Chapter 1 - Why We Believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God
Jesus is a real person. He lived on this earth about 2,000 years ago. Not everybody believes He is the Son of God. Some say, “He was a good man, and a great Teacher, but He was not the Son of God.” This is impossible. Either He is the Son of God, or He was the biggest liar in the world. He said He was the Son of God.
Why do we believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God? To believe something we must have good reasons. We must be able to prove why we believe Jesus is the Christ (1 Peter 3:15).
People must believe that Jesus is the Christ to be saved (John 8:24; John 14:6). We can give reasons for believing in Jesus.
Christ Is Eternal
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made...And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-3, 14). The “Word” in these verses refers to Jesus. Jesus said,
Before Abraham was born, I am (John 8:58). Jesus was only on the earth for about thirty-five years, but he said,
Before Abraham was born, I am. The only way that is possible is that He was alive before he came to earth.
His Virgin Birth
The prophet Isaiah said Christ would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). Matthew tells us Jesus was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18-25).
Jesus fulfilled over three hundred prophecies. He had the right ancestors - Abraham and David (Matthew 1:1-17). He was born in the right city - Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:5-6). He died on the cross (Isaiah 53). He rose from the dead (Psalm 16:8-10; Luke 24:6, 31, 34).
His Sinless Life
The Bible teaches all men have sinned (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:6-10). But, Jesus did not commit sin (1 Peter 2:21-23). Jesus was tempted just like us, but he did not sin (Hebrews 4:14-15; Matthew 4:1-11).
we know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that thou doest, except God be with him. (John 3:2). Later, the apostle wrote:
Many other signs therefore did Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name (John 20:30-31).
Jesus performed miracles to prove his words were true. The purpose of miracles was to prove that the words of the speaker were from God. This has always been the purpose of miracles.
Jesus did not perform miracles just to help the physical needs of people. He healed the sick, He fed the hungry, He raised the dead, He changed water to wine, He calmed the storm. He did not heal all the sick. He did not feed all the hungry people. He did not raise all dead people. Why? Because God never used miracles just to help physical needs. It was to prove that a speaker was sent from God. When God had something new to tell people, He used miracles to prove it.
Moses used miracles to prove he was from God. His miracles helped Pharaoh and Israel know God sent him. Elijah and Elisha also used miracles to show they were from God. So, when Jesus came to the earth, He used miracles to prove that His words were true. It was a new message.
Some people say they have the same power Jesus and the apostles had. But they do not do the same miracles Jesus did. Jesus never took money for doing his miracles, but people today who claim this power are always asking for money. We hear of these people allegedly “healing” the sick but nothing else. Jesus and His apostles did not just heal the sick. They also raised the dead and fed the hungry. We never hear of these so-called “miracle workers” feeding the hungry. People are starving every day. These so-called “miracle workers” should use their power to feed the starving people in Africa with “five loaves and two fishes” like Jesus did. But instead, they ask people to send money to feed the hungry. They do not have the power to perform miracles.
The power to perform miracles stopped in the first century after the New Testament was finished (1 Corinthians 13:8-10; Hebrews 2:1-4; Jude 3). In the first century, Christians could receive the power to do miracles if it was given to them by the apostles (Acts 8:5-22). When the last apostle died, this was no longer possible. God does not use miracles today. There is no new revelation; the Bible is all we need. Jesus proved He was the Christ by the miracles He performed. His enemies knew His miracles were real. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the Bible says:
The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many signs (John 11:47).
Others Bear Witness.
In addition to our Lord Himself saying that He is the Christ, the Son of God, there are a number of others who bore witness to that fact. Our Heavenly Father (Matthew 3:16-17; 17:5). Pilate and his wife (Matthew 27:19, 24). The Centurion (Matthew 27:54). Apostles (2 Peter 1:16-18; 1 John 1:1-3). John the Baptizer (John 1:29-34).
His Death, Burial, and Resurrection
The first four books of the New Testament tell of the Lord's death, burial, and resurrection. Paul gives us the reason for His death in his letter to the Romans, 5:6-11. Peter says it was planned before the world began (1 Peter 1:18-21). John adds that the Lord's death was for everyone (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2).
Everyone believes that Jesus was crucified on the cross and buried (Mark 15:16-28, 42-47). But, there are many who doubt the resurrection. Many do not want to believe Jesus rose from the dead. They try to deny the resurrection of Jesus. However, it cannot be denied that the tomb where Jesus was buried was empty. Three days after Jesus died, there was an “empty tomb.” Those who do not believe that Jesus rose from the dead try to give other reasons for the “empty tomb.”
“The Swoon Theory”
This theory says that Jesus did not really die, but just fainted. After a while Jesus woke up and left the tomb. However, the Bible tells us Pilate made sure Jesus was dead before he let Joseph of Arimathea bury Jesus (Mark 15:42-47). Jesus really died; he did not just faint.
“Buried In The Wrong Tomb”
Others try to say that Jesus was buried in the wrong tomb, so when the women came to the grave on the first day of the week, they did not find the body of Jesus because He was in another grave. The Bible clearly tells us that the women “beheld where he was laid” (Mark 15:47).
“His Disciples Stole The Body”
It is not possible that the disciples stole the body of Jesus. Soldiers were guarding the tomb. The disciples would not be able to get past them to get to the body. Later, the disciples boldly said that Jesus had rose from the dead. They were even willing to die for the cause of the resurrected Christ. Would they be willing to do that if they knew they had stolen the body of Christ? They were discouraged because they thought their hopes were ended. They had forgotten the promise of the resurrection. They did not steal the body to cause the tomb to be empty.
“His Enemies Stole The Body”
Why would the enemies of Jesus steal His body? They had guards to keep the body of Jesus from being stolen. Later, this is the story the guards were bribed to tell (Matthew 28:11-15). Had the guards stolen the body, on the day of Pentecost when Peter and the apostles preached that Jesus had risen from the dead, the enemies of Christ could have brought out the body. However, they did not do so! They did not do so because Christ really had risen from the dead (Acts 2:22-36).
Jesus Rose From The Dead!
There is plenty of evidence to prove Jesus actually rose from the dead. Jesus was
declared to be the Son of God with power...by the resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4). Paul gives us proof of the fact that Jesus really rose from the dead. He wrote:
Now I make known unto you brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye received, wherein also ye stand, by which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you, except ye believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried; and that he hath been raised on the third day according to the scriptures; and that he appeared to Cephas; then to the twelve; then he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain until now, but some are fallen asleep; then he appeared to James; then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to the child untimely born, he appeared to me also. (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). Christianity is based upon the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. If he did not,
we are of all men most pitiable (1 Corinthians 15:19).
Peter adds his testimony to that of the apostle Paul. In his second epistle, Peter says:
For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there was borne such a voice to him by the Majestic Glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: and this voice we ourselves heard borne out of heaven, when we were with him in the holy mount (2 Peter 1:16-18). The apostle Peter is not just talking about himself but all of the apostles when he uses the plural pronoun “we.” Peter and the other apostles were eyewitnesses of the resurrection of Christ.
The apostle John also uses plural pronouns to prove Jesus is the Christ. The apostles gave up everything because they knew Jesus really rose from the dead.
That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we beheld, and our hands handled, concerning the Word of life (and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare unto you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us); that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us: yea, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:1-3).
Jesus rose from the dead, never to die again! This is unlike any other religious leader in history! There have been many religious leaders in the history of mankind. Every one of them died, and they are still dead! Christianity is the greatest religion in the world because it offers hope for eternal life in heaven with the resurrected Savior. It is the greatest proof that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
The Bible tells us that Jesus went back to heaven (Acts 1:9-11). The prophet Daniel said this would happen (Daniel 7:13). Jesus went back to heaven to begin being King over His Kingdom which began on the first Pentecost after He rose from the dead (Acts 2).
We have to believe in Christ to be saved. If we fail to believe and obey Him, we have no hope for heaven (John 8:24; Matthew 7:21-23). Let us all, with Peter say,
Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16). We have given many reasons why you should believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. We hope you will continue to study the Bible to learn how to be pleasing to God.