Summary: Our purpose in this series is to reacquaint ourselves with the fundamentals of our faith.
Why We Believe What We Believe – About Man, Sin, and The Two Natures
Why We Believe What We Believe Teaching Series
Sunday, November 15th, 2009
Gages Lake Bible Church
Pastor Daniel Darling
Perhaps there is no more significant question to the human race than the simple question: Who Am I? That question unravels two more important questions.
Why Am I Here?
Where Am I Going?
These are the questions man has struggled to answer since the beginning of time. They are questions that plague man today. The philosopher Abraham Heschel, in his book, Who is Man? admits that man really has no clue as to where he came from:
We have never been as openmouthed and inquisitive, never as astonished and embarrassed at our ignorance about man. We know what he makes, but we do not know what he is or what to expect of him. Is it not conceivable that our entire civilization is built upon a misinterpretation of man? Or that the tragedy of man is due to the fact that he is a being who has forgotten the question: Who is Man? The failure to identify himself, to know what is authentic human existence, leads him to assume a false identity, to pretending to be what he is unable to be or to not accepting what is at the very root of his being.
I’m not going to bore you with an extended discussion of the contemporary views of man. You probably have already sat through an anthropology class in high-school or college and didn’t come to church to hear more boring lectures.
But to sum up the world’s views of who man is, we look no further than the theory of evolution. Modern man, almost universally accepts and believes the idea that we arrived here by chance, by the lucky collision of cells. We are not governed by a God, but are here to fend for ourselves.
Man, most people believe, is progressing into a higher state of existence. Given the right circumstances, with the elimination of the wrong kind of people and the creation of the right kind of environment, man is progressing nicely.
But that theory may sound great on paper, but it doesn’t explain the reality we see. If man is progressing, then why does a high-ranking officer shoot down his comrades in Fort Hood, Texas? Why does a madman in Iran wish to eliminate an entire race of people in Israel? Why does human trafficking claim 12.3 million innocent people, many of them young children, as slaves?
There has to be something more.
Maybe you’ve grabbled with the questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose?
You’ve looked around and wondered if there is a purpose beyond mere existence, beyond getting up, going to work, making money, going home, indulging in pleasures and entertainment, growing older, getting sick, and dying.
Something inside all of us says, “There has to be something more.”
Our True Story Is Written
Well, you must know by now that we here at Gages Lake believe there is something more to life. That our existence on this earth didn’t happen by chance.
In this series, Why We Believe What We Believe, we’ve established some parameters of our faith.
We’ve established that we believe the Bible is God’s written revelation to man.
We’ve established that we believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three Coequals of the Trinity.
We’ve established that Jesus Christ is God, that HE is the story of human history, and that He is the story of the Bible.
We’ve established that the Holy Spirit is God in us and is the primary Agent of change in the world today.
Today we look again to our faith to answer the question of who man is, why man is here, and where man is going. To find those answers, we go back to the book that is our middle name. The Bible, yes the Bible, has the answers.
We often think of the Bible as the story of God—and that’s true. But the Bible is also the story of man. The Bible contains our story.
In fact, if you want to know about yourself, there is no better place to go than to the Scriptures, which are the Owner’s Manual for life, God’s personal, written revelation to man.
What is Our Story
All of us come here today with a story. Some of you came from a rough-and-tumble background. Others can speak glowingly of their parent’s love. Some of you were born into poverty. Others were born into prosperity. Some of you want to talk about your childhood. Others would like to leave those painful memories behind.
Even though all of us come here from different places, we all really have the same story. Our story doesn’t begin in a hospital, but in a garden.