Letter to Christians in Rome: Chapter 9 (pt 6 of 13)

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It has been correctly stated that, considering the claims of Christ for himself, he was either a liar, a lunatic, or the true Lord. C. S. Lewis, who was once an agnostic, and later became a Christian and who was also a professor at Cambridge University, wrote, “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 a man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be a 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.” Lewis goes on to add, “You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

So there you have it. Was Jesus who he said he was, or was he a liar? As Lewis pointed out, these are our only choices. If he was not who he said he was, then he was a pretty good liar. In other words, he may have known his claims were false. However, does this accord with his teaching? If he was a liar, then he was also a hypocrite. He taught that we should tell the truth and be honest in every situation. If he knew his claims were false, then he would be a hypocrite of the first order. Further, he would also be evil to the core. He encouraged people to trust in him. What kind of person, knowing his claims were false, would encourage people to trust in him and his teaching for eternal life? Only someone who was demonically inspired. Finally, if he knew his claims were false, then he was a fool because he died for it. Was Christ a liar, a hypocrite, evil, and a fool? If he wasn’t who he claimed to be then that is one alternative.

The other alternative is that he was a lunatic. In other words, he did not know his words were false and he was seriously deluded. He was self-deceived. As C. S. Lewis said, he was the sort of man who claims to be a poached egg. After all, what other kind of man would claim to be God the Son, the Savior of the world? Only a lunatic. Was Jesus a lunatic? Was He self-deceived? It seems to me that there has never been a man who was more in control of himself, than Jesus was. He hardly exhibited the kind of imbalance one would expect in a lunatic. Indeed, even when he was hanging on the Cross-, losing his life, he showed remarkable poise, confidence, and compassion.

The obvious third alternative is that he was and is who he said he was. He is Lord! Indeed, when you factor in the evidence of the resurrection, you are left with no other alternative. Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. That is who he is. He is God. And if he is God, then all of humanity has a requirement to bow before him and pledge their allegiance to him.

Now with all that being said . . . what do you say?

What people say about Jesus is one thing. What you say is quite another. While it is interesting to hear what others say about Jesus, what we say really makes all the difference in terms of how we live our lives.

If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome


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