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Sermon: Can We Trust the Gospels? Part 1

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Can We Trust the Gospels? Part 1 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • July 14, In the year of our Lord, 2013

 

Prelude

  1. Trust the Gospels? 
    1. Peter and Paul also?
  2. We can test the accuracy of witnesses
    1. Honest?
    2. Able?
    3. Number and Consistency?
    4. Testimony conform to experience?
    5. Testimony harmonize with known facts?

Persuasion

  1. Honesty 
    1. Devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
    2. Sincere?
      1. Their character
        1. Men of integrity and truthfulness
        2. Their picture of Jesus as truth-loving, hypocrisy hating
        3. Knew penalty of false witnessing (Deu 19.15–19)
      2. Their testimony
        1. Shows the highest ethical standards
        2. If false, they would contradict
      3. Their motives
        1. If they knew it to be false, what prompted them to preach it?
        2. They gained nothing
        3. They lost everything
        4. People of world religions have died for their beliefs
          1. They believed it to be the truth
          2. They did not knowingly die for error.
            1. We can grant this much to the Gospel writers.
  2. Ability 
    1. Have to be able to reason
    2. Powers of observation
    3. Good memory

      1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full (1Jo 1.1–4).

      40 “Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead” (Acts 10.40, 41).

      1. Some people you do not want as witnesses, such as your enemies, but
      2. others you want.
    4. They wrote in Greek, and spoke Hebrew
    5. Writings show their ability
    6. Wrote without bias, showing their own faults
      1. We are self-biased:
        1. Pro 20.6
        2. Pro 16.2
      2. Would Hitler or his followers do this?
      3. Consider how Muslims react when people criticize their prophet
    7. Revealed women as the first witnesses, a no-no to Roman and Jewish societies
    8. Revealed difficult sayings of Jesus that misinterpreted put Him in a bad light
  3. Mark 16.15, 16 
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