The Gospel Observer (June 17, 2018)

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
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Contents:

1) Myth or History? (Part 3 of 3) (Forrest D. Moyer)
2) Teeth (Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
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Matthew1_23-25

-1-

Myth or History?
(Part 3 of 3)

Forrest D. Moyer

Was Jesus Who He Claimed To Be?

It is the claim of skeptics that Jesus was given the attributes of “a god” by fanatical disciples who decided to pattern Jesus after the Greek mythical gods. However, there is not proof that there was teaching of a mythical deity being raised from the dead “…was taught prior to the late second century A. D. Thus, it is certainly a plausible thesis that the mystery religions borrowed this aspect from Christianity, not the reverse.”14

The Old Testament pointed to a Messiah who would be “the Mighty God” (Isa 9:6) born of a virgin (Isa 7:14). The New Testament teaches that Jesus was God in the flesh (John 1:1,2,14; I Timothy 3:16; et al). The first line of proof that Jesus is who He claimed to be is the Biblical account itself. The gospels form a reliable historical account of the life and activities of Jesus. Under the scrutiny of the most critical eye, the gospels will stand the test. They are historically reliable. Inasmuch as they can be shown to be reliable, what they record about Jesus is true. He is who He claimed to be.

A second line of proof of the fact that Jesus is Deity is the resurrection itself. There is overwhelming historical evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. A number of books have set forth irrefutable evidence of the resurrection.

Professor Thomas Arnold, for fourteen years the headmaster of Rugby, author of a famous three-volume History of Rome, and appointed to the chair of modern history at Oxford, was well acquainted with the value of evidence in determining historical facts. He said: “I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God has given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.” 15

McDowell quotes English scholar Brooke Foss Westcott as saying,

“Taking all the evidence together, it is not too much to say that there is no historic incident better or more variously supported than the resurrection of Christ. Nothing but the antecedent assumption that it must be false could have suggested the idea of deficiency in the proof of it.”16

Dr. Simon Greenleaf is noted as having one of the greatest minds in law in the world. While he was professor at Harvard School of Law, he wrote a book examining the legal value of the testimony of the apostles to the resurrection of Christ. He believed that it was impossible that the apostles

“‘could have persisted in affirming the truths they had narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact.’ Greenleaf concluded that the resurrection of Christ was one of the best supported events in history, according to the laws of legal evidence administered in courts of justice.”17

Frank Morrison was another lawyer who determined to refute the evidence of the resurrection. However, after examining the facts with his legal training, he concluded that Jesus had indeed been raised from the dead and wrote a best-seller, Who Moved the Stone? (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI. 1958). This book is a great addition to any library.

George Eldon Ladd concludes: “The only rational explanation for these historical facts is that God raised Jesus in bodily form.”18

When all the evidence is in and is carefully considered, one must conclude that Jesus is Who He said He was — the divine Son of the Living God. He is God and, as such, lived a sinless life on earth and went to the cross in order to atone for our sins. He was raised from the dead and now rules at the right hand of God. Jesus is not a myth. He is what and who He claimed to be.

Since Jesus Is Deity, Then Genesis Is Not A Myth

By what right can we say this? Because Jesus taught that Genesis is history.

* He taught the creation. “For those days will be a {time of} tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created, until now, and never shall” (Mark 13:19).

* He taught about Adam and Eve and the beginning of the marriage relationship (Matthew 19:4-6).

* He taught about Noah and the flood (Matthew 24:38-39).

* He taught about righteous Abel and the fact of his blood being maliciously shed (Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:51).

* He talked about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.

* He spoke of Lot: “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32).

We can see from these few references that Jesus considered Genesis to be the history of God’s dealing with man. He did not look upon it as mythical at all. To Him it was what God said and what God did. Since Jesus is Deity, then He could not make a mistake in this matter. We must conclude that the Bible is a book that contains historical reality and that it does not contain myths and fables that are pawned off as history.

When we examine all the evidence that is before us, we must conclude that the Bible is from God and not from man. The various creation and flood accounts in different cultures only bear record to the fact that God did create the world and there was a flood. The Bible gives us the accurate information about this creation, about this flood and about God who came to earth in a human body. Let us reverently bow before the Lord Jesus Christ and give our hearts totally to Him while we can.

*****

14. Gary R. Habermas, The Verdict of History, Thomas Nelson Publishers, op. cit., 36
15. Josh McDowell, More Than A Carpenter, Tyndal House Publishers, Inc. Wheaton, IL., p. 96.
16. Ibid., p. 96-97.
17. Ibid., p. 97.
18. Ibid., p. 98.

— Via the bulletin of the La Vista church of Christ
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“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings” (Psalm 36:7, NASB).
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teeth

-2-

Teeth

Recently, I was thinking about teeth. If I didn’t believe in God, I’d probably be wondering of the odds of those teeth being right there in my mouth where I needed them. That would then be highly incredible — but that is just one of the many members that make up a human body! I can’t think of any better place to have my teeth than where they are. This, of course, can also be said about every other part of our anatomy as well. They each have their own function and are each in the right place. To an atheist, if the odds of having teeth are highly astronomical, well then how much more so when considering all the many other numerous, essential parts that we have and right where they should be!

— Tom Edwards (from my facebook page, picture from public domain)

“For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well”
(Psalm 139:13-14, NASB)
——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Charles Crosby received a good report last Tuesday (June 12), which confirmed (from the recent fluid-test around his knee) that his infection is all gone; and the knee is healing.

Bennie Medlock has a few physical problems: an aortic aneurysm (which his doctors will be keeping an eye on), hiatal hernia, hernia around the navel, cyst on his kidney, and a bad case of arthritis in his lower back.

Bentley O’Berry recently had a seizure which affected his right side of leg and arm. On last report, he does have some movement on that side, but it is not back to normal yet.

Michael Crawford (Debra Carter Crawford’s husband) has several health issues, and one being a heart that is functioning at only 30%.

Danny Bartlett’s leg is slowly getting better, but it is not totally healed yet.

Doctors will be keeping watch over the spot on Ginger Head’s lung over the next three months. She is Bennie’s niece.

I (Tom Edwards) will be seeing my doctor this Monday (June 18) for consultation on the upcoming hernia surgery.

Others to also pray for: Jim Lively, Shirley Davis, Deborah Medlock, Pat & A.J. Joyner, Rex & Frankie Hadley, Tommy Lindsey, Rhyan Thomas, Hannah Laughlin, Misty Thornton, Belinda Medlock, Michelle Rittenhouse, and Mary Vandevander.

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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

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