Speaker: Jerry Cisar
In a recent poll conducted by Lifeway Research and Ligoneer, 51% of Americans said they believe that Jesus was a good teacher but did not think that he was God. Almost a third of those who gave that response claimed to be Evangelical Christians. According to this poll, about a third of people claiming to be Evangelical are indeed not even Christians!
On a similar note, the general view of faith has taken an interesting twist. While our culture tends to esteem “faith” as something valiant, it largely esteems only a faith in which the object of the faith is faith itself. Accordingly, our culture would be okay with the statement of 1 John 5:4, “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” Out of context that would fit perfectly with one of our cultural mantras, “You’re a winner; believe in yourself.” Or another common catchphrase, “Believe,” which should never stand on its own.
John, however, goes on to define “our faith” by specifying the object of our faith: “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5:5). The object of “our faith” (meaning that of the Christian) is that Jesus is the Messiah (v1), and that Jesus is the Son of God (v5). Having declared the essential object of our faith (1, 5), in 1 John 5:6-12, John explains the basis for such faith.