You know, fellow bloggers, Jesus lived just 20-plus short centuries ago! I suspect there has been at least one man, somewhere in the world, born on the first day of each of these centuries who lived for 100 years. There would be only 20 such men in history--demonstrating that the 1st century isn't really that long ago!
Does it seem unreasonable that such sensational events of the first century-- Christ's birth, life, death and resurrection--could be accurately recorded and preserved during the lifetimes of just 20 such men--through 20 centuries of meticulous record-keepers in the church?
The first Christians were inspired first by the MIRACLES more than the teachings. The MIRACLES gave credence to the teachings of the MIRACLE WORKER. Especially His resurrection.
When you meet a resurrected miracle-worker, you are sure He is from God --especially when He lived a perfect life and tells you He and the Father are one. Especially when He gives you something like a Damascus Road experience and you just know, in your soul, that "He touched me! And now I am no longer the same!" Like St. Paul. Like Chuck Colson. Like George W. Bush whose closest observers say the Christianity is genuine. He said, "Jesus Christ changed my heart." When Christ's Holy Spirit bears witness with YOUR Spirit, you just know.
I think the problem with the church today is that too many lack "an experience." They are trying to follow Christ in the flesh --and they need to ask for The Holy Spirit and be willing to experience Him in fullness. Jesus said, "If an earthly father knows how to give good gifts to his children, how much more will your heavenly father be willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask."
Are we willing to be changed? Do we want this power in our lives? If it means we will forgive and love? that HE will be on the throne of our lives --instead of us? The thing is, when God gives the experience, the love is almost automatic --it floods the soul --like "springs of living water." The Psalmist David said, "Restore to me, O God, the joy of my salvation."
"Amazing grace; how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see."
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible