Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: What we need today is not cleverness, but the truth of God.

"Nothing But The Truth"

2 Peter 1:12-21

There is a prominent question that is looming in the minds and hearts of

Americans today. It doesn't have anything to do with the stock market, who

will win the NCAA basketball crown, or if the movie "Star Wars" will meet

everyone's expectations. You will never hear the question asked out loud at

the mall, sitting in the stands at your son or daughter's game, or standing

in line at the grocery store, but don't be fooled - the question is out

there, crying out at us from every angle. Who is Jesus? Is He some guru

who has come to alleviate everything that ails us, all that gnaws at our

soul in the quiet of the night? Is He some kind of motivator? Richard

Simmons, Anthony Robbins, and Laura Schlessinger rolled into one

fine-speaking, self-esteem building, faith-affirming mystic? Is He a great

teacher of the likes of Plato? Who is Jesus and can we trust what is being

said about Him?

How can we know who or what to believe? Does possessing a seminary

education dictate that we believe everything that someone says about Jesus?

Does watching TBN legitimize what a person has to say about Jesus? Does

having Dr. or Rev. or Bishop preceding one's name validate everything that a

person states about Jesus?

All kinds of people are talking about Jesus these days, but not too many

are saying much of anything. Some say that Jesus was a fine teacher. Others

have said that Jesus was a good man. Madonna says that she is drawn to Jesus

because she thinks the image of a man hanging on a cross naked is sexy. Ted

Turner says that Jesus is for losers. Tony Campolo has said,

Our society has taken Jesus and recreated him in our own cultural image.

When I hear Jesus being proclaimed from the television stations across our

country, from pulpits hither and yon, he comes across not as the biblical

Jesus, not as the Jesus described in the Bible, but as a white, Anglo-Saxon,

Protestant Republican.... God created us in his image, but we have decided

to return the favor and create a God who is in our image. (Tony Campolo)

In our society today we see that many different things are being said about

Jesus, but most of what is being said is a far cry from what Jesus said

about Himself or what the Biblical authors said about Him. It seems that

those who dismiss Jesus as less than who He claimed to be are given a free

pass to say anything they want to say about Him, but those who take

seriously Jesus' claims are ridiculed and labeled as narrow-minded bigots.

Josh McDowell once said, "Why is it that you can talk about God and nobody

gets upset, but as soon as you mention Jesus, people often want to stop the

conversation? Why have men and women down through the ages been divided over

the question, Who is Jesus?" (Josh McDowell)

If Jesus was just a misguided mystic who came in from the desert for

conversation with the common folk then we've nothing to lose if we simply

dismiss Him. If Jesus was delusional about His claim to be God then we have

the option of picking and choosing what we like about Him. If Jesus isn't

God come to save us from our sins then there are no consequences for our

ignoring Him. On the other hand, if Jesus did not have His tongue in His

cheek when He made His claims then there are dire, even eternal consequences

for those who are unwilling to bow their knee to Him and cry out, "My Lord

and my God."

With all of the confusion concerning who Jesus is and why He came to earth

I came by this morning to clear the air. I have not come here as some

authority or as some wise sage to dispense wisdom to all of you. I have no

authority whatsoever and wisdom has never been one of my strengths. The

only thing I have to offer you this morning to clear the air for all of us

here is the Word of God, the Word of life. Let's take a look.

12So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and

are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13I think it is right to

refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14because I

know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear

to me. 15And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you

will always be able to remember these things. 16We did not follow cleverly

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