MEMORY VERSE: "For there is only one God and only one Mediator who can reconcile God and people. He is the man Christ Jesus." (1 Timothy 2:5)
I. QUESTION: WHO IS JESUS?
ANSWER: Jesus is the second person of the Trinity. He is God, the Son. (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 13:13)
II. QUESTION: WHAT DOES THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST MEAN?
ANSWER: The name Jesus literally means, "The Lord saves." This name was given to him because he will save th epeople from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)
III. QUESTION: WAS JESUS A REAL HISTORICAL FIGURE OR IS HE JUST MADE UP?
ANSWER: There are two ways we know Jesus was a real, historical person.
1. Mention is made of him in the non-Christian history books that were written in his time period, by Philo and Josephus.
2. The Bible, a historical book, gives account of the life of Jesus. Luke especially was a very detailed historian. Not one detail from his book has ever been proven false. There were even cases where people thought he was wrong, but when they investigated further, they realized that he was right.
IV. QUESTION: IS JESUS JUST ONE OF THE GREAT PHILOSOPHERS, A GREAT TEACHER AND NOTHING MORE?
ANSWER: There were many great ancient philosophers, but Jesus was not one of them. Philosophers try to reason their way to the truth or to God, but Jesus was God himself come in the Flesh to be the Truth revealed to us in person. Jesus is God, the Creator of the World. (John 1:1-3) As such he cannot be grouped in with other great thinkers. He is in a category of his own. In fact, his name is far above every name, so far so that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord. (Philippians 2:9-10) If ever there was a great Jewish thinker it would be Moses, but Jesus is even more glorious than Moses. (Hebrews 3:3)
V. QUESTION: HOW DID JESUS BECOME HUMAN?
ANSWER: Jesus was born of a virgin named Mary through a miracle of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:34-35)
VI. QUESTION: WHAT IS THE ESSENSE OF JESUS?
ANSWER: Jesus is 100% God and 100% man. This is a miracle that is hard for us to comprehend.
1. We know that Jesus is divine, that is he is God. (John 1:1-3)
2. Jesus is also fully man. He had a body just like us. He lived just like us. And this is why he understands what we go through as mankind, because he also went though it. (2 Timothy 2:5)
VII. QUESTION: WHAT DID JESUS DO WHEN HE WAS ON THE EARTH?
ANSWER: Jesus went from city to city and village to village teaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God. He not only preached the Kingdom, but he also demonstrated it, by healing people, casting out devils, and doing good. (Matthew 9:35; Acts 10:38)
VIII. QUESTION: WHY DID JESUS NEED TO COME TO THE EARTH AND DIE ON THE CROSS?
ANSWER: As we learned previously, all of mankind is in slavery to sin. Jesus came to give his lifeblood as a ransom for mankind. So that everyone who believes in him can be bought with his blood and thereby freed from sin. This ranson made it possible for us to be restored to friendship with God. (Mark 10:45; Romans 5:10) It was through one man, Adam, that sin entered the world. And since one man could bring condemnation on the whole race, then one man could bring salvation to the whole race. Therefore, Christ's perfect life combined with his sacrificial death anyone who believes in him can be made right with God. (Romans 5:18,19)
IX. QUESTION: WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JESUS' RESURRECTION?
ANSWER: The Resurrection of Christ is important for two main reasons:
1. The Jews in Jerusalem killed Jesus because they rejected his claim to be God. If he had stayed in the grave they would have been justified in calling him wrong. But he was vindicated because God raised him from the dead. This proved that he was speaking the truth. Over and over Acts records this pattern: You crucified Jesus, but God raised him from the dead. (Acts 2:24,32; 3:15; 4:10; 5:30; Romans 1:4)
2. Because Jesus was raised to life, we can be sure that we will be raised to life. If he had not been raised, how could we believe that we would be raised one day. But in demonstrating power over death, he gives us confidence in our faith in him. (1 Corinthians 15:20,21; 2 Timothy 1:12; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:14; 1 Corinthians 15:17)
X. QUESTION: WHAT REASONS DO WE HAVE FOR BELIEVING THAT JESUS ROSE AGAIN AND ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN WHERE HE STILL LIVES?
1. The Bible records the Resurrection and ascension of Jesus. He was seen alive by people on several different occaisons, by as many as 500 people. (Matthew 28; John 20&21; Acts 1:6-11; 1 Corinthians 15:3)
2. The Resurrection was the focus of Peter's preaching, and thousands believed because of it. If the Resurrection was not really proven, then surely these people wouldn't have believed. (Acts 2:41) Peter and the Apostles had nothing to gain from the Resurrection story if it was hoax. It caused nothing but trouble for them. But they counted it an honor to suffer, because they knew it was true. (Acts 5:41)
3. We see the evidence of the lives that are changed when people believe in Jesus. These new lives testify to the truth of the Resurrection. (2 Corinthians 5:17)\
XI. QUESTION: WHAT DID JESUS DO FOR US BY ASCENDING INTO HEAVEN?
ANSWER: Jesus spent 40 days on the earth after his Resurrection, but then he left, ascending into heaven. (Acts 1:9)
1. He was able to send us the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:32-36)
2. He pleads with God on our behalf. He is our advocate with the Father, that is, he prays for us. (Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:33-34)
3. He was able to give the gifts to the Church. (Ephesians 4:8-11)
4. He is presently preparing a place in heaven for us. (John 14:1-2)
5. He will return to this earth the same way he left to establish his Kingdom and rule in power and glory. (Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:6-7; Matthew 24:30-31)
XII. QUESTION: WHY DO WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS WILL COME AGAIN SOON?
ANSWER: All of the prophecies given in Scripture that must be fulfilled have either already been fulfilled or are so close to being fulfilled that it could literally be any day now.
1. Jesus and the Old Testament both said that Israel would be destroyed because they would not listen to God. And this was fulfilled in 70AD. Jesus said that it would be trampled until the age of the Gentiles comes to an end. (Luke 21:23-24; Deuteronomy 28:62-68) God also promised restoration for his people. He promised to gather them from around the earth. (Ezekiel 27:1-13; Isaiah 11:12) In 1948 Israel was restored and the Jewish people have been being gathered since that time. This implies that the Gentile age is comign to an end.
2. Jesus said that many false Messiahs would come and do many miraculous works. (Matthew 24:5, 23; Revelation 13:13-14) We have seen a huge increase in cults claiming to be led by the Messiah in the last century.
3. Jesus said that Gospel would be preached to the whole world before the end comes. (Matthew 24:14) The last few centuries have seen the greatest missions thrust of the Church Age. The Gospel is literally all over the world now.
4. Daniel said that knowledge will increase in the end times. (Daniel 12:4) Just in the last century science and knowledge have grown more in than in the rest of history combined.
5. Jesus said that wars wold be the beginning of the end. (Matthew 24:6,7,37) The last century has seen more war. We had two world wars and innumerable conflicts throughout the world.