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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

this jesus, pt. 3 - know this

On Acts 2:22-36...

Finally, Peter says in vs. 36:

…know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ…

First, what is it we should know for certain? It is that Jesus was not just a man, even if he was a documented man in history with profound influence on the world around him. Jesus is more than that. Jesus was also raised from death by the power of God. That makes him much more than a man; it indicates that he is part of God working in the world. Believing that is a stretch of faith, but there are still eyewitnesses… that God is at work in the world and in our lives. There is more than the routine of our daily lives; there is an active God.

But Peter asserts the real truth that we should know for certain. God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ. Jesus is not just a Nazarene, a man; he is the demonstration of God's power, anointed by God as "Christ," chosen one, Messiah. He is also Lord; God Himself at work among us.

What we should know for certain is that Jesus is Lord and Christ – both the way that God chose to restore us to Himself and give us life, but also the one we believe, worship, and follow. THIS JESUS is Lord and Christ – the way we look to, trust, and obey the God of the universe.

Second, how can we know this for certain? It is by faith, to be sure. For one cannot trust, obey, worship, and follow except from the spirit and by faith. We might trust a teacher, and even obey and follow, but we dare not worship anything less than God. If we could document, bottle, examine, and describe God, then our worship would be misplaced. Only a God who reaches out to us and whom we trust in faith is worth worshiping in the first place.

Yet, faith is not as blind or "mindless" as some would imagine. It is grounded in our experience. We have, after all, the historical record of Jesus the Nazarene. We have the testimony of eye witnesses, whether first century followers like Peter and Paul or contemporary followers among our family or friends. And we have the declaration of scripture – purporting to be God's self-revelation and describing an infinite God who has acted in history and the world to make a way for us to return home to Him. If you read it with an open heart and open mind, you will find a God worth worshiping.

Yes, faith is required to really "get it" – but faith isn't as elusive as it's made out to be. Peter gives us a road map to faith and grounds us in a clear description of God's mission to the world.

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