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Summary: a more apologetic look at Christianity

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What do you look for what do you see in Christianity?

Text: Mt. 16:16-18

Intro:

1. it is interesting how we see things differently,

How we perceive what is happening, hear what is being said

2. The same could be said for Christianity.

I. WHAT PEOPLE SEE IN CHRISTIANITY, THE CHRISTIAN

FAITH

A. A way of making sense out of the world, a worldview, a lens

through which we put the things of this world into order

B. Something to belong to—some people need a place to fit in, to

belong so they search out a church.

C. Respectability—some see a church as a way of being a

respectable member of the community; it gives them credibility

in their business transactions.

D. A place to use skill and talent—to a lot of people, a church is

nothing more than a venue through which to gain exposure to a

talent of some kind.

E. Some see it as intergenerational baggage—“I am because my

family is and has been for generations and it would be a s

disgrace to not be…” although it is not taken seriously.

F. Some see it as a curse of humanity, a fabrication of man to

control the weak minded (a Jesse Ventura quote)

G. Some see it as one religion among many, others don’t classify

it as a religion, but nevertheless, it is a commodity to be

studied and written about sociologically.

II. LETS CONSIDER THESE PERCEPTIONS

A. is it social? Very much so I Cor. 12:12-13 baptized into 1 body

1. Jesus said he would build his church/assembly/called out

People Mt. 16:18

2. Eph. 1:22-23 the church is his body on earth

3. We are a group, family, community of believers in the

atoning death of Jesus on the cross as the way to have a

saved and eternal relationship with God

B. Is it a world view? Very much so

1. the Bible is the history of God’s plan to save his creation

2. While it is not a historical record exclusively, Enough has

been found to show that it very concisely corresponds to

secular history that you study in school

3. Scripture is the lens that shows us how God works and that

he has been working for millennia

C. Is the church a place to utilize talents and abilities? Yes!

1. I Cor. 12—the body is one but made up of many parts, each

which contribute in some way to the overall health and

growth of the body.

2. Eph. 4:1-3 another passage which talks about how God has

organized and outfitted the church.

3. Rom. 12:3-8—another passage that identifies God-given

gifts

E. Is it intergenerational? Yes

1. Deut. 6:4-9 the Shema and instructions to teach

2. Eph. 6:4 a similar instruction

F. is it for weak people? Very much so!

1. Titus 3:3-5

2. Rom. 5:5-10

3. Eph. 2:1-10

4. Rom.. 8:1-4

5. But—due to our sinful and proud nature, we can’t admit our

need and thus look outside ourselves for that help.

G. Is it a fabricated control mechanism? Not at all!

1. II Pet. 1:16ff—we didn’t follow cleverly invented stories…

2. II Cor. 2: “I preached Christ crucified….the natural man can’t

understand it because they don’t have the Spirit…”

III. IT IS MUCH, MUCH MORE!

A. It is freedom—

1. Eph. 4:17ff notice the downward spiral into greater

corruption, cf. II Pet. 1:5 escape corruption due to our

lusts;

2. Jn. 8:32 the truth will set you free—the truth about who you

are, what you need and that it is available

B. It is a rescue, a way out Rom. 8:1-4—God did for us what we

couldn’t do

C. It is a new vision, a new way of seeing:

1. Heb. 11 we see through new eyes, eyes fixed on God, on

Christ

2. Col. 3:1-3—set your hearts, set your minds on things above

3. Heb. 12:1-3—since we are surrounded by such a great cloud

of witnesses, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and

finisher of our faith

4. I Jn. 2:15-17—we look at the world differently

D. It is a way of life, not just an added hobby

1. Eph. 4:1—live a life worthy of the calling…

2. Rom. 8:5-11 live by the Spirit, not the sinful nature

3. it is a union with Christ in baptism, Rom. 6—a wedding

ceremony (Eph. 5:25-26)

4. it is reconciliation to God through Christ—II Cor. 5:17-20

E. It is a religion, in that in it a person can be bound back to God

1. Christianity is unique in that man doesn’t reach up for God,

rather God reaches down to man

2. Heb. 1:1-4—precisely what Jesus did

3. Jn. 1:1-14—The Creator God became flesh, and tabernacle

among us, revealing the glory of the Father, the very

essence of who God is—Col. 1:19; 2:9

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