Reason to Believe

Proverbs 14:15 - ...the prudent man looketh well to his going.

Lesson 1: Reason to Believe (Pt. 1)


Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Jan. 10, 2024  |  Proverbs 14:15  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we introduce a new series of messages that will look at the fundamental relationship between faith and reason as it pertains to our trust in the Bible as God's word.  The basis for the series is a desire to be prudent rather than simple in choosing our way carefully.  No truth has more impact upon the Christian than the reliability of the Bible as God's word, for in its pages alone do we find the authoritative witness to truth.  Is our faith in the Bible valid?  Does trusting it require blind faith?  Or is there valid reason to believe it?  Answering these questions and more is the subject of this introductory message to the series. 

Lesson 2: Reason to Believe (Pt. 2)

Faith & Reason Are Not Enemies (Pt. 1)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Jan. 17, 2024  |  Hebrews 11:6  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we begin to deal with fundamental issues related to faith and reason, touching upon not only the necessity of faith, but also the fact that faith is the only logical response to the God of truth.  While God requires faith of men, this is not at the expense of reason, but as is natural outcome when we understand who He truly is.  Furthermore, we example the laws of logic and good thinking to learn that proper reason is rooted in the nature of God Himself, and this is what makes them true, accurate and reliable when properly applied.  The content serves to show that far from leading us away from God, good reason always leads us to Him who is the wellspring of all rational thought.

Lesson 3: Reason to Believe (Pt. 3)

Faith & Reason Are Not Enemies (Pt. 2)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Jan. 24, 2024  |  Proverbs 14:15  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we continue with a look at the characteristics of the laws of logic and their origin in the nature of God.  The laws that govern proper thinking and good reason, not only reflect God's mind, but also possess characteristics of being universal, invariable & abstract.  How can explain such things and know they are true when we are admittedly finite in our comprehension?  The answer is to be found in the Lawgiver from whom they spring and the character of His omnipotent and omniscient Being is manifest in them.  Lastly, man is created in the image of God and as such is capable of thinking God's thoughts after Him.  All of this works together to help understand that faith and reason are indeed not enemies, but friends united by the truth of God.

Lesson 4: Reason to Believe (Pt. 4)

God Invites Men to Reason With Him (Pt. 1)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Jan. 31, 2024  |  John 1:39; 1 Samuel 12:6-25; Isaiah 1:1-9, 18  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we take the next logical step in the progression toward our reason to believe.  Since God Himself is reasonable and has created make to likewise be a reasonable creature in a godlike sort, it is natural to find that God invites man to reason with Him.  On the one hand, this is astounding, for the Creator owes the created nothing, yet at the same time it is natural when considering that God is good and has an intended purpose.  Central to this study is the reality that truth does not run from reason.  God is unafraid of man's questions and is ever ready to deal with truth, if man is only willing.  Are we courageous enough to deal with truth? If so, God says, "Come now, and let us reason together."

Lesson 5: Reason to Believe (Pt. 5)

God Invites Men to Reason With Him (Pt. 2)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Feb. 7, 2024  |  Isaiah 41:1-8, 19-29  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube  |  The Probability of Prophecy

In this message, we examine the issue of fulfilled prophecy as a point of reason to believe God.  Who among the gods can call things that be not as though they were?  The answer is none, for there is none like the LORD.  In the comforting news to Israel in the midst of judgment, their hope is to be found in the Redeemer.  The promises of deliverance and restoration from the LORD can be trusted, though their present circumstances were bleak.  How can they know this when all is against them?  Well, according to God Himself, they can look at His track record and ability to prophesy and predict the future events concerning them with absolute accuracy.  By these, they might know that He is God!  This is for our learning.  The patience and comfort of the scriptures gives us hope and reason to believe the word of God and His promises to us!

Lesson 6: Reason to Believe (Pt. 6)

The Resurrection Validates Jesus of Nazareth (Pt. 1)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Feb. 14, 2024  |  1 Cor. 15:1-20; Acts 2:22-36; Heb. 1:1-5; Mt. 12:38-40; John 2:18-22  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we move on to the third step of our progression in the Reason to Believe study series.  At this stage, we are ready to consider whether or not the person of Jesus of Nazareth can be trusted.  Is He who He claims to be?  What can we look at in order to make a determination on Him and His words?  Is He credible and does He speak with divine authority sanctioning His words?  One of the best ways to make this determination is to look at God's declaration concerning His Son.  How does God tell us that He can be unmistakably identified and verified?  This lead us to the resurrection of Christ; the most significant event from the gospel period and the subject of prior testimony in the scriptures.  By this event, God made a declaration concerning His Son that is more than sufficient to give assurance to men who would seek the truth.  God's proof is prophetic, historical and sufficiently verified to give any honest seeker reason to believe.  These matters provide the basis for this initial study concerning the fact that the resurrection validates the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

Lesson 7: Reason to Believe (Pt. 7)

The Resurrection Validates Jesus of Nazareth (Pt. 2)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Feb. 21, 2024  |  1 Cor. 15:1-11  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we continue to examine the matter of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.  In the previous message, the emphasis was on the importance of the resurrection as it relates to the scriptures and the collective testimony of the God of the Bible.  In this installment, the emphasis shifts to the evidence for the historicity of the resurrections events based upon early, eyewitness testimony as found in 1 Corinthians 15.  In this key passage in Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he appeals to both matters and evidence for the bodily resurrection of the Lord.  Using this text as our foundation, we explore these issues to come to a conclusion on whether or not their is credible evidence and reason to believe upon Jesus of Nazareth as the risen Lord of glory.

Lesson 8: Reason to Believe (Pt. 8)

The Gospel Are Historically Reliable Accounts of Jesus

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  Feb. 28, 2024  |  Luke 1:1-4  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we continue our study with a look at a few points regarding the historicity of the Gospels themselves as written documents.  While the detailed studies of these matters go much deeper than anything covered in this message, our goal is simply to point out a few key points to show good reason in relying upon these records as authentic works of history.  Certainly as Bible believers, we understand the issue of inspiration that most certainly applies to these documents, but from the historical standpoint alone, we find good reason to believe that what is recorded provides us with an accurate view of the Jesus of history.  We may confidently listen to the words of the Lord recorded therein and come to an understanding of His own thoughts and views on the matters recorded.

Lesson 9: Reason to Believe (Pt. 9)

Jesus Recognized & Believed the Old Testament Scriptures (Pt. 1)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  March 6, 2024  |  John 10:31-39; Luke 24:25-27, 44-45  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we begin to look at the view of the Lord Jesus Christ on the scriptures.  What did Jesus think with respect to the authority of what had been written?  Was His view of scripture high?  Did He think all of it carried divine authority?  Is it infallible?  These and other questions can be answered from examining the words of the Lord in the gospels.  Through a series of interactions and teachings of the Lord, we come to an understanding of His mind that we might pattern our view of scripture accordingly.  This message explores those topic by identifying scripture and the component parts that went into it up to the time of Christ.

Lesson 10: Reason to Believe (Pt. 10)

Jesus Recognized & Believed the Old Testament Scriptures (Pt. 2)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  March 20, 2024  |  Luke 11:46-51  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we delve further into the subject of the Lord's personal view on the OT scriptures.  Specially, our emphasis in this message is gaining an understanding of the Lord's view on the historicity of the OT narratives with respect to specific individuals and events.  Surprisingly, much is spoken by the Lord along these lines and nested within His broader commentaries as recorded by the four gospel writers.  As we simply listen to the Lord speak on a variety of OT passages, the consistent theme is in confirmation of the historical reliability of the OT figures and events.  Jesus recognized and believed that the narratives of the OT scriptures are historical! 

Lesson 11: Reason to Believe (Pt. 11)

Jesus Recognized & Believed the Old Testament Scriptures (Pt. 3)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  March 27, 2024  |  Matthew 5:17-18  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we take the next logical step in asserting that the Lord recognized and believed the OT scriptures.  With a focus on the historical past of the OT and the Lord's literal view of it, we advance into His view of the future and the literal fulfillments of the OT prophecies.  In similar pattern to the last message, we simply allow the Lord to speak, hearing His words and comparing to the source prophecies from which His words were drawn.  In so doing, we glean a picture of His view of how the words spoken by the prophets would be fulfilled.  At every point, Jesus is shown to believe that the OT prophecies will be literally fulfilled, but in the judgment and in the blessings of the earthly kingdom.

Lesson 12: Reason to Believe (Pt. 12)

Jesus Pre-authenticated the New Testament Scriptures (Pt. 1)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  April 3, 2024  |  John 14:23-26; 15:24-27; 16:7-14  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we begin to consider the commonly called "New Testament" books of scripture.  Since the NT was written after Jesus had returned to the Father, we should not expect to find the same type of evidence from Him in support of these books as found with the OT.  However, while this is true, this does not mean that the words of Jesus are irrelevant to the subject in terms of setting our expection for its coming.  In fact, Jesus makes specific promises to His disciples concerning the ministry that the Spirit of truth will have with them in terms of showing them "things to come" and also calling to their remembrance the things which He had spoken to them.  As we look into John 14-16, we find some strong reason to believe that the NT as we currently possess it was in fact promised & pre-authenticated by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lesson 13: Reason to Believe (Pt. 13)

Jesus Pre-authenticated the New Testament Scriptures (Pt. 2)

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  April 10, 2024  |  John 13:20; 17:1-20, 20:21-23; Matthew 10:1-2a, 5-8, 40; 16:13-19; 18:18-20  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we focus our attention on the authority that the Lord Jesus Christ designated in the ministry of His apostles.  This authority had been given to them in a measure during the Lord's time present with them, but was even more so during the time of His absence after He returned to the Father.  Prior to His crucifixion and afterward on a number of occasions, Jesus spoke directly to this matter in their presence and the gospel records preserve for us a proper understanding of the gravity and weight of their apostolic ministry and authority.  This is a key to understanding how the Lord would communicate and authenticate His doctrine after His time on earth had concluded.

Lesson 14: Reason to Believe (Pt. 14)

Christ's Apostles Publicly Recognized Paul's Gentile Apostleship & Epistles

Bro. Joshua Edwards  |  April 17, 2024  |  Acts 1:1-5, 15-17, 21-26; Gal. 1:1-24; 2:1-10; 2 Pet. 3:15-16  |  Download Audio  |  Youtube

In this message, we conclude the series by taking a look at the reasonableness of recognizing Paul's epistles as scripture.  Using the foundation laid in the previous lesson, we explore an example from early Acts that shows us Peter's first use of kingdom authority in Christ's absence.  This concerns the selection of the twelfth apostle that would take the bishoprick which Judas had recently vacated.  In the selection of Matthias, we have a binding choice ahead of Pentecost that demonstrates the authority that Christ spoke about residing with His apostles.  This leads us to Paul and the Jerusalem council and the public recognition of the Lord's ministry & authority operating by his apostleship post Acts 15.  Using Galatians 1-2 as our base, we see the outcome of the meeting & establish the reasonableness of trusting Paul's epistles as inspired scripture.