Paul knew that faith and knowledge are not mutually exclusive, but indeed, they are mutually beneficial. An examined faith, where doubts are addressed and facts considered, is better than a faith that is held blindly. Paul’s purpose for writing the new believers in the city of Colossae was to help them add a growing knowledge of Christ to the faith they had already expressed by trusting in Him.
He wrote to encourage them to grow in their knowledge of Christ as the supreme explanation for all things, so that their faith in Him might also increase. We can grow in our knowledge of Christ as the supreme explanation for all things, so that our faith is increased.
Below is an automated transcript of this messagethanks for listening to the podcast from Gary Combs and the preaching team at Wilson Community Church in Wilson, North Carolina. Check us out on the web at wccnc.org for more and now here’s the sermon.
All right, good morning, church. Good to see all of you here this morning. This is part three of our series entitled, “Got Questions?” We’re answering the kinds of questions that people who have doubts about Christianity often asked. This morning we will be addressing the question, “Why science?” What about science?
In this message, our hope is to show that science and faith or are not in conflict, as some would suppose, but in fact are mutually compatible and more than that, mutually beneficial. This means you don’t have to check your brain at the door to be a Christian, you don’t have to commit intellectual suicide to be a Christian. What we believe is that God’s word actually helps us engage both our heads and our hearts, and so we can respond with an examined faith, a reasonable faith.
Now, here’s the question we often have here, and we’ve been dealing with questions for the past three weeks. We have dealt with the question, “What about Jesus?” Why do Christians make such a big deal about Jesus? And then last week, “What about the hypocrites in the church?” I don’t go to church because there’s too many hypocrites in the church. And then here’s the question that we hear often, “Hasn’t science disproved Christianity?” So that’s the question that we’re working out this morning.
This is certainly the view of atheists like Richard Dawkins, who is the author of the bestselling book, “The God Delusion.” In his book, he argues that you cannot be an intelligent scientific thinker and still hold religious beliefs. He believes it’s either one or the other. Dawkins has made millions fanning the flames of this conflict so called between science and faith. But is he right? Must we choose between thinking scientifically and belief in God? And I would propose to you that the answer is a resounding no. That’s a myth that science and faith are in conflict.
Listen to Dr. John Bloom as he talks about this. John Bloom is the chairman of the chemistry, physics and engineering department at Biola University. He says, “As a Christian and a scientist who has been working in the discipline long enough to see some major scientific theory and paradigm shifts. I can say with confidence that science destroys faith, maybe a popular myth, but it is simply false. What challenges Christianity at times is not the scientific data but the naturalistic interpretations of the data that many insists must be given no matter what he introduces.” A word there of naturalism, and I think it would be beneficial force just as we dig into this sermon today to define from Webster’s.
The first word is science. What is science? The dictionary says, “It’s the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment .” If you’ve gone to school any length of time, you’ve heard the definition for science. But as Dr Bloom points out, in the last fifty years, there’s been a philosophy called naturalism that has embraced science and encompassed science so that its counts itself equal to science.
Here’s what the dictionary says about naturalism, “It’s the philosophical belief that everything arises from natural properties and causes and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted.” That’s the philosophy of naturalism that is not science. Yet many claim that they’re one in the same. The true conflict, then it’s not between science and faith, but between naturalism and faith. And naturalism is not science. It’s a philosophy, and it begins with a pre supposition that there is no God.
As we we were studying this week in our study group, I begin to get an image in my head of a curtain. I started thinking about what science is able to do because from a young person, even from my earliest memory, I’ve always loved science. Science rightly understood and rightly followed. It’s just the study of those things that we can see on this side of the curtain. It’s the natural world, and so there’s a curtain that divides us between what we can see, what we can smell, what we can observe with our five senses and with microscopes and telescopes and every kind of other technological advances that’s on this side of the curtain. Science properly is able to observe those things.
But here’s what the atheist says; here’s what the naturalist says, “There’s nothing behind the curtain.” Here’s how they think about it. Since we can find no proof on this side of the curtain of any supernatural or miraculous evidence, there’s nothing on the other side of the curtain. That’s the process. And so naturalism begins with the pre-supposition that there is no God and then finds reasons not to believe in God. If we will be honest with ourselves, we have to admit our own preconceptions. Just because there’s a curtain doesn’t mean we have to conclude there’s nothing on the other side.
Now there’s another group of people, and maybe that group is more rightly represented by some of you in this room. You rarely have an atheist come to church unless they’re studying that alien group of people called Christians. I don’t know three atheists in the house this morning. If there are, I love atheists and God loves you, too, But agnostics are more likely to show up in a place like this. What’s an agnostic? It means they have doubts. They don’t know what’s on the other side of the curtain and they ask the question, “Who can know? Who can know what’s on the other side of the curtain? We can’t go on the other side of the curtain. We don’t know if there is a heaven. We don’t know if there’s a hill. We don’t know if there’s a God. We don’t know if there’s a supernatural. All we know is what we can see on this side.” And if we would be honest with ourselves, we have to admit all of us have questions. All of us have doubts, but God is not afraid of our questions. And as I said before, being a Christian doesn’t mean you need to check your brain at the door because here’s what Christianity claims for itself. God, through Jesus, has pulled back the curtain so that he has revealed himself to us. Not just that, that we can see on this side of the curtain, through nature and through creation. As we look at it and go, “Wow, this looks like intelligent design. This is beautiful. This is all inspiring. There must be a God.” We might make a decision like that but we would still not be able to know him because he’s on the other side of the curtain unless he pulls back the curtain. And this is what Christianity claims. Therefore, the Christian worldview, in my opinion, is the best explanation of reality through the person of Jesus. God has pulled back the curtain so that we’re able to know what’s on the other side.
This is what we’re talking about this morning. Where are you at? Are you asking the question? What’s behind the curtain? Here’s what my goal for you today would be if you’re a doubter and not a believer yet, but you’re here checking it out. Here’s what I would ask you to do as you encounter the message today. Would you decide instead of doubting faith, doubt your doubts. Just move the needle that far, instead of doubting faith, doubt your doubts. Check out your preconceptions and go, “What if I’m wrong? What if you can know what’s on the other side of the curtain? What if you can know God?” That would be my prayer for you today, that you would doubt your doubts.
What if you’re here this morning and you have faith. Maybe you’re a young person and you have the faith of your parents. You have the faith of your pastor because you’ve been growing up in this church. I want to challenge you to get your own faith. To be willing to have your faith built up by knowledge so that you don’t just believe because you’ve always believed. So that when the first person that asks you a hard question blows up your faith because you haven’t really studied what you believe. My desire for you today would be that your faith would be growing so that it becomes a well thought out faith, so that you know why you believe what you believe. Are you with me?
Let’s go on this journey together as we look at the text today. The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the people of Colossae. His purpose for writing that letter was that he might build up their faith by helping them grow in knowledge. You see knowledge and intelligence is not the enemy of faith. In fact, it’s a friend of faith. Look how he explains the writing of his letter in Chapter one verses nine and ten of Colossians, he says, “9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Do you see wisdom, knowledge, understanding, acknowledge throughout? Paul is writing from a Roman prison. He’s heard that the people of Colossae have come to faith, and he’s praying. He wants them to be able to survive that Greek culture, that Roman world culture, because there’s going to be so many questions that will hit them. It’s going to cause them to doubt, and he wants them to grow in their faith. The best way he knows for them to grow in their faith is to increase their knowledge of the supreme and best explanation for reality on planet Earth. The best explanation for the seen and the unseen world; the best and supreme revelation of Jesus Christ. That’s who I want them to know better.
Paul gives us four reasons why we can know this supreme explanation, which is Jesus and so our faith can grow. Let’s look at the text. Many have thought that is perhaps Christological because it’s just so perfectly written and such a jewel sitting here in chapter one of the book of Colossians that maybe the first century Christians sang this as a hymn together. But regardless, it’s a beautiful statement about the preeminence of Christ and how he’s the supreme explanation of our existence. So let’s read it; Colossians Chapter one verses fifteen through twenty. He’s speaking of Christ. “15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[a] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” This is God’s word.
We’re looking for four reasons why the knowledge of Christ as the supreme explanation of all things increases our faith. Number one (1) Because Jesus is the revealer. He’s the supreme revealer, the revealer of who God is. As we mentioned before, the philosophy of naturalism begins with the presupposition that there is no God. It makes this decision by saying, since we cannot see on the other side of the curtain, there is no curtain. Therefore, there is no God. This is the presupposition, and so then they go looking for facts to support it. It claims then to be science, which can neither look beyond the curtain. Nor does it claim to. Yet Jesus is the one who has pulled back the curtain so that we can know God.
Notice in verse fifteen, it says he is the image of the invisible God, God’s invisible. He’s on the other side. He’s not observable through science and through our own techniques or whatever. We have no ability to discover God. Absent his willingness to reveal himself to us, he’s invisible. In other words, we cannot comprehend him. Yet he has sent Jesus to reveal himself to us. Jesus is the revelation of God. You want to see God, look at Jesus. You want to know God, know Jesus. You want to understand more about God? Read about Jesus. He is the revealed image. The word in the Greek here is the Greek word eikōn, which means the exact likeness representation. When he made Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis it said, “Let us make man in our image. And so in the image of God, he made them male and female he made them.” And so he made us to be image bearers. But that image was fallen because of sin, and so the dignity of mankind remains. But the morality of mankind is warped because the image is warped. But Jesus is the very image of God.
Even more than that, verse nineteen says that he is the fullness of God for in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. Everything that we see in Jesus is a revelation of the character traits of Jesus of God rather and of his miraculous power. When you look at him, you’re not seeing anything missing that is present in God. He is very God of very God. He is equal to the father. The fullness of God dwells in him. So how can we see God? How can you see the invisible God? Look at Jesus!
Look what John says in John, chapter one, verse eighteen. He says, “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” This is what Jesus came to do. He is the one who came to reveal to us, to pull back the curtain, if you will, so that we might know what God is like so that we might know God personally. Not only is he the one who reveals God to us, he is the supreme revelation of God.
Look at Hebrews, chapter one, “1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being…” In the past, God spoke to our ancestors through the profits at many times and in various ways, and we pause for a second. Jesus is not the first time that God has pulled back the curtain. He’s pulled back the curtain a little bit through the ages. There was a time when there was no curtain and God walked in the cool of the evening with Adam and Eve. But then sin broke that fellowship they had so that the curtain closes and they were removed from the Garden of Eden. But yet God is constantly pulling it back and speaking to his people.
Sometimes he did various ways at various times, sometimes through a burning bush, sometimes through a donkey. But he pulled it back, and he caused the Old Testament to be written as a revelation of his person. This is called special revelation. In creation, we have general revelation that we can know about God by the awesomeness of the creation he has made. But special revelation is God speaking through prophets, and he’s done that through the ages. But in these last days refers to which of the days we live in now we’re living in the last days. He has spoken to us by his son, who he appointed heir of all things and through whom he also made the universe. And the Son is the radiance of God’s glory, in the exact representation of his being. Jesus is the last and most supreme revelation of God. Jesus is the revealer of what’s on the other side. He’s the Man from heaven come down to earth. If you want to know God, look at Jesus. The author of Hebrew says, “He’s the radiance of God’s glory.” If you look at the sun directly with no protection, it will blind you. And so we look at the sun with our peripheral vision and we see its glory. We see the spectrum of light as it’s reflected upon the earth, and the many colors come from the sun as we look at it, the beauty, the glory of the sun.
The scripture says that you can’t see God. If you were to look at him, it would blind you with His holiness. But you can see his glory, which is the radiance of King Jesus, and so he covers our vision so that we see everything differently when we see it through him. He is the revealer. The curtain of the holy of holies was rent when he died upon the cross. So that the separation between God and man between a holy God and a sinful man. The curtain was torn so that through Jesus we can approach the throne. He’s the supreme revelation of who God is. We catch a glimpse because we can see behind the curtain.
Here’s number two. (2) Because Jesus is the creator. He made what you see. He made what we can observe with science. Now the philosophy of naturalism denies the existence of God. Since it denies the existence of God, it has its own explanations for existence, for why we exist. And so it makes this combination of claims. It claims that out of chaos came order. Out of inanimate matter came life. Out of blind chance, over billions of years, came intelligence. It has a very low view of humanity as a soul-less animal driven for survival by what Dawkins calls the selfish gene, so that the only thing that drives us is a desire to make sure that our DNA continues. It has no credible explanation for such intangibles as love or beauty or morality, the unseen things are denied by naturalism. And they’re put into a box as something that’s happened due to the evolution of societies and culture through the ages.
I find naturalism to be a depressing, purposeless, hopeless, black and white ugly philosophy. And it has infiltrated every level of our society today and perhaps explains in some way some of the suicidal tendencies of our young people and of the guns that we see fired in schools and so forth. Just this sense of angst, the sense of agnosticism and skepticism in our country today comes from this evil philosophy of naturalism, which disconnects us from the God of the Bible.
Verse fifteen points out that he’s the firstborn of all creation. First born here doesn’t mean that he’s a result of creation. Jesus is not a created being. He’s the creator. Paul clarifies that Jesus has the rights of the first born; that the creation belongs to him. He’s the inheritor of the creation, and he goes on to explain it in verse sixteen to clarify what he means by firstborn of all creation, he says, “for by him, speaking of Jesus, all things were created.” So Christ is the agent of creation.
In John chapter one, we see that he’s called the Logos, the Word. In Genesis chapter one, we see that God created the heavens and the earth by a word he said, “Let there be light and there was light.” We see now in Colossians that Christ was present and he is the word of God. He’s the agent of creation, but he’s not finished. In verse sixteen, he says, “For by him all things were created.” And then later it says all things, at the conclusion of sixteen, all things were created through him and for him. By him, through him and for him. What things? All things. You can think of visible and invisible, heavenly and earthly. No matter what you can think of, He made it. Whatever you can imagine, he made it seen and unseen all things by him, through him for him by him means by his intelligence and will his intelligent design of all things, by his wisdom by him threw him his power, his omnipotence, that was able to create all things and then for him. He owns it. He made us for himself.
You’re not a result of blind chance. You’re not an accident of nature. Favourable perhaps, as the naturalist would say. But you are made with a purpose and for a purpose. And you belong to God because he made you. And as Augustine, who wrote in his book, “Confessions,” said “Thou hast made us for thyself. Oh, God and our hearts are restless until they find rest in thee.”
Why do you feel what you feel? This emptiness, this hole in your soul that you try to put so many things inside up because you were made by him through him and for him and you will not be right until you recognize that he made you for himself. What things, heavenly and earthly, the angelic host and the fallen angels.
Look at what Isaiah saw; he saw the unseen realm. Look at what John the revelator saw. He made all those beings that are so difficult to understand easy. He made all that as we heard Adam talking earlier about Stephen Hawking, who said, “Because the singularity is the beginning of space, time and matter, there had been no place for God to exist. This is a fallacious understanding of that because God does not live within his creation. He lives as the originator of creation. There was no space time or matter until he said in the beginning, God created the heavens, space and the Earth matter. In the beginning time, there was nothing. He made it all. He’s on the other side of this so called singularity. He’s the creator, and Christ is the agent of creation.
In the beginning was the Word, the Logos, the explanation of all things, the highest communication. And the Word was God. And the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him. Without him was not anything made that was made, everything was made by him. Now, science, rightly understood, can increase their worship; think of that, right? Science separated from the philosophy of naturalism. And by the way, I find, as I look at history, that Christianity is the best explanation for the birthplace of science because we believe we can walk in the footsteps of God. We believe that the world’s supposed to make sense because an intelligent designer made it, and so science rightly understood says.
As the Psalm said in Psalm 19:1, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.” And so we look at this side of the curtain we go, “there must have been somebody who made this. It’s too beautiful. It’s too perfect. It’s too orderly to have happened by accident.”
Dr. John Bloom, the one we quoted earlier, the science and professor at Biola University, says this, “The trend I see over time is that the more we study and understand the creation through science, the more clearly we see that it must be the handiwork of God. No good art critic can say that a masterpiece like the Mona Lisa is just “random splotches on canvas” or “somehow painted itself.” Similarly, our growing awareness that nature is a masterpiece makes it increasingly hard for a scientist today to shrug and say that “it just happened somehow” or “it’s always been here.”
Watch this video from galaxies and stars down to atoms and subatomic particles. The very structure of our universe is determined by these numbers. These are the fundamental constants and quantities of the universe. Scientists have come to the shocking realization that each of these numbers has been carefully dialed to an astonishingly precise value, a value that falls within an exceedingly narrow, life permitting range. If any one of these numbers were altered by even a hair’s breath, no physical interactive life of any kind could exist anywhere. There’d be no stars, no life, no planets, no chemistry. Consider gravity, for example. The force of gravity is determined by the gravitational constant. If this constant buried by just one intended the sixtieth parts, none of us would exist to understand how exceedingly narrow this life permitting ranges. Imagine a dial divided into ten to the sixtieth increments to get a handle on how many tiny points on the dial. This is compared to the number of cells in your body or the number of seconds that have ticked by since time began. If the gravitational constant had been out of tune by just one of these infinite testimony small increments the universe would either have expanded and thin out so rapidly that no stars could form and life couldn’t exist. Or it would have collapsed back on itself with the same result. No stars, no planets and no life. Or consider the expansion rate of the universe. This is driven by the cosmological constant. A change in its value by a mere one part in ten to the one hundred twentieth parts would cause the universe to expand to rapidly or too slowly. In either case, the universe would again be life prohibiting or another example of fine tuning. If the mass and energy of the early universe were not evenly distributed to an incomprehensible precision of one part in ten to the ten to the one hundred twenty third, the universe would be hostile to life of any kind. The fact is, our universe permits physical interactive life on ly because these and many other numbers have been independently and exquisitely balanced on a razor’s edge. Wherever physicist look, they see examples of fine tuning. Yeah, the remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seemed to have been very finally adjusted to make possible the development of life. If anyone claims not to be surprised by the special features that the universe has, he’s hiding his head in the sand. These special features air surprising and unlikely.
What is the best explanation for this astounding phenomenon? What is the best explanation for this? Fine to me in the universe that explains life. I believe it’s the creator. Jesus. He’s the best explanation. People look at the same group of facts, and they begin with a presupposition: There is a god or there isn’t a God, and then they look for their own results. I have come to the conclusion that it’s not a head problem. It’s a heart problem. We want to be the god of our own life. And so then we look for evidence. As we looked at the tex just now, as we looked at that video just now, that science, the facts of the science, not its interpretation. The facts of the science builds my faith because I’m seeing more and more evidence for the God, the Lord Jesus, who created everything.
Here’s the third reason. We’ve said (1) Because He is the Revealer. We’ve said (2) Because He is the Creator. And then here’s the third reason that we can grow in knowledge of Christ and so build our faith is (3) Because He is the Sustainer.
Because He is the Sustainer. As we were looking, they were talking about the constants that keep the universe from either expanding too fast or being drawn together too quickly so that life can exist. It’s fine to the cosmological constant. You will probably notice they showed all those atoms and molecules, and then it had this huge segment of the pie chart called dark matter. Dark matter means stuff we can’t see. There must be stuff we can’t see, the astrophysicist says. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be enough mass in the universe to keep the gravity for us to stay together. There’s something holding us together. There has to be or else everything would fly apart. A multi universe creator. They come up with all kind of reasons that explain why we exist, how we originated, how we hold together. They start with the presupposition, there is no God. So in this question that is still being asked today What is holding the universe together?
Paul writes two thousand years ago that Christ is holding everything together. When you look at verse seventeen, “And he is before all things And in him all things hold together.” How are you holding things together today? Young parents here today, you might have thought you had your life in order pretty good. And then you had that first kid, right? Are you able to hold your life together? Are you holding things together? How you doing? You know some of us live like Christian atheists. We believe in God; we believe in Christ. We live as if we have to live according to our own strength. We live as if we need to keep it together. Hey, buddy, I got to keep it together . What are you doing? I’m trying to keep it together. But you can’t keep it together. It’s all flying apart.
If Christ can hold the universe together, thinking about your situation, listen, you can’t hold it together. But Paul says Christ holds all things together. Otherwise, we would cease. There’s a theory called the ToE The theory of everything. Have you heard of this? If you haven’t read the book, I’m sure you saw the movie, right? That’s how Americans get educated. We don’t read the book. We see the movie. It’s a movie about Stephen Hawking. We mentioned his name a couple of times because he popularized this theory by writing the book and then the movie was made about him. I’d actually heard of this theory years before that and then found the movie interesting. Looking at the movie, you can almost see God peeping around the edges, even in the movie, trying to reach Stephen Hawking. If you can’t look at it from my lens and from the lens of a believer, listen to a few of these quotes from the movie. When Young Hawking first met his first wife, Jane, they met in a bar, and he tells her that he’s a cosmologist and she says, “What’s cosmology?” And he answers, “religion for intelligent atheists.” He says cosmology is his religion, and and so she says, “Well, what do cosmologists worship?” And he responds, “a single unifying equation that explains everything in the universe.” What was he talking about? The ToE; the theory of everything that he had. And I’m going to use the word faith because he saw the fine tuning of the universe that there would be a simple unifying theory, a mathematical equation that would explain everything. Now, how he came to the decision in his little, three pound brain that came as a result of favorable random processes over billions and billions of years. That the world should make sense because it happened by accident and how, since it happened by accident, that his brain cells could somehow figure it out and how he, by faith, could think there was a unifying theory. That all boggles the mind; that takes more faith and that I can imagine.
Look what he says later in the movie, as he took Jane home to meet his family, she says over the dinner table, “You’ve never said why you don’t believe in God.” And he says, “a physicist can’t allow his calculations to be muddled by a belief in a supernatural creator,” to which she deliciously responds, “sounds less of an argument against God than against physicists.” Hawking,I think, as far as we know, went into eternity as an agnostic still worshipping and pursuing the theory on everything. Yet Paul declares, Jesus is the theory on everything. He’s the theory. He’s not just a theory. He’s the person who holds everything together. He is the Lord.
The Book of Hebrews 1:3 says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being sustaining all things by his powerful work.” He created by word, “let there be light,” and he sustains it by his word. If Christ can hold the universe together, why not give him a shot at managing your situation? How you doing attack? Why not doubt your doubts and trust him with your life?
Here’s the fourth reason (4) Because Jesus is the Reconciler. Jesus is the Reconciler. Look at verse eighteen, “18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” Look at Verse twenty, “And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” He’s the reconciler. Here is the problem for naturalism: naturalism denies the supernatural. Itl denies the divinity that there’s a God. Therefore, it must deny the miraculous. And, it explains , the miraculous asjust being those things we haven’t figured out yet scientifically, because there’s nothing on the other side of the curtain. In fact, there is no curtain, and so there is nothing miraculous. It has no explanation for the miraculous; it denies its existence, but it has a worse problem.
Here’s the other problem. It denies morality. It sees it is something. It’s a cultural moving, evolutionary process of there is no absolute right or wrong. There’s no morality. Therefore there’s no evil. It’s just over time. We’ve agreed on certain social values and they keep changing. And so there is no absolute morality. There’s no evil. This is a problem for naturalism because we have eyes and ears and we can see what’s going on in our world. And it’s really a very well thought out description of the reality that we can see school shootings, child pornography in North Carolina and across several states reported this week; just the ugliness of it. The ugliness, the terrorism and the mounting bad news that we keep hearing.
What is this? What is this thing between not being able to do what we know? We know things, but we can’t do them. What is this immorality, This sin problem? There’s no explanation for it, but Christianity does have an explanation for it, not just on explanation, but a solution for it. I believe that the philosophy of naturalism and these other godless philosophies lay the foundation for the brokenness that we see in our world today. Christ is the superior explanation for reality, not just on that side of the curtain as he pulls back the curtain. He’s the best explanation for what’s on this side of the curtain; for the brokenness in our world that he is the image of God and we are the broken image of God. He’s the reconciler. In other words, he’s the one who’s making things right between heaven and earth, between God and man. He’s putting things back where they go . He made it by his word, by him, through him for him, and he’s calling it back to himself.
Verse eighteen says, “In him, he is preeminent, that in everything he might be preeminent.” Another way of saying the word preeminent is number one. Another way of saying it is he’s the king. He’s the Lord. He’s over all things. He made them by him, through him, for him, and now it’s broken. But he’s reconciling it back to himself, and he’s preeminent. He’s supreme. He’s better than the theory of everything. He’s the king now. Some of you older people think when I say the king, you think I’m talking about Elvis, some of you people that are not quite that old think when I say the King, you think I’m talking about Michael Jackson. People living today might think if I say King that I’m talking about a basketball player named James.
Paul said two thousand years ago, he’s preeminent. He’s the king. He’s the greatest of all time. He’s the ToE; the theory of everything. Can I keep going? He’s the Lord. You see, theology used to be considered the queen of the sciences until it got kicked down, to the other building in the hall of philosophy. Theology is chaos. Logos, the study of God and theology rightly done and science rightly done always leads to doxology. Worship, glory, Jesus. Our head problem is really a heart problem.
Roman says that ince the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen and being understood from what has been made so that people are without excuse, for although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him. But they’re thinking became feudal and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claim to be wise, they became fools. The Bible says that the reason that our science with naturalism as the underlying philosophy has come to these conclusions is that there is no God. It’s because of they’re darkened hearts. They’ve made a decision to put cell phone on the throne rather than God.
And then, beginning with that, presupposition came up with their own conclusions. Yet Jesus is the reconciler, Roman says, “ For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
He’s the reconciler. He makes us right with the one on the other side of the curtain who has revealed himself to us. And the curtain is torn between the holy of holies and us so that we can approach the throne boldly. Will you start doubting your doubts and believe in your faith? Will you stop doubting and believe?
Let’s pray, Lord, I pray first of all for that person in the room that came in doubting and I pray right now, Lord, for that person. Is it you? Have you encountered Jesus today so that you are ready to doubt your doubts and place your faith in Christ. I believe that as you act in faith, he will reveal himself to you. He will pull back the curtain so that you may know the Lord. How do you do that? You can pray right in your seat right where you’re at right now asking the Lord to come into your life. Pray with me, “Dear Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner. My life is out of control. But I believe that you died on the cross for my sins that you’ve reconciled me to the father because of your death on the cross and that you were raised from the grave and that you live today and I invite you to come and live in me Lord, I need help with my life. Would you forgive me of my sins and make me the person you want me to be? I give my life to you. I want you to be my king, my lord and my savior.” If you’re praying that prayer right now believing, the Lord will save you and make you his own you’ll be reconciled to the one who made you. Others are here today and you believe you came in with faith believing. But I pray now for you, Lord Jesus, increase our faith as we increase our knowledge of Jesus as we know Jesus better and better as we encounter him in the word and in the hearing of preaching and as we pray and talkvto him and give our lives more fully to him. Lord, I pray that we would grow in faith. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.