Are You an Evangelical?

“But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, ‘What is He saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!’” (Mark 2:6-7 NLT)

I read in a recent BreakPoint article by John Stonestreet and Kasey Leander: “Every two years, Ligonier Ministries works with LifeWay Research to evaluate the theological temperature of the American church. This year’s State of Theology study’s results show that not just Americans but evangelicals in particular are increasingly muddy on core truths such as the nature and character of God, the reality of human sin, the role of the Church in the world, and the exclusivity and divinity of Jesus Christ.”

“Evangelical” is generally a reference to Christians who tend to be more conservative and biblically oriented. For purposes of the above study the definition they used was: “that the Bible is the highest authority for what someone believes, that it is important for non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their savior, that Jesus’ death on the cross is the only sacrifice that removes the penalty of humanity’s sin, and that only those who trust in Him alone receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.”

How do you align with those beliefs? The segment of the study that shocked and disappointed me the most was that only 43% of “evangelical” Christians believe in the divinity of Jesus. What does that mean in layman’s terms? It means that Jesus was, as a human being, God in human form.

Over and over in the Bible, yes – Old and New Testaments – prophets foretold, and Jesus Himself, as well as other New Testament authors, verified that the Messiah, the Chosen One of God, was God in human form. He was to be “born of a virgin.” Why? Because He wasn’t to be defiled by human seed but must be conceived by the Spirit of God.

He was sinless. Peter, in explaining the credentials of the One who would pay the ransom for our sin wrote in 1 Peter 1:18-19: “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom He paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.”

The word Peter used that is translated “precious,” means the price is so great you can’t assign a value to it. The worth of one drop of our Savior’s blood is of incalculable worth. Why? Because He was the God-Man – 100% Man and 100% God.

In the familiar verse that many of us have memorized, John 3:16, in the King James Version it says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…” The Greek word used that is translated “begotten,” is “mon-og-en-ace,” and it means “the only one of its kind.” The value of anything designed or created is measured by the fame and worth of its creator. Jesus is the only One of His kind – the Only Son of God – wholly man and wholly God.

When He stood trial before the elders and teachers of religious law, the high priest asked Jesus: “What do you have to say for yourself?” To which Jesus responded: “I Am. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

When God was grooming Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, Moses told the Lord when he went to the people of Israel, they would want to know God’s name. So, God told him: “I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.”

Jesus declared with undeniable clarity that He was God’s Son – God in human form! To deny His deity is to deny His sacrifice. To deny His sacrifice is not only to deny the truth of God’s word, but also to deny the character of God Himself. To deny God’s character is to deny we have been born again of the Spirit, forgiven of our sin, and headed to an eternal home in heaven. Jesus is God or we’re still hopelessly lost in our sin.

Are you an Evangelical? Not if you deny that Jesus is God.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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