell
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- Several weeks ago Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) killed a bill on the floor of the senate by using a method that is called a "filibuster". This is a procedure where debate over a proposed piece of legislation is extended, allowing one or more members to delay or entirely prevent a vote on the proposal. It is sometimes referred to as "talking out a bill" or "talking a bill to death". Senator Paul spent 10 hours saying what could be summed up in 2 minutes. Of course that was his intended goal.
- But sometimes people have a tendency to take forever getting to the point of a conversation. They will inadvertently "talk a subject to death" and before they get their point across they have lost their audience. As a Pastor I have learned that you only have a short timeframe in which to grab hold of people's attention or you will lose them. When we share with an unbeliever what Christianity is all about, it is best to give them the heart of the message. We must sum it up and get to the point! In I Peter 1:8-9, With only 37 words, in 2 sentences Peter sums up the heart of Christianity. I would like to walk through these verses and consider "Christianity In A Nutshell"
- This phrase 'in a nutshell' speaks of anything that could be written in so few words that it would fit into a nutshell. It speaks of a conversation or speech that is brief and to the point. When it comes to the subject of Christianity there is no shortage of debate. When discussing the Bible you will hear many different views and opinions. There are questions that you may ask that there is just no answer to. There are certain subjects that are very difficult to understand. There are some very deep and often controversial subjects such as Calvinism, Dispensationalism, and Eschatology. But when it comes to what really matters...when it comes to the fundamentals of the faith, they are plain, clear and simple to understand! And we see those fundamentals in our selected text today. We see: Our Love For Christ ...Our Faith In Christ ...Our Joy Through Christ and ...Our Reward From Christ. We truly see "Christianity In A Nutshell"
- Look with me to verse 8 as we examine:
I. Our Love For Christ - 8a You love him even though you have never seen him.
- Peter saw something in these believers. He saw that they possessed a love for the Savior who they had not seen in the flesh. Peter had walked and talked with the Lord. He had physically touched him But these early Christians had only seen Jesus with eyes of faith. But their faith was so real that they possessed the same love as those who had spent time with Jesus while He was present upon the Earth. Though we have yet to see Christ with our physical eyes... we have seen Him! We have seen Him though the preaching of the Gospel.
- When Jesus was present upon the Earth there were multitudes who saw Him. But they didn't see Him for Who He was! John 1:11 tells us that "He came unto His own and His own received Him not". -- We have seen Jesus because God has shown Him to us! - 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
- The people that we read about in the Bible did not know Jesus the way that we do. They did not have all of the information that we have.
1) The Wise Men, the Shepherds, Simeon and Anna got a glimpse of Christ as a babe.
2) The scribes in the Temple spent a brief amount of time with Him as a young child.
3) Peter's mother in law got to see Him shortly when He healed her.
4) Lazarus, Mary and Martha were close and special to Jesus but they did not see it all.
5) The deaf, the dumb, the blind, the lame, the demon possessed and the lepers saw certain aspects of His ministry.
- There are many accounts in the scriptures that describe the great miracles that Jesus performed in people's lives. But all of those people only had brief encounters with Jesus. Even the Apostles didn't see everything that we have seen, Consider: There were 3 occasions where Peter, James and John saw things that the other disciples did not see 1. Jesus raising Jairus' daughter from the dead. 2. The transfiguration 3. The prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. -- When Jesus appeared after His resurrection Thomas missed out on that first appearance completely. Through the Gospels we have as much information (if not more) than the Apostles possessed as these things took place. We are privileged to see things that even the closest of Jesus' followers did not see.