The Apostolic Message Based on History

7 October 2009 by Wes Bredenhof

“As the apostles were brought before Roman authorities, they said nothing about how Jesus helped them put their marriages back together or how they found the gospel helpful and useful in daily living.  There may well have been stories like that to report.  However, that was not their gospel.  Rather, they testified to datable events, which they assumed to have been well-known to their judges.  It was not a ‘religion story,’ but an international headline of immense world historical significance.  (People aren’t persecuted for having an invisible friend who helps them through personal crises.)  They referred the secular rulers to eyewitnesses who were still living to back up their claim.  If the witnesses only offered good advice, spiritual and moral therapy, or defended their ‘product’ for its pragmatic usefulness, Rome would have had no trouble adding another cult to the soup of imperial religion.  However, the claim was that Jesus alone is Lord of the cosmos and Savior of the world (both titles that Caesar claimed for himself).”

Michael Horton, the Gospel-Driven Life, 69

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