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Some Fundamentals

May 6, 2011

There are always fundamentals.  It doesn’t matter if you are reading or swimming, there are going to be some fundamental things that you are going to have to grasp in order to make it work.  Even the most simple of tasks, the ones that we do without even considering how we do them, have a series of requirements and actions that must be executed properly on our part, or that simple task can become downright impossible.

 Take a moment and read through Acts 9:19-31 today. 

 My three year old is taking swimming lessons this month.  By swimming lessons, I do not mean that I am throwing him in a pool and hoping for the best.  We aren’t sitting there with our fingers crossed, holding the video camera, and wishing he would just come back up for air.  That would be ridiculous…and illegal.  We’re taking him to a legit swimming teacher who is instructing our son in the basics of not dying in water…and at this point, we just want him to survive.

 After Saul’s conversion, we’re told that he “immediately” proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues saying, “He is the Son of God.”  This is fundamental to Christianity.  He is not telling the people that Jesus was simply a son of God, or a child of God, as we might be children of God.  What he is saying is that Jesus is God.  And listen, this is not a trivial statement.  There are serious implications when you say that someone is God.  Historically, a lot of people have claimed to be divine, and a lot of people have worn creepy white shoes and drank weird Kool-Aid because they believed them.  There is a difference here though.  All those guys are still dead.  Jesus, the one that Saul met on the road to Damascus is still alive.  This is not a guess or some form of wishful thinking…this is a truth claim, a truth which is grounded in the resurrection of Jesus.  Simply put…Jesus, as evidenced by His resurrection…is God.

 The text continues and verse 22 says, “Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.”  This is the next fundamental.  The first is that Jesus is God…write that down if you need to.  The second is that Jesus is the Christ.  What Saul is telling the Jews is that Jesus is the Messiah that was promised in the Old Testament.  He is the fulfillment of the promise that God made in Genesis 3:15, when God promised to send one who would bruise the head of the serpent.  Jesus is the one that they have been looking for…don’t miss that…they were looking for the Messiah.  Saul’s just saying, “Listen guys…here He is.” 

 These two realities are non-negotiable for the Christian.  Jesus is the Son of God, and Jesus is the Christ.  We cannot miss on these.  There is no wiggle room.  There is plenty more to be known of God, but this is what God’s revelation of Himself, in the Scriptures, points to.  What is the Bible about?  The Bible is about Jesus.  Some of us will hear this, assume that we understand it, and immediately want to move “beyond” it…and in so doing, we turn the Bible into nothing more than suggestions for proper behavior…do this, don’t do that.  And, when we do that, we are like my kid having a go at the 100m butterfly when he hasn’t understood the fundamentals of swimming.  Attempting to live the “Christian life” without knowing Christ is paramount to drowning while wearing a speedo and a swim cap…ridiculous…just like throwing a kid who can’t swim into a pool, and hoping it all works out.  Know the basics…it rests on the basics.

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