This week, I read some interesting results from research recently conducted by the Barna Group. The article is entitled “What Do Americans Believe About Jesus? 5 Popular Beliefs.” It goes without saying that not everybody in Christianity agrees on everything about Jesus. That’s one of the reasons we have the many Christian denominations we currently do.
But the Bible reveals certain truths about Jesus that uniquely qualify Him to be the Savior of the world. That’s why what we believe about Jesus is important. In this post, I will use some points from Barna’s research as an occasion to touch on some vital truths about the person of Christ.
According to Barna’s research, most Americans believe Jesus was a real person. Ninety-two percent of American adults believe that. On the other hand, only 56% believe Jesus was deity. Twenty-six percent say He was just another religious or spiritual leader. The other 18 percent aren’t sure that Jesus was divine. Why is that a problem? Because if Jesus was only another religious or spiritual leader, He would not have been qualified to save us. Instead, He would have needed a Savior Himself.
Also, according to Barna’s research, most Americans believe Jesus was human and committed sins during His earthly life. Fifty-two percent believe either strongly or somewhat that this was true about Jesus. Again, the truth about Jesus in this regard is crucial. He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” the Bible says (Hebrews 4:15).
Note those last two words, “without sin.” The word “without” is from the Greek word Χωρις (pronounced kho- RECE), meaning separate or apart from. Jesus was not born with indwelling sin as we were. All of His temptations were external, and He never succumbed to any of them. This is the Jesus the Bible talks about. Any other depiction of Him reduces Him to just another human being. Based on Barna’s research, 52 percent of adults in America strongly or somewhat believe Jesus was merely human.
I might add that the percentages mentioned above are reflective of all adults. If we were to look at Barna’s findings for Millennials only, for example, the percentages for that group would be even less favorable to the biblical teachings on the person of Christ.
What I find encouraging about Barna’s research is that 92 percent of Americans believe Jesus was a real person. That means most don’t need to be convinced that Jesus was born and lived on earth. What they need is to know the truth about Christ who came and dwelt among us. He was not just a human being who lived and sinned on earth. He was God manifested in the flesh. He was tempted in all points like we are—yet without sin. This is the Jesus the Bible proclaims. This is the only Jesus who is qualified to be the Savior of the world.
Copyright © 2015 by Frank King. All rights reserved.