My pastor, Randy Grossman, is teaching a Sunday school class using John Stott’s little classic Basic Christianity. Stott devotes an entire chapter to the claims of Christ and how they should lead us to faith. Today’s devotional looks at one of those claims and shows how the argument derived from those claims helped C. S. Lewis leave atheism for Christianity. I hope it helps you in your faith and shows you how to share that faith with others. God bless you.
Because of Calvary,
John 18:36-38 (ESV)
36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him.
“There were staggering claims. Jesus was claiming the rights of kingship. He was saying that he had come from somewhere outside the world for a special divine purpose. He was claiming to speak the truth and he was claiming that anyone who wanted to know the truth should listen to him. Jesus was doing more than standing up for the truth; he was claiming to be its personal agent. Furthermore, he was claiming to be the supreme arbiter of truth in the world. Knowing the difference between what is true and what is false, therefore, depends on listening to what Jesus says.” [Philip G. Ryken, “One Truth,” Only One Way? edited by Richard Phillips, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2007), p. 86]
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you call fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” [C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, (Westwood, NJ: Barbour and Company, Inc., 1952), p. 45]