Now What?

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Copyright (C) 2017 River Valley Church All Scripture references are from the New International Version and The New Living Translation. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form. Photographs used by permission.


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WHO IS JESUS?

Jesus is widely accepted as a historical teacher and leader who lived roughly 2,000 years ago in what is modern-day Israel. What’s more, almost every major religion believes Jesus was a prophet and godly man. However, the early church, the collective message of the Bible, and even Jesus himself claimed He was infinitely more than a prophet, a good teacher, or a godly man.

SO, WHO DID JESUS CLAIM TO BE? Let's look at Jesus’ words in John 10:30, “The Father and I are one.” This might not seem like a claim to be God. However, look at the reaction of the people around Him in the following verses: “Once again the people picked up stones to kill him…’We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.’” In other words, the Jewish people of that time understood Jesus’ statement as a claim to be God, and interestingly, Jesus never corrects them.

QUESTION FOR REFLECTION Who has Jesus been to you in the past?

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The Apostle Paul, who wrote a number of letters to the first churches, describes Jesus as, “…our great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13). The Apostle Peter, one of Jesus’ closest and most trusted followers says the same, “…our God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1). Even the prophets and writers of the Old Testament describe the coming of Jesus. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU? Ultimately, it means believing Jesus to only be a good teacher or a good person is not an option. Jesus clearly claimed to be God, and He authenticated that claim by His life, death, and most importantly, His resurrection from the grave. Why is the question over Jesus’ true identity so important? Why does it matter whether or not Jesus is God? The most important reason is that if Jesus is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Only God could pay such an infinite penalty (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Only God could offer us eternal life. In other words, Jesus’ divinity is why He is the only way of salvation. Jesus’ divinity is why He proclaimed, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

QUESTION FOR REFLECTION Who is Jesus to you now?

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LIVE IT OUT 1. Commit to staying engaged in a local church by regularly attending weekend services. 2. Join NEXT—a class designed to help you find community and purpose at River Valley Church. 3. Read Acts 2:42-47 and write down what else inspires you about the spirit of the early church.

MY REFLECTIONS ON ACTS 2:42-47

“B E

SU RE

Y O U

T HE N

P U T

S T A N D

Y O U R F I R M . ”

F E E T

I N

T H E

A BR A H A M

R IG H T

PL A CE;

LINC O LN

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LIVE IT OUT 1. Visit rivervalley.org to find out when we are hosting our next water baptism service and register your spot. 2. Ask someone you know who has been water baptized why they decided to publicly declare their faith in this way. 3. Make a list of five people you would want to invite to your water baptism so they can be inspired by your public declaration of faith.

5 PEOPLE TO INVITE TO MY BAPTISM 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

“FA I T H Y O U

I S

T A K I N G

D O N’ T

S E E

T H E T H E

M A R T I N

F I R S T

S T EP

W H O L E

LU T H E R

EV EN

W H EN

S TA IR C A SE.”

K I N G

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