Posts Tagged truth

The Source of Truth: Getting To Know Jesus

by Roger Severino       

Last time, we considered that the truth is not a philosophy or religion, but a person: Jesus Christ.
So, if Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (see John 14:6), how do we get to know Him? Fortunately, the Living Word (Jesus) has been captured in the Written Word (the Bible). For a scholarly yet reasonably accessible study of the reliability of Scripture, check out Craig Blomberg’s new book Can We Still Believe the Bible?
Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are the most obvious places to get to know Jesus. Here, you will encounter eyewitness accounts of the teachings, character, personality, deeds, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Book of Acts: Here, you will read about the earliest followers of Jesus and how they began to spread His message throughout the Roman Empire. The first half of the book focuses on Peter and the Twelve disciples, while second half centers in on the miraculous conversion of Saul, who goes on to become Paul the Apostle, and great missionary for the Christian faith.
The Letters of Paul and the Rest of the New Testament: In these books we find the reflections and interpretation of the Christ event (Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection) by these Spirit-inspired writers. Typically, these are letters written to specific churches in a given city. Often these letters have two sections:

  1. “You Are” — who they are in Christ
  2. “Therefore, Be” — how they are to live out their faith

The Old Testament: You may be surprised that I would suggest you can discover Christ in the Old Testament. But do you remember what Jesus taught on the road to Emmaus: “Didn’t the Messiah have to suffer these things and enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted for them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.”[1] Jesus read the Old Testament (Moses and all the Prophets) as pointing to Himself. This fall our church will do a study of “God’s Unfolding Story” which will help us see how all of Scripture points to Jesus and the New Covenant.
Next Steps: If you are new to the Bible, I would encourage you to begin with the one of the Gospels. Other great places to go are Philippians, James, or 1 John. The Psalms and Proverbs are also great ways to begin reading the Old Testament. If you prefer a selected daily Scripture passage with devotional thoughts from someone in our church, go to our web site and read the JourneyOn Today reading. There’s also an app for that.
Take Away: Whether you are a Bible scholar or brand new to the Bible, nothing can replace a regular study of Scripture to grow in your relationship with Jesus.
One More Thing: During this emphasis on apologetics and truth, videos are available to view at:
For several weeks, we will look at how early Christians defended the faith during difficult times in the Roman Empire.
[1]The Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Version. (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009), Lk 24:26–27.

The Truth: Who, Not What

by Roger Severino

In John 14:1-7, Jesus tells His disciples that they will know the way to where He is going.

One of them says: “Lord, we don’t know where You are going. How can we know the way?”

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Ohhh. So we are not talking about a path, but a person. We are not talking about a system, but a Savior. We are not talking about a “what” or a “where”, but a “who”.
When we talk to our unbelieving friends and neighbors about Christianity, we are not primarily talking about a religion or philosophical system. We are primarily talking about a person.
Most skeptics will acknowledge that a person named Jesus (Yeshua) lived in first century Palestine, developed a following, was executed by Roman crucifixion, and that his followers came to believe (for whatever reason) that he had risen from the dead.
I once listened to a series of lectures by New Testament professor, Bart Erhman, who teaches at UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. Ehrman is an agnostic and, therefore, doesn’t believe in the resurrection of Jesus. But in discussing the early spread of Christianity and the development of the church, Dr. Ehrman kept using a phrase like: “The followers of Jesus came to believe that he had been raised from the dead.” Dr. Ehrman never tried to explain how that belief came about, or even suggest various hypotheses. Part of this, I imagine, is because this was not the focus of the course. But part of it, perhaps, is also that there is no really good alternative explanation for what Christians and those early eyewitnesses affirm to be true. “Jesus is risen from the dead!”
Christianity is not primarily about a philosophy – though there is a place for Christian philosophy and systematic theology. Our belief is founded on a real person who lived in real space and time approximately 2,000 years ago in a known geographical location on the globe.
One good way of talking to our skeptical friends is to ask:

  • “Who is Jesus?”
  • “What do you believe about him?”
  • “Why do you believe that?”
  • “Why do you think his earliest followers claimed to be eyewitnesses of his resurrection?”
  • “What do you think actually happened?”

Get people talking about Jesus. Then, be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have, with gentleness and respect (see 1 Peter 3:15).