Lutheran Hour Speaker
Christian News, April 15, 2013, Vol. 51, No. 15
The Bible, in at Genesis and out at Revelation, is God's inspired, errorless Word. A sacred record which from its beginning, describing paradise here on earth, to its end picturing paradise in heaven, was written, for our guidance, Instruction, and salvation. Believe and trust every word of Scripture, every Gospel promise concerning your Savior! Then you will have the foundation that can never be weakened or shaken, because you have the divine, life-giving, heaven-bestowing Christ.
These, then, are the Bible's five fundamental truths concerning Christ which you should believe.
Truth No. 1: Jesus Christ is your God. Who says this? Your heavenly Father, when repeatedly He calls Christ "His Son"! The writers of the Old Testament, when they foresee Jesus, the Messiah, as "the mighty God"! The writers of the New Testament when they call Jesus, "God blessed for ever," or kneel before Him to worship Him as "My Lord and my God!" Christ Himself proved that He was the Almighty, for the miracles which He Himself performed are plainly the work of God.
Here He is in the Lord Jesus Christ, "very God of very God." His triumphant "all power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth" is a personal guarantee of strength and victory to those who entrust themselves to His care. Don't be satisfied with any compromise or with any denial of Scripture which makes Jesus good and godly, high and exalted, but still a human being, even as you and I. A human Christ can never help you, but a divine Christ can always deliver you.
Truth No. 2: To save you, the Son of God was born of the virgin Mary and became man to take your place in suffering the guilt of your sins. Of course, you cannot understand Christ's being born a child. Even the Bible calls it a great "mystery"; but if you cannot explain a hundred other marvels of nature which surround you in everyday life, why should you refuse to accept God's own revelation concerning the birth and incarnation of Jesus? An American church leader can rise up to contradict God's Word and to declare flatly, "I do not believe in the Virgin Birth:" but are you going to trust men or God? Build your faith on the faultless foundation of the prophets and the apostles, "Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone."
Truth No. 3: Moved by a limitless, heightless, depthless love for you, the son of God, made the Son of Man, gave Himself on Calvary's cross as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world. This, indeed, is the fundamental of all fundamentals, the unsearchable mercy of Jesus' love which led Him, sinless and stainless as He was, to become sin for us, first by removing the guilt, the curse, the punishment of all our rebellions against God, then, by loading all their sentence, punishment and pain upon His innocent soul and body, finally, by suffering in our stead the full punishment of our rising up against God and for each of us dying the death we deserved. In this blood-bought atonement of Jesus Christ, full and complete because it wipes out every sin, even the scarlet vices and the black crimes which distress many of you; in this cross-gained redemption, free because in Heaven's highest mercy it is granted you by grace and through faith; in this atoning mercy, final, because it has left nothing required for your redemption undone, you have the heart and center of the Christian creed. Believe it, and you are saved; reject it, and Jesus will reject you.
Don't let anyone keep you from this foundation fact of faith! The Bible puts a curse on all who contradict Christ's redemption. Paul declared: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed!"
Truth No. 4: To prove that His sacrifice for the sins of the whole world has been accepted, and to give every believer the victory over the grave, Christ on the third day after His crucifixion publicly triumphed over the tomb. If you want the assurance that the gruesome grave is not life's end, that through Jesus you shall live in a resurrected, radiant body, far too marvelous for human understanding; that the Son of God has opened the door of heaven for you, trust the foundation promise of Christ, "I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" (Jn 11:25, 26)
Truth No. 5: The Savior, risen, ascended, exalted at the right hand of His Father, will come again in glory to judge all unbelievers, but to bring His believers safely home to heaven. The day of that judgment is rapidly approaching. Scripture records for us the signs which are to foretell the beginning of the end and the approach of Christ's return. Never previously have these warnings been fulfilled so frequently and exactly as in the present moment. The time is drawing close, the Bible teaches us, when the earth will be destroyed by fire, and "the elements shall melt in fervent heat." Don't listen to those who say that the globe will not be consumed by fire, that matter is indestructible, that the world will go on forever! Even scientists who have no interest in the Bible as God's Word are writing and speaking about the end of the world as never before; and if some claim that man himself will be able to blow up the earth, why should anyone doubt that the Almighty will keep His Word and make an end of this unbelieving, sin-saturated sphere?
When we invite you to proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ your Savior, we do not hesitate to warn you that as soon as you stand up for Jesus, you will have to stand up against assaults on your faith. Yet the battle is worth the fighting. Make the "foundation... that is laid" for you, "Jesus Christ!" Sing out with unswerving loyalty:
"My hope is built on nothing less, Than Jesus Blood and Righteousness;" then, no matter how many know-it-all opponents of the faith ridicule your trust, you will find joy in Jesus and the guarantee of peace in your heart, love in your soul, praise on your lips and courage in your mind to meet the worst that life can bring with the confidence that since you are Christ's, purchased by Him at the price of His precious blood, you can be His forever, blessed with the assurance that everything which happens to you comes as the evidence of His love.
Dr. Walter A. Maier
[Excerpts from the sermon, "You Too Should be a Fundamentalist," September 25-1949.] [Note: The five truths just stated are summarized in the Nicene Creed, 381 AD]