When you say the word brilliance, what comes to mind? Bright radiant light? Pure genius? Exceptional talent and intelligence? When talking about Jesus Christ, the Bible makes it clear that all these things are true. Our day to day encounters with the Spirit of Jesus Christ supports this claim that Jesus is brilliant. Let’s prepare ourselves for an in-depth sermon series that will open our hearts and minds as we examine the most famous individual Who walked this earth. We might learn something incredibly valuable about ourselves in the process. Come discover the brilliance of Jesus Christ
We are asked many times the question, “why are we here?” This question finds its way into, “Why am I at this church?” Why do I live where I live?” Why am I in Florida?” Why am I in the United States?” Why am I on this planet?” This is a metaphysical question that does have an answer. As we go through the study we will find that Jesus plays the highest pivotal role in why we are here on all levels. The Bible, as facts for some, story for others and both for even others, lays out human existence, relationship with others, and relationship with God with great brilliance. We have to go all the way back to this place in history called the fall of human beings. An interesting observation of Adam and Eve is that they were not official humans in light of their origin. Ex. Cain & Abel Unlike you and me born with the help of a mother and father, Adam and Eve were created much differently from the hands of God. God speaks chaos or potential into order using truth through logos and says it is good. The creation story of humans goes like this. What's interesting is that there are two accounts. Here is account one:
Gen.1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Gen. 1:27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Gen.1:28 And God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Here is one account yet Adam and Eve are not spoken of by name.
Gen. 2:7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Gen. 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.
Adam was created from matter that is identified as the dust of the earth.
Gen.2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;
Gen.2:17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.”
Gen.2:18 ¶ Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
Gen.2:20 And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.
Gen.2:21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place.
Gen. 2:22 And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.
Gen.2:23 And the man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”
Gen.2:24 For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
Eve was created from matter that is identified as Adam's rib. Adam literally means “from the earth” or “the man.” Eve means life or mother of all living. They were both formed from matter. They and all creations matters. Together Adam and Eve were given the ability like God not as God to bring forth life. We will never know what bearing life would've been like before the fall. We know that after the fall, like bearing is painful. It was now man's responsibility to provide by toiling in the ground from which he was born. God gave Adam and Eve Logos for naming. Ex Creative power Before the fall Adam and Eve had no concept of time. Death was not a part of their vocabulary therefore time or the future didn't matter. They were engaged by the serpent with logos trickery saying that they would be like God if the tree of good and evil.
Gen. 3:1 ¶ Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”
Gen. 3:2 And the woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;
Gen. 3:3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die.’”
Gen. 3:4 And the serpent said to the woman, “You surely shall not die!
Gen. 3:5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Gen. 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
Gen. 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
Now they are awake. Was the tree a literal tree? Was the fruit literal fruit? The mythological style of writing allows for story and historical account. This is the fingerprints of the brilliance of God. This is the fingerprints of the brilliance of Jesus Christ the creator. The fall of man is an archetype that says in every life there are forks in the road that represent either life or death. It also shows us that there are always temptations. If we are paying attention to the long game, temptations can be resisted. If we are focused on short-term benefits, you will pay for it in the end. This is exactly what happened Adam and Eve. They were tempted by the serpent that they would be like God if they ate from the tree of good and evil. The serpent used logos in deception and gave a partial truth. Yes they would be like God, not be Gods. The outcome was not good. The same lies are being perpetuated today in many of the popular cults / Christian movements. By participating in what was forbidden by God, Adam and Eve's eyes were open not only to right and wrong, but also the concept of time, past, present, future and death. They were forcefully removed from the garden. They quickly began to see that separation, sorrow, pain, suffering, and death were now added to the equation of being. This was their new life. Sacrifice. Being says that their eyes are open. Our new responsibility is that we need to pay attention. Is it possible that paradise will lull you away from paying attention to what's important? The archetypal truth is that even in paradise snakes can find their way in. This drama shows us clearly that we need help to save us from ourselves.
Was the account of Adam and Eve a tragedy or a brilliant plan by a brilliant creator? One thing is evident, we learn a lot about ourselves and we learned a lot about how God thinks, if we dare use the word “think” in regards to God. It is essential for any human being to find knowledge to base life on. This is why the account of Adam and Eve is in the Bible. Even a greater question is why wasn't this negative story removed. Is it possible that the story or historical account can tell us something about ourselves no matter what religion a person might be. The answer is a definitive yes. Even if you're an atheist it shows a clear path of the human condition. The Bible speaks clearly to our human condition post Adam and Eve.
Is. 53:6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
Rom.3:10 as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one;
Rom.3:11 There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God;
Rom.3:12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.”
There is a Cane and Abel In all of us. Humans need an adequate knowledge base for life. We need archetypal truth to stand on for life. Human beings are different than any other creature on the earth. We need truth. We need to communicate truth. We need to build off of truth. As fish we would hatch swim away from our parents. As birds we would hatch and soon fly away from the nest. As beasts of the field we would be weaned to hunt on our own. None of these examples include great consideration of the past, the present, or the future. Even animals that seem to store don't contemplate purpose or reason. Human beings have a direct relationship with time and have been given logos by God to speak chaos into order. We are called to communicate with our Creator. We don't see this anywhere else in all creation. Jesus and the Logos are synonymous with each other.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 [a]He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
We have been given Jesus. We have been given the benefit of Logos. As human beings we have to think about ourselves today, ourselves tomorrow, and ourselves years from now. Who are you going to be? Are you going to be a better you or a worse you. How will we prepare? Do we just live for today, or do we prepare for tomorrow.Sacrifice? We learned in our last sermon series God's ultimate wisdom that God looks at all things through a very refined lens of the highest good, for the most people, for the longest time. Jesus was a perfect representative of that position. We also spoke in the message series God's ultimate wisdom that wisdom is applied knowledge or God's omniscience in application. What is knowledge? When asked the question, most people can't answer. Dallas Willard, the prominent American Christian philosopher,identifies knowledge in the following way: We have knowledge when we have the ability to represent things as they are on an appropriate basis of thought and experience. Knowledge and wisdom are Spiritual Gifts.
1 Cor 12:7-11 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom,to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
The key to Dallas Willard’s statement is having the ability to be conscious, paying attention and having the courage to see things as they are. Humans get in trouble when we see things as they aren't. This is exactly what happened with Adam and Eve in the garden. The serpent gave them partial knowledge or an ideology and they superimposed an outcome. An ideology in its definition is partial knowledge of. When we go to the doctor we are not looking for an ideology. We are looking for someone to tell us how things are. When we go to the mechanic were not looking for an ideology. We are looking for someone to tell us how things are. When we go to church we should not be looking for an ideology,fade, empty additions to the Christian faith. We should be looking for someone to tell us how things are. Welcome to the brilliance of Jesus Christ. Knowledge involves truth, wisdom places knowledge in motion. If your knowledge does not involve truth, the outcome of your wisdom will be flawed. Ex. Broken flying machines. We live in a world, even in current church movements where truth is secondary.This system of building is flawed at its foundation. Ideals trump truth. What we would like to see outside of reality. We live in a society where we are comfortable with safe wrong answers. What is the value of facts. What is the value of knowledge. Was the value of wisdom.What is the value of our church. Facts are facts that they can be interpreted with different values. Where is the value in an antique? It's not its pieces. It takes an agreed dominance hierarchy and a social structure to tell us if something is valuable or not. This same dominance hierarchy has been working against the church for a long time. The fundamental purpose of Christianity is to identify that life is suffering and we choose to transcend beyond it. In the process we will help others along the way. Transcending means a pursuit of truth to minimize pain and suffering that life seems to offer. Truth is like water, it needs vessels to carry it. If truth is not a legitimate goal, it will not make you free.
John 8:36 “If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.
The brilliance of Jesus Christ is that those that Jesus sets free are free indeed.Truth must occupy and unlock freedom. Today we are faced with an ongoing tension between truth and desire. A desire of what we hope to see and experience rather than what is. The post modern belief system leaves plenty of room for desire as it leaves truth in the shackles of subjectivity. Without truth we can't be responsible. If we can't be responsible,we give away our purpose. If we do not have a purpose, we have no meaning. If we have no meaning we become nihilistic or nothing matters. Proper belief will curves desire.
John 17:17 “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.
If we are a train, belief is the rails in which our life will run. If you believe something, you'll act as if it is true. People say they believe in an overarching power called God yet they sure don't act like. If we truly believed in the attributes of God, the same attributes that make up the brilliance of Jesus Christ, we would behave differently. There are many reasons not to believe that an airplane will get off the ground. As it is sitting there it seems impossible yet once it's moving things change in the very resistance of the atmosphere rush across the surface area of the skillfully designed wings and the aircraft experiences lift and begins to fly.
Belief requires action steps, one element found in faith.
B.O.A.T. is our acronym. Belief, Obedience, Action, Trust.
What if our belief is not true? Our faith is then skewed.
Being in church as long as I have, I have seen people fall into the trap of believing their desires and not believing the archetypes of Scripture. Humans also know a lot of stuff that they don't believe, only based on that there will is set against. Jesus incarnate existence was designed to challenge this. There can also be subjective facts about an objective experience. This is where the majority of church movements come from, many from the last 50 years. God is a God of hierarchy. We see it in nature. We see it in the ministry of Jesus Christ. Anyone who leads a group should be one who has experience and knows a little more than the followers not to lord over but to lead effectively and safely. Followers need to feel confident in those they are following. Followers need to know that they will not be misled. Do the leaders know the truth? Are the leaders manufacturing the truth based upon their desires? Does proclaimed truth lineup with the archetypal truth of Scripture? Things aren't made true simply by believing them. Bark orders of your desires at truth, truth is indifferent. Truth stands on its own. It doesn't matter how many people have the same desire, it does not change truth. In today's Christian landscape we have rumors of knowledge that attempts to bend truth toward their desires. Ex. Origin of species evolution. When you discover what might be a truth orally, we run into trouble being able to compare or validate what’s being said is true. This is why writing is far superior than oral tradition if you’re looking for accuracy when it comes to truth. We see simple oral renditions of ideologies that are called truth in the news, on Facebook and so on. The news is no longer news, it is commentary pointing to what is their personal ideal. People are acting out based on this oral tradition and are elevating division in our country. Belief in desire steer oral tradition. Many times simple oral communication again is based on what someone wants and hopes to see rather than what is true. There’ll always be a conflict between desire and truth. Through the brilliance of Jesus Christ, God showed us, on multiple levels, archetypes that stand and how protect as well as conduct ourselves. Jesus answers four questions that magnifies his brilliance for humanity. Jesus answers the question of the nature of reality.
Rom.1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
What’s interesting is that there are no courses in school on reality. What is reality is provided to us by the way we conduct ourselves and respond to Romans 1:20. There are plenty of people to say they believe in God yet they do not act like it. Reality shows you what you have to deal with past, present, and future. It can be an evil judge when we are not behaving properly or making the right decisions. Reality is what you run into when you’re wrong. Sin,an archery term, makes it very clear when you’re wrong.
Rom.6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Sin takes life away. Death is a wage of sin. Sin forces you to face reality and then you have to deal with it. Truth allows us to harmonize our life with reality so you’re not constantly running into it. Jesus shows us this with his life and his logos. Every person on the earth has to deal with the nature of reality. No one escapes it. The next question that Jesus answers is who is well off. In other words, what is the good life and who has it.
Matt.6:31 “Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’
Matt.6:32 “For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
Matt.6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
We will unpack this more. The next question is defining what is good. What is a good person.Are we worthwhile, are we worth having around. Do I have something to contribute to others. Do I have purpose and meaning. The last question that Jesus answers is how do I become this person. Good must mean moral. Moral is how we engage with others. Morality brings life.Being immoral brings chaos and death. A Darwinian belief, that is actually a solid belief, is that truth or facts must have attributes to perpetuate life as the filter for value. Most Christians are unaware that Darwin believed in God. Let’s quickly asked question what is reality? It is God and His kingdom. Jesus preaches the kingdom of God and it is the major theme in the earliest gospel in the Bible book of Mark. The kingdom of God is the range of God’s effective will. This essentially includes everything that we know and don’t know. God gives each of us a kingdom. God gives each of us a range of effective will.This is essentially the free will to grow or to die. God invites us to live within his kingdom yet gives us our own range of effective will. It is here were the conflict of truth, knowledge clashes with will and desire for human beings. The nature of these kingdoms is that they are locked in conflict. Only life within the kingdom of God harmonizes the life of human beings. This is why we are commanded to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. People ask why we just can’t get along? Because we don’t share common values of truly loving God and loving our neighbor as ourselves. Division is the fruit of not loving God and not loving our neighbor as ourselves. We want our will, our kingdom to prevail. Jesus wants us to be grafted into the larger kingdom and will. Morality is not taught by preaching, it is taught by example. Jesus gives us the example. Loving God first sets the moral obligation to our Creator. Loving our neighbors as ourselves sets the moral obligation to all human beings. Morality is not a human standard. Morality is a divine standard exhibited in Scripture. Jesus gives us the golden rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Those who live by the golden rule will be granted that goodness.Purpose and meaning accompany goodness. If you choose to be in contact with the ultimate reality, that is God Himself,goodness will be granted. Jesus encourages us to love each other as He loves us. He also says there’s no greater love than that of one who lays their life down for another. My encouragement to you in light of the brilliance of Jesus Christ is to, every day before you go to bed at night, review all of your interactions and asked this question, “have I loved my neighbor as myself.” I would encourage you to measure your response and vow to love better and more the next day. Imagine a world where people surrender their wills to help others. The truth can make you flee or will the truth will set you free.