A Credible, Incredible Gospel
Text: 1 Peter 1:10-12 | Listen to Message
“All religions are just different paths to the same God.”
“Religion is just a fairy tale, and only fools believe in fairy tales.”
“There’s nothing unique about Christianity. It’s just another copycat religion.”
“With so many religions in the world, who’s to say theirs is the right one? Just live and let live.”
If you interact with our relativistic, pluralistic culture around the subject of religion, it won’t be long before you hear a bunch of statements like these. All religions get thrown in a blender and treated as if they all claim and promise the same things. They don’t.
Peter was writing to an audience with similar questions and challenges to the ones of believers today. “How can we be sure we’ve chosen the right faith? How can we be sure we’re serving the right God? How can we be sure the Bible is true? How can we be sure this Jesus is worth suffering for? Why put our hope in this?”
Peter’s answer is because the Gospel is credible. It’s rooted in real space-time events that were observed by thousands of people. Furthermore, these actual historic events weren’t just a random bolt out of the blue; they were predicted 400-1400 years before they happened – and dozens of them have already been fulfilled with stunning precision by one man: Jesus of Nazareth.
No other religion can make this claim. No other faith tradition can point to a pattern of fulfilled prophecies and ask, “Now do you believe?”
But Christianity can ask this question without hesitation or embarrassment. You see it here: As Peter encourages the faith of these elect Christian exiles, he reminds them that the Old Testament prophets forewitnessed both the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. For example:
Genesis 3:15 – He would be wounded by Satan but ultimately crush him.
Isaiah 7:14 – He would be born of a virgin.
Micah 5:2 – He would come from Bethlehem.
2 Samuel 7:12-16 – He would be a direct descendant of King David.
Zechariah 11:12-13 – He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.
Psalm 22 – He would be crucified while others ridiculed and cast lots for his clothes.
Daniel 9:26 – He would be killed before the destruction of the Second Temple.
Isaiah 53:9 – He would be buried in a rich man’s grave.
Psalm 16:10 – He would be raised from the dead.
It’s simply not true that Christianity is just like every other religion. The truth is it’s not like any other religion. Consider this:
Religion gives you a law to obey, a promise to keep, a path to follow. The Gospel gives you a person, Jesus, who obeyed for you.
Religion says good people get in and bad people get left out. The Gospel says we’re all sinners and we’re saved by grace through faith.
Religion says salvation is found in what you achieve. The Gospel says salvation is found in what you receive.
Religion says, “Just trust me that this is true.” The Gospel gives us a mountain of verifiable evidence.
This is why I say the Gospel is simultaneously credible (because it’s verifiable and trustworthy) and incredible (because the hope it offers in Christ is mind-blowingly awesome)! Do you see now at least a glimpse of why this Jesus can be trusted, even if we must suffer for his sake?