One of the most important doctrines in the Christian life is the doctrine of the Trinity. Christians believe in a three person God, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. They are three distinct persons, yet all fully God. Much of Christianity hangs on this important doctrine but the Trinity points to something that is very practical for today’s culture. At the very core of existence, the very essence of God we see perfect unity among diversity. God is three persons, but he is one. In the same way, in God, we are called to be unified even though we are diverse. When I look at our city, it is easy to see that separation and segregation still exists among races and classes of people. Do you think this pleases God? Do you think this is a reflection of his very essence? And what do you think God would want you to do about it?
Today we celebrate the men and women who have served our nation faithfully in the armed forces. Because of their sacrifices the rights and privileges that we enjoy as Americans have been secured. And while we all should be grateful for the incredible sacrifice that was made by these men and women for us and for our freedom. I want to tell you about an even greater sacrifice that was made on your behalf. You see 2000 years ago, God sent his son Jesus to earth as a man. And he lived among us, facing the same challenges and temptations that every human faces, but he never sinned and always did what was right. But rather than being rewarded for his obedience he was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and die to pay the price of all of our wrong doing so that through him we could gain eternal freedom, eternal privilege, and eternal life.
Of all of the people that live in Alabama, 16.7% of them live at or below the poverty level. When confronted with a statistic like this I think we are all forced to ask the questions, how did this happen and whose fault is it? Is it the people’s fault for not working hard enough? Is it the government’s fault? Or big business? But rather than asking who is to blame I think the better question to consider is who is going to fix it? You see Jesus came to a world that was ruined by sin and even though he never sinned, even though he could never be blamed for sin, he was willing to pay the price of sin and fix the problem. And the promise of the gospel is that anyone who believes in Jesus as savior and follows him as Lord is forgiven of their sin and called to a new life. A new life where we aren’t called to blame, but to fix.
A recent survey on American Marriages found that of all married people who said their marriage was unhappy or very unhappy if they stayed in that marriage after 5 years 2/3rds of them said that their marriages were happy or very happy. 2/3rds … In our noncommittal society that is an amazing statistic and I believe that it shows deception of our feelings. We live in a culture that is driven by emotion, passion, and the immediate appeasement of appetites yet statistics have continually proved that this kind of culture not only doesn’t produce true happiness but it is also destructive to society as a whole. The Bible says that “the heart (or your feelings) are deceptive above all else.” In other words our emotions can often blind us to what is really true and valuable. So what about you? Is your life ruled by your emotions, by your feelings, by your appetites, or are you truly guided by conviction and truth.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God has put eternity in the heart of every man. Because of this every man sees his own life as having some meaning or purpose. This ultimately is the great problem an atheistic worldview. Atheists believe that all of life is nothing more than a combination of matter, time, and chance and therefore they also believe that the universe is meaningless. In other words the atheist would say that there is no cosmic meaning in the world. Well if there is no cosmic meaning, then it is impossible to say that there is any sort of personal meaning. In other words if the atheist is going to stay faithful to his own worldview then he has to admit that his own life is meaningless. This of course is something no one is willing to do because like Ecclesiastes tells us God has put an understanding of meaning and eternal purpose in our hearts.
I am often asked about the Bible. Is it really reliable? Many people say that the Bible and especially the New Testament is just myth written by the Romans to consolidate power. If you have heard this I want you to consider something. The ancient myths were often written 500 or even 1000 years after the events that they were proposing to describe but much of the New Testament was written only 20 -30 years after the time of Christ. When the New Testament writers were writing about the work of Christ, his miracles, and his resurrection they were writing these things in the time of Eye Witnesses. In 1 Corinthians 15 the apostle Paul told his readers about a group of 500 eye witnesses of the resurrection that the Corinthians could go and ask about seeing Jesus after he was killed. There is no way these documents would have gotten off the ground unless they were true, they were written too soon to be myth…