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Scripture Reading: John 20:24-29
"Do Not Be Unbelieving"
1. Men offer experience, logic and wisdom as the basis for faith.
a. Reject the gospel when it does not fit their parameters.
b. These will never satisfy as legitimate assessment of why we should have faith in God, in Jesus Christ and in the Bible as God’s word. Isa 55:8-9; Rom 1:21-22; 1 Cor 1:21.
2. God and His Christ teach us why we should believe, Jno 7:16-18.
3. Jno 20:24-31: What and why you should believe.
I. THE DILEMMA: “I was not there!” Jno 20:24-25
A. We were not there when Jesus Arose/Appeared, 20:24, 19-20.
1. Doubt existed after Peter and John saw the empty tomb, Jno 20:8-10.
2. Apostles initially rejected eyewitness testimony, Mk 16:11-13
3. Absence does not eliminate the possibility of faith, cf. Job 38:4; Psa 19:1; Rom 1:20.
B. Why Should We Believe Eyewitness Testimony?
1. Jesus rebuked this lack of faith, thereby affirming the legitimacy of credible eyewitness testimony on which to build faith, Mk 16:14.
2. Credible testimony must be given and must be heard.
C. God-Defined Reasons to Believe (basis for faith).
1. Faith in Christ is not built on superstition or blind fanatical emotion. Faith is reasonable and based on rational evidence.
2. Thomas desires to see the evidence.
3. Evidence for faith, Jno 14:7-11.
a. Words (teaching/testimony), 14:10; 3:11, 31-32.
b. Works (miracles), 14:11; 10:25, 37-38.
4. The evidence/reasons to believe Jesus is Christ, Jno 5:31-47.
a. Testimony of John, 5:33 (1:29-34).
b. The Father (Jesus’ miracles), 5:36-37; 11:42.
c. The Scriptures, 5:39; Acts 10:43. Fulfilled prophecy.
d. Moses, 5:46; Acts 3:22-23.
e. Words of Jesus, 5:47; 8:44-47.
f. Resurrection from the dead, Matt 12:39-40; Rom 1:4.
II. JESUS MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO BELIEVE, Jno 20:26-27.
A. Thomas Wanted to Examine the Evidence that Jesus was Alive from the Dead, cf. 20:19-20. Honest doubt turns into certain faith when evidence considered (then and now).
1. Thomas: Apostleship required having seen Jesus, Acts 1:22.
2. All believers: Words and confirming miracles, Mk 16:15-20.
a. Inspired record, 1 Jno 1:1-4.
b. Confident faith, Eph 3:1-5.
3. We must “reach out” and see the credibility of the witnesses (apostles) and they testimony (NT), 1 Cor 2:13; 2 Cor 4:7-15.
4. cf. Luke 1:1-4: Eyewitness testimony plus Luke’s “perfect understanding” produced a record by which Theophilus could “know the certainty” of the gospel!
III. CONFESSION OF FAITH, Jno 20:28.
A. “My Lord and My God!”
1. Jesus would have surely rebuked Thomas had this description not been appropriate.
2. Further testimony of deity of Jesus (cf. Jno. 1:1-3; 5:17-18; 8:57-59; 10:30-36).
3. This is the good confession (Acts 8:37).
IV. THE BLESSING OF FAITH, Jno 20:29.
A. Christ will Bless Faith, Heb 11:6.
1. Not blind faith; open hearts to assess the testimony, the credibility of the witnesses and believe the truth they have given, cf. Acts 17:2-4, 10-12.
2. Genuine faith rests on evidence and is blessed, 1 Pet 1:6-9.
B. That You May Believe, Jno 20:30-31.
1. Written testimony from credible witnesses, 20:31; Acts 1:8.
2. The object of faith: Life in His name, 20:31; 1 Jno 1:1-4.
1. There is fullness of joy in the faith of the gospel because of the eternal life it produces. Without faith there only fear and finally, death.
2. Your faith rests on solid ground (Heb 11:1):
a. Jesus was raised and the tomb was empty.
b. The apostles saw Him alive, and His gospel is certified genuine by many mighty miracles.
3. No escape if we neglect so great a salvation! Heb 2:3-4