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Who Do You Say I Am?

• Greg Boyd

Jesus asked Peter a question that we all must answer: “Who do you say that I am?”

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1 Peter Ch. 3: Even believers should have a reason for the hope within them.

Question: Who is Jesus Christ?

Believers need to know why they believe and non-believers need to confront those reasons.

Why do people believe in Jesus Christ?

The Bible wants us to reason, not to merely have blind faith.

What is the evidence for what we believe? We need evidence for many other things in life, why not for Christ? It’s not enough to say, “I just believe”. There’s a lot at stake not to believe, but you must look at the evidence.

Four Reasons Why Jesus Christ is the Son of God:

1.) There are numerous prophecies in the Old Testament any only Jesus fulfills them. (Are you Jewish? Were you born in Bethlehem? (etcetra)

2.) Jesus made out lavish claims, but he backed them up.

(e.g. ? “Blessed are you when you suffer for my sake.”

(e.g. ? “I came down from heaven that all may honor the son as they honor the Father”).

(e.g. ? “If you se me, you see the Father…”)

Argument: Either Jesus was crazy or He was exactly who He said He was. He’s either the center of everything or nothing. If Jesus were crazy, why did people say that he was sinless? If Jesus were a fake, what was his motive? Who wants to die on the cross?

3.) The disciples said one of the reasons they believed in Jesus was because of the miracles He did.

Nobody else ever did these things! (e.g. ? multiplied loaves and fishes, walked on water, healed blind, death, raised the dead….)

Why would the disciples make this up (some say they did)? No motives to do so.

They were persecuted as a result of believing in Jesus. And Jesus’ story was full of “irrelevant” details, problems. Why, if you were making this up, have Jesus say on the cross, “Father, why have you forsaken me?” Not a great way to sell the story!

4.) The Resurrection: Five independent accounts of the resurrection (they differ in detail, like eyewitness accounts would differ). All of the accounts written fairly early after the resurrection, also –

Also, there’s lot of internal evidence in the gospels that historians can use to date them (e.g. ? Simon ? father of Alexander and Rufus ? author assures the audience @ the time know those people)..

With other figures one Alexander the Great, we only have a single source or so about him (not so with Jesus – 5 sources independent of one another, eyewitnesses, etc..).

You either believe in Jesus Christ or you don’t. You have a lot at stake to not believe. Look at the evidence. Be transformed by taking that first step.

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Focus Scripture:

  • I Peter 3

    1 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

    7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

    8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
    “Whoever among you would love life
    and see good days
    must keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from deceitful speech.

    11 Turn from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.

    12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
    but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” [a]

    13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” [b] 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 In that state [c] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. [d] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

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