Summary: This series of First Principle or "Faith Foundation Podcasts" is a recreation of an original series of Radio Broadcasts created by WCF in the Foundation’s early years of the late 1970’s. A local Lancaster Pennsylvania Radio Station broadcast them and then the set of recordings were packaged and widely distributed by the WCF Tape library to members and friends of the Christadelphian Church Community.
So the basis of salvation is by faith through the Gospel. That gospel involves the whole teaching of redemption through Christ. It involves the hope which God has promised us in the kingdom, that he plans to establish through Jesus Christ. The message to us, therefore, is a message of hope. Does the Gospel appeal to us? Do we wish the redemption available through Christ? Do we seek the great blessings which God will bring to this world? If we do, the Bible tells us that our belief and hope, our faith in this Gospel will be the basis of our salvation.
God is calling people of faith. He's calling people not to believe what they want to believe, but to believe what he's revealed. God is not a God of confusion. God asks us to know, to prove, to check, to consider, to reason. God expects us to search out the truth which he's revealed. The Bible is that source of revelation and the Gospel is at the center of the hope of the Bible.
This episode describes the great day coming when the Creator is going to bring about the resurrection of the dead. The word resurrection comes from a Greek word, anastasis, which means a standing again. The essential idea is to stand again after death, and burial. It means the revival of humanity at the end of time, when as it is said in the Bible, the graves will be opened. Resurrection is associated with the time of judgment, when the righteous will be rewarded. This is the biblical teaching of the resurrection.
In the Bible, we read about idols. It's mentioned all throughout the Bible. Clearly it's a big deal to God. But why is that? What is the problem with idols? And particularly at a time wherein many countries we don't really have idols like they did in the past, why is this something you and I need to know about?
The earth has a great future when God's Kingdom arises. Jesus Christ will return and reign from Jerusalem, the capital of the earth. His just and powerful reign will establish peace throughout the world. It will be a time of prosperity. Life will be joyful. Sorrow and suffering will be eliminated. The teaching of the kingdom is a consistent teaching of the Bible, from its beginning to its end. Bible believers have looked for this day for centuries. Many believers understand this time to be near based on world events in relation to Bible prophecy. One thing is certain, one day God's kingdom will come, his will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We are invited to make an agreement with God. We may be amazed that the Almighty God would desire to make an agreement of any sort, but he has. He has opened up an offer of salvation, through Jesus, for those who will come to him in faith. That offer is accepted through the ceremony of baptism. In baptism, we are buried with Christ in his death, and we thereby have the promise of being raised from the dead at the time of the great resurrection.
Abraham is important because he is an example to us of faith, a faith that we too should have in God. God called him because of his faith in the first place, and he gave him the promise of everlasting life because of his faith. We're told that if we have faith in God, we can be considered children of Abraham, his seed, and therefore heirs of the promise as well. So, faith is expected of us too. Real faith in God. Faith that God is not a God who changes his mind. Faith in a God whose word is unchangeable. We believe that God is faithful, that he will indeed raise Abraham from the dead and give him everlasting life. We believe that we too may share with Abraham in the blessings which God has in store for faithful people.
Either the resurrection of Jesus Christ is right or it's wrong. The whole building of Christianity is set on this foundation. If Jesus didn't rise from the dead, then all Christianity crumbles like a house of cards. His disciples claimed that he had risen from the dead. This becomes a test of Christianity and we can't be halfway. We must make up our mind. If we read the accounts, if we will place them together, if we will weigh them. If we will look at the case as a judge would look at evidence. If we do this, we'll be convinced that the resurrection is true.
The subject of this talk is forgiveness through Christ. We see that Jesus is central. We see there are profound reasons why, moral reasons. If we understand why forgiveness is through Jesus, we can understand what God expects of us and we can enter that new way of life. Sin and death is an automatic tragedy which has befallen everyone, forgiveness and life is a great open door, which is set before everyone through Jesus Christ.
The Bible teaches that Death is not a transition to a different life. It's the cessation of life. We may take great comfort, however, that a way has been provided for a man to escape the grip of death and to share in the eternal life which God offers to us. For those, death is only asleep, waiting for the resurrection. The way is through Christ. He is the way to life. In Christ, God has arranged a marvelous, moral, turning point in our lives. Those who are ready to admit their true position before God, a position deserving death, are ready to accept the way through Christ. A way of repentance, baptism, faith. To those who seek God through Christ, God offers life, life eternal in the kingdom to come.
As Christians, we are looking for the second coming of Jesus, the Messiah. What is the meaning of messiah? Messiah means essentially the anointed. This idea comes from the anointing with oil of a ruler, whether it be a king or a priest. In the Old Testament, the use of Messiah implies a coming king. The prophets gave a composite picture of the Messiah as one who comes with authority from God, who comes to save and establish a new world order. He comes with power. He brings about peace, justice and plenty in the earth.
Jesus is a savior for those who will come to God through him. Let's recognize that there's a divine principle operating in his death and resurrection. That principle involves a response from us, a recognition of sin in ourselves, a desire for a higher moral life, a willingness to accept God's way of life, and a desire to participate in the forgiveness of sins which is available through Christ, through his death.
Have you ever watched a hummingbird? His wings go a thousand times a minute. He can move up and down, forwards and backwards. He can stay motionless in midair. He seems to defy gravity. He's so different from other birds like the eagle or the hawk or like the king fisher who dives into the water and comes up with the fish. The beauty of birds, their efficiency for their style of life, all speak of a great designer. Wherever you look in nature it all speaks of a great creator. This is the subject of this podcast, God, the first fact.