Summary: Society and social trends are changing at a break-neck pace and it
The Ancient Landmarks
November 14, 2010
The times, they are a changing… Society and social trends are changing at a break-neck pace and it’s tough to keep up with it all. Certain things that have become landmarks are beginning to go the way of the dinosaur. General Motors has shut down its historic Pontiac division after more than 8 decades of production. Verizon is asking permission from the California Public Utilities to stop printing the White Pages. New York, Florida and Pennsylvania have already approved the request. Other states have granted the request for AT&T. A survey conducted by Gallup between 2005 and 2008 found that the percentage of households relying on the printed white pages fell from 25% to 11%. The vast majority of individuals are relying instead on Google or other on-line directories.
This constant and never-ending change can have the effect of making it more difficult for many to feel stability or enjoy a sense of peace. Depression is a growing issue. Anxiety disorders plague many today. Where are the absolutes? What can we be sure of being there tomorrow? Is there anything that I can place my faith in today that will not change tomorrow?
Fortunately, there are certain landmarks that will never change and you and I can be sure will never let us down.
Landmarks are those things which are intended never to move so we can always go back to them for re-orientation and marking absolutes.
The Bible mentions how important landmarks are in Proverbs 22:28. 6x the Bible mentions the sin of moving boundary stones. It would have been easy for a farmer to gain more property simply by moving the corner markers. This form of stealing violated the 8th commandment. (Surveyor stakes used today)
As a church, we are looking forward to effectively impacting a constantly changing society by meeting people where they are and helping them on their journey to where God wants them to be. We can move into the future with the assurance that we are standing on the same biblical truths the church has held dear for 2000 years.
This morning we will look at four of these ancient landmarks of the Christian faith we continue to rely on today.
I. The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ
A. Predicted in OT – (Isaiah 7:14)
1. God-man predicted - (Isaiah 9:6)
a. Man – child would be born
b. God – “mighty God”
B. The importance of the Virgin Birth
1. Jesus was not born a sinner – no sin nature (2 Cor. 5:21)
a. Sin nature passed from generation to generation through father (Romans 5:12, 17, 19)
2. His sinlessness allowed Him to offer up a perfect sacrifice for our sin. – (Heb. 7:26)
C. Ramifications of a non-virgin born Jesus
1. If Jesus were not virgin born, by logical conclusion He would be a sinner, and in need of a savior himself – (Rom. 6:23)
2. Jesus would have to die for His own sin
3. Jesus would be merely an example rather than an effective Savior
4. We would be wasting our time here today and would be in a world of trouble when we face God
D. All the traditions of the early church recognize the virgin birth of Jesus
1. Mention of it is made in the earliest of all the creeds, The Apostle’s Creed, 390 AD
We have the assurance today that Jesus was in fact God in the flesh and that He was capable of taking care of our sin.
II. Jesus’ Substitutionary Death
When it comes to paying for our own sins, we could only atone for our sins personally if we could suffer eternally the penalty that sin incurred.
Mankind is guilty and as such could never measure up to God’s standards for entrance into heaven – (Rom. 3:23) So what do you and I need? We desperately need a substitute. Enter Jesus.
A. The Evidence for Substitutionary Atonement
1. OT – The sacrificial system included the necessity of the offerer laying his hands on the animal being offered as a sacrifice. This implied transmission, delegation and representation.
2. NT – Preposition usage of anti and huper. These Greek words translate “instead of” or “in place of” (Mt. 2:22; Mk. 10:45)
B. There are misunderstandings of the death of Christ
1. Accident theory
2. Martyr theory
3. Moral example theory
4. Governmental theory
C. The true meaning of Christ’s death
1. It is Vicarious – (Mk. 10:45)
2. It is satisfaction
a. Justice of God – (Rom. 3:25ff)
b. Law of God – (Rom. 10:3ff)
3. It is ransom – paid to God
Aren’t you glad someone took your place? I’m not sure if I would die for you, but I know Jesus would, and He did.