StoneBridge Community Church
This One Last Christmas
Pastor Jeff Cheadle
Locations & Times
  • StoneBridge Campus
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Monday 3:00 PM, Monday 5:00 PM, Monday 7:00 PM, Monday 9:00 PM
  • Growth Groups
    Simi Town Center Way, Simi Valley, CA 93065, USA
    Tuesday 6:00 AM

Online "Connection Card"

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The Annunciation to the Shepherds. Adam Pynacker. David Koetser Gallery, Zurich.

The Text in Context

J. Hampton Keathley, "Acclamations of the Birth of Christ (Luke 2:1-20)"
1. It really…
1. It really happened.

The Nativity by Gari Melchers.

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio, c. 1600. Sanssouchi Picture Gallery, Potsdam, Germany.

"As a literary historian, I am perfectly convinced that whatever else the Gospels are they are not legends. I have read a great deal of legend and I am quite clear that they are not the same sort of thing. They are not artistic enough to be legends. From an imaginative point of view they are clumsy, they don’t work up to things properly. Most of the life of Jesus is totally unknown to us, as is the life of anyone else who lived at that time, and no people building up a legend would allow that to be so. Apart from bits of the Platonic dialogues, there are no conversations that I know of in ancient literature like the Fourth Gospel. There is nothing, even in modern literature, until about a hundred years ago when the realistic novel came into existence. In the story of the woman taken in adultery we are told Christ bent down and scribbled in the dust with His finger. Nothing comes of this. No one has ever based any doctrine on it. And the art of inventing little irrelevant details to make an imaginary scene more convincing is a purely modern art. Surely the only explanation of this passage is that the thing really happened. The author put it in simply because he had seen it."
—C.S. Lewis, "What Are We to Make of Jesus Christ?" (1950).

The Historicity of Jesus Christ

"The cause we espouse is not grounded in a wispy vapor of antiquity, but on unshakable historical facts." —Wayne Jackson, "The Historicity of Jesus Christ" Christian Courier. Read article…

Is the New Testament Text Reliable?

"Can we know for certain that the New Testament has been handed down accurately? Yes, we can."—Greg Koukl, "Is the New Testament Text Reliable?" Stand To Reason website. Read more…
For Reflection/Discussion: What evidence do you see in Luke 2 that Luke's account of Jesus' birth is not a fairy tale, legend, metaphor, or myth? Why does Luke include so much historical and geographical detail in his account? How does this make the New Testament subject to evidence-based inquiry? In 1 John 1.1-4 John includes a number of verbs that assert that he is offering a first-hand, eyewitness account of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. Almost all of Jesus' disciples were executed for proclaiming the death and resurrection of Jesus rather than renouncing the story as an invention. How does this lend credibility to their testimony? Is the New Testament text reliable? How does Greg Koukl answer that question and what evidence does he appeal to for his conclusion?
2. It truly…
2. It truly matters.
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” —C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.

Tim Keller on Christmas

"The heart of the unique message of the Bible is that the transcendent immortal God came to earth himself and became weak, vulnerable to suffering and death. He did this all for us – all to atone for our sin, to take the punishment we deserved. If it is true, it is the most astonishing and radical act of self-giving and loving sacrifice that can be imagined." —Timothy Keller. Daily Keller: Wisdom from Tim Keller 365 Days a Year. Read more…
"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important." —C. S. Lewis, "Christian Apologetics" Essay Collection.
For Reflection/Discussion: What does it mean to say that Jesus is Savior, Messiah, and Lord? How is this different from being a good teacher?According to the New Testament, what are the two towering problems every human being faces that we are incapable of fixing by ourselves? What is sin? What evidence is there in your life and in the world around us that sin is real? Why are utopian dreams of human beings one day bringing about a perfect society, by whatever means, ultimately doomed to failure? If sin and death are stubborn facts of human life, what is the New Testament solution to our existential problems? What is your response to the statement in today's message that The ultimate self-deception and conceit is believing we aren't sinners and don't need saving?
3. It deserves…
3. It deserves a thoughtful, serious, heartfelt response.
For Reflection/Discussion: What are your thoughts on C.S. Lewis' observation: Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important. How seriously have you treasured the story of Jesus and pondered its meaning in your heart? How would an objective observer characterize your relationship with God: of little importance, moderately important, or truly important? If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

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