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5 reasons to trust in Jesus

This blog post might interest you if you sometimes feel wobbly about your faith. Is it really true or is it like believing in Father Christmas: a nice story for the kids but we all grow up? Or perhaps your faith has been knocked sideways by a really difficult time in life. Whatever place you read this from, take 5 minutes to read 5 reasons to trust in Jesus in 2023, all taken from the first few verses of John’s Gospel (usually the last reading in a traditional carol service – if you would like to read that bit of the bible first, scroll to the end):

1. The Philosophical. In the beginning was the Word. Christians believe the created universe had a beginning, and the cause of that beginning was the eternal God. God is by definition eternal; stuff or matter in the universe is not by definition eternal. And yet it exists. If God did NOT exist, how does something come from nothing? So in 2023 we get to choose our miracle: either something just came out of nothing (which is supernaturally miraculous and not at all scientific), OR the Gospel of John is true and In the beginning was the Word and the word was with God and the Word was God. In the beginning God. A philosophical reason to trust in Jesus this new year. His existence makes sense of our existence.

2. The Scientific. In the beginning was the Word. The ‘Word’ is Logos in Greek. Logos means reason, it’s where we get our words like Biology (the study of life), Theology (study or words about God), Psychology (study or words/reason about the mind). John says in the beginning was the WORD: The Logos. This means that at the foundation of the material universe - the most basic level - there is not nothing, neither is there a mindless force or drive, but a mind, a reason, a rational non-material being. This is why, against all odds, we see not only complex life developing from basic life, and order arising from primaeval chaos, but at the most fundamental level we see rational mathematics underpinning everything. It’s why most of the great scientists before and since the enlightenment have been Christian believers. Believing in a God who is logos means I can expect to discover rational principles through scientific method.

3. The Moral. In him was life and that life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. Christians believe in light and dark, in good and bad, in moral and immoral. We believe in it because of God. The Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky famously wrote that ‘without God and the future life…everything is permitted, one can do anything.’ There is no moral obligation, in fact there is no morality. Without Jesus our moral instincts, those things we hold dear – ‘all human life is equal’, ‘each person has the right to freedom’ etc. – those instincts are floating in space. We ask why? and there is no answer. Eventually, the strongest will win. When we trust in Jesus we have a reason. There is light: God. And there is darkness. There IS a reason to say all human beings are precious and deserve equal treatment. Without Jesus, there is no light or dark, just blind luck.

4. The Transformational. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. There was an atheist writer who a few years ago made a dramatic conversion to Christianity. In an essay he published in the New Statesman, one of the reasons he gave for his newfound faith was the undeniable and remarkable power to transform human life. He saw the change in people. A change which begins by being made a child of God through trust in Jesus. Welcomed, forgiven, loved, and empowered to live a new life. Perhaps you’ve seen it in others, or maybe even your own life.

5. The Legal. The gospel writer John says time and again in his account of the life of Jesus, ‘we have seen with our own eyes’. Here in John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory. In a court of law, the testimony of eyewitnesses is crucial. John makes a legal case for trusting Jesus. We saw it with our own eyes, we’re not making it up. He really was born of Mary, he really was worshipped by the Magi, he really did turn water into wine, walk on water, raise the dead, heal the sick, teach with authority, love the outsider, die on a cross and rise from the dead. We saw it. And we’ve written down our testimony right here.

So there you go: philosophical, scientific, moral, transformational, legal: 5 top reasons to trust in Jesus in 2023 all from John 1. If you aren’t convinced but want to keep thinking, why not sign up to Alpha starting in Combe Down soon: Alpha offers a fun and stress-free way to ask life’s big questions and find out more about Jesus.

John 1:1-14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

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