I Believe

"...that Jesus died for our sins
               according to the Scriptures,
that He was buried,
that He was raised on the third day
              according to the Scriptures,
And that He appeared to Peter,
       and then to the Twelve.
After that, He appeared to more than
       500 of the brothers at the same time...
Then He appeared to James,
Then to all the apostles,
And last of all
        He appeared to me also
        as to one abnormally born."

Signed:  The Apostle Paul
                 of the New Testament Scriptures
                 2 Corinthians 15:3-8

In a nutshell, that is what I believe.  

The following is further explanation in my own words.

Jesus is a historical figure and continues to be the point at which all history hangs.  No other man has affected our lives so drastically.  Jesus is God made flesh, born of the virgin Mary, the hope for all mankind. He was, is, and is to come, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  (Matt. 1:23; Lk. 2:1-11; Ex.3:14; Acts 4:12; Rev. 17:14)

Not only did Jesus die for our sins on the cross, go to the grave, and rise again, it was all done exactly as prophesied, hundreds, even thousands of years before, to the minutest detail . . . just as He said. (Isa. 53; Gen. 3:16; Matt. 27:22-44; Matt. 28:6; Micah 5:2; Isa. 9:6; 11:1)

The number of witnesses to His resurrected body is staggering, leaving no doubt of His authenticity. (2 Cor. 15:3-8; John 21:1-2; John 20; Luke 24:10-53)

Men and women were willing to die for this truth. (Heb. 11:32-40)

Women, not men, were the first to witness the empty tomb.  Women of that day were not credible.  If it were a story based on falsehood and self-promotion, never in their wildest imaginations would the disciples of Jesus have entrusted proof to women.  (Matt. 28:1-10)

I am a daughter, a wife, and a mom, one person.  But all illustrations fall short of God's perfection, proving we are finite beings, incapable of wrapping our minds around God's infinity.  God is one, but personified in three persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Gen. 1:26-27; 1 Pet. 1:16)

Like Paul, I too have encountered this Living Jesus.  I have not been the same since and cannot keep from speaking of what I have seen and heard. (2 Cor. 5:17)

And like Peter, I fall on my knees before Him, declaring that I am a sinful man (woman).  Surely my sin separates me from the presence of a holy God!  There is no neutral ground.  Apart from Him, I am destined for hell. The blood of Jesus is my only way to forgiveness and restoration, my entrance into heaven.  (Lk. 5:8; Rom. 3:23-26; 6:23; John 3:16; John 14:6)

At the moment of faith, the Holy Spirit places His stamp on me which declares me righteous in His sight.  In that place I am held secure, not by my own works, but by the work of my Savior, Jesus Christ. (Rom. 3:22-26; 8:1, 11, 14-17)

All those indwelt by the Holy Spirit are part of the Church.  We are accountable to a local body of believers, where we exercise our spiritual gifts, encourage one another and build each other up in the Lord.  We are commanded to go and make disciples of all nations, people groups, and languages. (1 Cor. 12:1-14; Eph. 4:15-16; Heb. 10:25; Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)  

Swept up as a bride with her groom, I enjoy communion with God that grows ever deeper, a taste of heaven, where the redeemed, filled with purpose and praise, never leave the visible presence of God.  (John 14:1-3; Eph. 5:25-27; Rev. 5:9-10; 21:3-7)

Am I insane to place my faith in this Jesus?
                   No, I would be crazy not to believe!

I believe!


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