Did Jesus Actually Claim to Be God?

Picture by Alex Bobica (http://bit.ly/1CiCssH)
Picture by Alex Bobica

What is forgiveness of sins?

When people forgive someone, we let go of what we held against them.  We decide to no longer hold a grudge—we’re no longer going to hold another person culpable for what they’ve done.  That’s about as far as our forgiveness can go.

But Jesus claimed to do more than that.

When Jesus said in Matthew 9:2, “your sins are forgiven,” He meant something different.  His word for forgiveness could be translated, “your sins are remitted,” which means your sins are actually taken away from you.  You are released not only from the guilt of your sin, but also from the power of your sin.  Your sins are gone, as far as God is concerned.

Jesus is claiming to be able to release sin’s grip from this man’s life.

But I thought only God could do something like that?  Only God can declare someone innocent by freeing them from sin’s grip.  As a result, the law teachers soon begin to accuse Jesus of blasphemy, because there’s no way this manJesus—can forgive sins—because He’s not God!

Or is He?

Jesus’ claims about what He could do tell us just as much about who He is.

Join us at 10:30am this Sunday at Faith Presbyterian Church as we dig deeper into Jesus’ claims to being God in the flesh.

The One Thing That Limits God’s Actions

Used with permission from http://bit.ly/1vuhPKE
Used with permission from http://bit.ly/1vuhPKE

Jesus’ power and authority in this world are bound only by His divine choice.

  Nothing on this earth binds the will of God!

If He wants to calm a storm, He calms a storm.

If He wants to cast out a demon, He says one word, “Go!” and they’re gone.

If He wants to heal a sickness, He heals a sickness.

But if He does not want to calm a storm—if He does not want to give faith where there is unbelief—if He does not want to convert people’s hearts, then He is not bound to do so.

The only thing that limits the action of God is the desire of God.

I hope by now that you’re seeing why this seems like a problem to us.  I hope you feel the tension.  Because that tension exists in our lives.

The struggles we have, whether physical, spiritual, relational, or otherwise—the struggles we have in every arena of life—these struggles are not bigger than God.  He could solve them with a word right now.

But instead, He has made an intentional choice to allow those struggles to continue.  He is Lord of every arena of your life—His will is ultimate and He can change anything He wants.

And that raises the question:

If He has the power and authority to do so, then why doesn’t He bring peace, freedom, and restoration to every arena of my life?  And more than that, why doesn’t He bring peace, freedom, and restoration to the whole world right now?

How have you come to terms with this difficult question?  Share your thoughts below!

This is an excerpt from last Sunday’s sermon at Faith Presbyterian Church in Covington, LA.  For more, listen here or subscribe to our podcast here.

If Jesus can fix my problem, then why doesn’t He?

Jesus, being God, has the authority and the power to do anything He wants.

We will see that in our sermon text this Sunday, just like we saw it in our text last Sunday:

Where there is sickness, He can heal.  Where there is a storm of chaos, He can bring the calm of peace.  Where there is demonic oppression, He can bring freedom.  He has the power to accomplish all these things!

But that’s not the only thing we will learn about Jesus this Sunday.  We also learn this difficult truth: while Jesus has authority and power to heal and to restore, He doesn’t always choose to wield that power.

What we have here is a theological, philosophical, and imminently practical problem.  If Jesus has authority and power to bring peace, freedom, and healing, then why doesn’t He do it everywhere and in every circumstance?  We see this problem in the Bible and we see it in our lives.  If Jesus can fix my problem, then why doesn’t He?

How have you dealt with this challenging question?  Share your thoughts below!

And join us at 10:30am this Sunday at Faith Presbyterian Church as we tackle this challenging topic.