Wisdom – the final frontier to true knowledge. Welcome to Wisdom-Trek where our mission is to create a legacy of wisdom, to seek out discernment and insights, and to boldly grow where few have chosen to grow before.
Hello, my friend, I am Guthrie Chamberlain, your captain on our journey to increase wisdom and create a living legacy. Thank you for joining us today as we explore wisdom on our 2nd millennium of podcasts. This is Day 1176 of our trek, and it is Worldview Wednesday.
Creating a Biblical worldview is important to have a proper perspective on today’s current events. To establish a Biblical worldview, you must also have a proper understanding of God and His Word. On our Worldview Wednesday episodes we are in a series in which we are covering another detailed review of a book from one of today’s most prominent Hebrew Scholars Dr. Micheal S. Heiser. We are taking a deep dive and will share Dr. Heiser’s insights into the question, which is also the title of his book “What Does God Want?”
You might think Dr. Heiser answered this already. He sort of did, at least in a roundabout way. But in light of his experience in Christian circles, he felt he needs to be blunt.
Why do we need the gospel? Because without it, we have no hope of everlasting life with God. Zero. We are estranged from God because of sin. Believing the gospel is the remedy.
The Bible describes our predicament in several ways. Jesus said in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” In Ephesians 2:4-5 we are told, “But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” We were “alienated from God” (Ephesians 4:18) and “hostile” toward him (Colossians 1:21) because we were his “enemies” (Romans [5:10]). It’s not a pretty picture.
The biblical story we walked through explains why we are what we are. We aren’t born into the family of God. We’re outsiders. Yet God wants us in the family. Lacking God’s nature, we abuse our intelligence and freedom to get what we want, often harming others in the process. We live in self-destructive ways. When we don’t image God and break his laws and when we violate, manipulate, and otherwise abuse others, we sin. We are, by nature, sinners—self-absorbed and rebellious. Romans 3:23 makes it clear, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
It is easy to read these verses and be depressed or angry. But the good news of the gospel story is that God knew all that and loved us anyway. It’s also useful for the reason that may never have occurred to you. It’s what makes the gospel entirely different than any other religion’s teaching about salvation. Every other religion either denies sin is a problem or says the solution is human performance—repeating rituals, saying prayers, observing religious days, or otherwise being good.
To be blunt, only the gospel is honest about the human situation and human inability to do a thing about it. Other religions in effect “lie to you”— they tell you that you can fix the problem of your own distance from God or that you don’t have a problem. The gospel is the only truth that tells you God had to provide the solution and did. The gospel is transparently honest. It tells you the truth even though it hurts. That shows love. Lying to you isn’t love.
Then the question that comes to our minds is, “Are there other ways to be saved?”
Dr. Heiser, more or less, just answered this, but he also approaches the question from a different angle.
God offers forgiveness, salvation, and everlasting life with him for free. It’s not something earned or deserved. In fact, it cannot be earned or deserved. What’s required is the belief or faith—that is putting one’s trust in God’s promise and the completeness of what Jesus did.
But believing the gospel means not believing other teachings or ideas about salvation. The Bible says that there is no other way of salvation. Think about it. Why would God the Father send his son Jesus to die such a horrible death on the cross if there were any other way for you to enter Heaven? The Son had to become a man, and death had to be overcome. This was the only way, and believing in God’s plan is the only way of salvation. There is no person besides Jesus who can save as we learn in Acts 4:12, “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
Jesus himself put it very bluntly as recorded in John 14:6, “Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.'”
There’s no ambiguity there. No one becomes a member of God’s forever-family except through what Jesus has done. You don’t add the gospel to other beliefs. It is exclusive. Believing the gospel means turning away from other beliefs. That’s one aspect of what the Bible calls repentance. There are others, but they’re best addressed in the next part of our conversation, which we will reserve for next week.
That will conclude our lesson for this week from Dr. Heiser’s book “What Does God Want?” Next Worldview Wednesday, we will discover what the gospel isn’t. I believe you will find each Worldview Wednesday an interesting topic to consider as we build our Biblical worldview.
Tomorrow we will continue with our 3-minute humor nugget that will provide you with a bit of cheer and help you to lighten up and live a rich and satisfying life. So encourage your friends and family to join us and then come along with us tomorrow for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.
If you would like to listen to any of our past 1175 treks or read the Wisdom Journal, they are available at Wisdom-Trek.com. I encourage you to subscribe to Wisdom-Trek on your favorite podcast player so that each day’s trek will be downloaded automatically.
As we take this trek together, let us always:
I am Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Everyday! See you on tomorrow!