Posts in the "Series" Category

Prepared to Give an Answer: “There Are Many Ways to God” Be Prepared to Answer Pluralism

Sunday Sermon Series Prepared to Give an Answer

Key verse for this series: 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to be gentle and respectful when discussing issues with people who disagree with us, and that we need to be prepared to give an answer. 

Pluralism is the idea that ALL religions offers legitimate paths to God. NO single religion has a monopoly on how to be saved. In religious pluralism all roads lead to God. A pluralist is okay with stating that all truth claims are equally valid. It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere. … If you ask three blind people to touch an elephant and say what it is, one might touch the trunk and say it’s a snake, Another might touch the tusk and say it’s a spear. The third might touch the tail and say it’s a rope. None is more right or wrong than the others and all reached their own conclusions based on the information they had. The Pluralist will tell you that’s how religion is too. 

The Biblical worldview says: 

  1. There is only one way to God and Heaven and that is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:10, 12). … This is an exclusive truth claim. There is no way for it to accommodate other religions. 

  2. Christianity is unique because it is based on grace, not works. … Our society is all about works and what we have accomplished. Fame is gained through works, good or bad. But Christianity is upside down and everything is based on grace, There is no work we can do to gain salvation. Only the grace of God can save us. Other religions require works and don’t offer certainty of salvation. 

  3. God has become human in order to die in our place (Philippians 2:6-8; Romans 3:23-26). … We are all sinners and need salvation. Christianity offers assurance of salvation because it doesn’t require works. The hard part is done and all we have to accept the grace of God and believe in Christ. 

What evidence is there that Christianity is a more plausible worldview than pluralism? 

  1. All religions cannot be true because they make exclusive truth claims. This is called the Law of Non-Contradiction. … Different religions contradict each other. They refer to different gods and different paths to their god(s) and different end results. There is no way to reconcile all religions. … Any time we make a truth claim, we say that anything contradicting it is false. 

  2. No other religion addresses the problem of sin and the need for atonement. The truth is in the Gospel. … Many religions offer no guarantee of salvation because they are works-based and rely on a scale. You have to hope your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds. Christianity offers assurance of salvation through the grace of God. 

Chew and Spit: 

  • Christianity is not intolerant and unloving because of its exclusive truth claims. … We are often told we are intolerant because of these claims, but other religions also make exclusive truth claims and are deemed tolerant. 

  • The Bible teaches us to live peacefully with those of differing worldviews, not through silence but through example of faith. … When we treat people without respect and gentleness we are being intolerant. We should listen to others and treat them respectfully. … When Daniel and his friends were taken to Babylon and told to eat food that was against the Law God had given them, they respectfully declined and ended up healthier than the rest of the men. They didn’t set up organized protests or call anyone names. They responded peacefully without compromising their beliefs. This is seen throughout Daniel’s life as he refused to bow down to the golden statue and he refused to stop praying to God. 

  • Culture has tried to redefine the meaning of tolerance. … Too often it seems as though tolerance simply means that we agree with the popular view. If we disagree, we are labeled intolerant by those who claim to be tolerant. 

Prepared to Give an Answer:“Is the Bible Really True?” Be Prepared to Answer Skepticism

Sunday Sermon Series Prepared to Give an Answer

Key verse for the series: 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to gently and respectfully respond to those who question our faith. We’ve looked at a few ways to do that already. This week we look at how to do that when skeptics are asking the questions. 

There is a certain amount of skepticism needed in life. That’s the idea behind the ”chew and spit” part of each sermon in this series. However, there is an unhealthy skepticism in our culture and this sermon will look at three of the most common questions or claims made by skeptics. 

Skepticism says we cannot know truth even if it exists. Skeptics ask, “How can we be sure?” 

Chew and Spit: 

  • We want our kids to be skeptics to an extent (1 Thessalonians 5:21; Acts 17:11; John 20:25). 

What Skeptics Say About the Bible:

  1. “The Bible is full of contradictions and errors.”
    Minor discrepancies characterize eyewitness accounts. These can often be harmonized. Archaeology has repeatedly proven the Bible to be in small details previously unknown to us. … The book Cold Case Christianity looks at these discrepancies and determines that these discrepancies add validity to the eyewitness accounts. It’s written by a homicide detective who was not a believer before he studied the discrepancies in the New Testament … One example of a discrepancy that has caused people to lose faith is Mark 2:26. … An example of the Bible being proven right is the existence of the Hittites., For the longest time, the Bible was the only record of their existence until an archaeological dig discovered physical evidence that they existed. 

  2. “The Bible has been changed over the years.”
    Recent discoveries of ancient manuscripts like the Dead Sea Scrolls show the Bible has not changed substantially during the centuries it was hand copied. … The Dead Sea scrolls are 95% the same as the next oldest scrolls we have. The people who copied the scriptures followed meticulous methods that helped ensure the accuracy of their copy. … Many of the actual discrepancies that exist are one letter differences like John being spelled with one ‘n’ or two ‘n’s. They have no significance to the actual message.

  3. “The stories in the Bible are myths or legends.”
    Legends require a long period of time to develop, but the Bible was written by eyewitnesses (John 19:35; 2 Peter 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Luke 1:1-4). … There is a partial manuscript of John that dates back to 90 A.D. The authors of the new Testament all claim to be eyewitnesses or to have interviewed eyewitnesses. 

Prepared to Give An Answer: “True for You but Not for Me” Be Prepared to Answer Postmodernism and Relativism

Sunday Sermon Series Prepared to Give an Answer

The key verse for this series is 1 Peter 3:15 which tells us to gently and respectfully defend our faith. Colossians 2:8 also tells us to make sure we are not taken “captive by hollow and deceptive philosophy.” 

Postmodernism says there is no objective truth. All truth claims are subjective. Relativism says there is no absolute right or wrong. It says those who believe in absolute truth are intolerant … Before the Modern era, the common belief was that truth comes from God. The Modern era made the idea that truth comes from reason popular. Now in the Postmodern era, the idea that there is no objective truth has become popular. Relativism is closely related to Postmodernism and adds that truth claims aren’t only relative, but also are only for grabbing power. 

The Biblical worldview say: 

  1. Truth exists and comes from God (Isaiah 45:19; John 18:37; 16:13; 17:17). … God is the reference point. He tells us the truth. Jesus’ life was about revealing the truth to us. The Spirit guides us in truth. We are sanctified by God’s Word, which is truth.

  2. Right and wrong come from the nature of a Holy God (1 Peter 1:15-16). … God wants us to be like Him, set apart from evil. 

  3. God placed a sense of right and wrong in our hearts and consciousnesses (Romans 2:14-15). … We have a sense of rightness and morality that comes from God. That sense can be corrupted but we do all have one.

Chew and Spit: 

  • We agree that moral choices are not always clear. It is often difficult to know what to do in a fallen world (Exodus 1:15-21). …Not everything is black or white. Even Paul struggled with this regarding eating meat … When the Israelites were in Egypt and Pharaoh ordered the midwives to kill all the male babies, they let the babies live. Then they lied to Pharaoh about it and God rewarded them. Sometimes a lie is ok, but only under extenuating circumstances.

  • We do not agree relativism produces tolerance … Relativism claims to be inclusive but excludes anything it deems intolerant, thus making it intolerant itself. 

How can we be prepared to answer postmodernism and relativism? 

Gently point out the consequences of relativism: Are you willing to say that slavery, murder, rape, or human trafficking is wrong for some but not others? Was the Holocaust wrong or just wrong for some people? 

Postmodernism is inconsistent. Postmodern architects must use objective truths to make their buildings stand up. Math is all about absolute truths. Engineering relies on math. Buildings stand because their designers engineered it to. Even postmodern architecture that looks chaotic with stairs going nowhere and columns holding up nothing, still stand on those absolute truths. 

Jesus is the truth. He wants us to know the truth and build our lives on the truth.

Prepared to Give an Answer: “Nature Is All There Is” Be Prepared to Answer Naturalism

Sunday Sermon Series Prepared to Give an Answer


The Bible tells us that we should be prepared to give answers and defend our faith (1 Peter 3:15). We aren’t going to argue people into being saved and we shouldn’t respond with harshness or hate, but with gentleness and respect. This series will cover five different worldviews that conflict with the Biblical worldview and how we can respond to supporters of those worldviews. The first one we’re going to look at is Naturalism. 

Naturalism (or Materialism) says that matter and energy is all there is. There is no supernatural. Natural causes explain everything. Science is the only means to knowledge … Carl Sagan once said “the cosmos is all there is, or ever was, or ever will be.” Sagan is an atheist who, like many atheists, hold the Naturalistic worldview. 

The Biblical worldview says: 

  1. There is a God who is eternal (Psalm 90:1-2; Exodus 3:14; Hebrews 13:8). … We believe in a God who has existed forever and will exist forevermore. He had no beginning and will have no end. 

  2. God created everything (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3; Revelation 4:11). … God is eternal but everything else has a beginning and an end. God is the creator of all things. 

  3. God reveals Himself through His creation (Romans 1:20). … The things God creates mirrors some His qualities. 

Let’s introduce a concept called “chew and spit.” It’s a bit of a weird name, but it means we need to take everything we hear and chew it a bit, see if it’s good, and spit out that which is bad. We don’t want to reject anything without considering it first. 

Chew and Spit: 

  • Religion is not opposed to science. Science is a good gift from God. 

  • Science is not the only way to knowledge. If you say, “Nature is all there is,” how do you prove that statement by science? 

What evidence is there that Christianity is a more plausible worldview than Naturalism? 

  1. Science says the universe had a beginning. Things that begin to exist have a cause. The universe has a cause that was before the universe and superior to the universe … This argument is the “argument of cause.” The Biblical worldview agrees and gives a plausible answer, some would say more plausible than others. Science says a big bang created everything, but what caused the big bang, or who caused it? The Bible says it was God. 

  2. Science says the universe is fine-tuned to support life. This precision design is best explained by a designer … The precision required for the universe to support life on Earth is pretty crazy. If one aspect of our universe were just slightly different, there would be no life in the universe. Their answer for this precise design is the multiverse theory, That theory suggests that there is an infinite number of universes and that in the multiverse there must be one that is fine-tuned enough to support life. That would also require an infinite number of big bangs. Does that really make more sense than an eternal God creating everything?

Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection: Jesus Is Buried and Rises from the Dead

Sunday Sermon Series Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection Holidays Easter

Matthew 27:57-28:20

Jesus is buried by Joseph (Matthew 27:57-61). … This was not Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. This was Joseph of Arimathea, a follower of Jesus. The other gospels tell us that he was part of the Sanhedrin and did not vote for Christ to die. The tomb Jesus would have been buried in would have been easy to close and difficult to open by design.

Why is the burial of Jesus important?

  1. It is evidence He was dead.

  2. It fulfills the prophecy that the Savior would be buried with the rich. … Isaiah 53:9 predicted this.

  3. It is the basis of the symbolism of baptism. … When we are baptized we are fully immersed in water, symbolizing death and burial, and then we come back up from the water, symbolizing the resurrection.

The tomb is sealed and guarded (Matthew 27:62-66). … There was concern that the disciples or other followers would attempt to pull off a hoax and steal the body, so the tomb was sealed and a guard was posted.

The tomb is empty and Jesus is risen (Matthew 28:1-15). … When the two Marys and a few others came to the tomb with spices, the tomb opened up and an angel appeared. The angel isn’t described as some cute little winged baby, but as a great being that imposes fear and awe on those who see him. He tells the women to come and see that Jesus is risen and then to go and tell others about what they have seen. … On their way to tell others, they met Jesus and worshipped Him. … Important note: the tomb was not opened so Jesus could leave, but so that the witnesses could come and see. Jesus didn’t need an open grave in order to leave. … Then we read that when the religious leaders heard about this they paid off the guards to say the disciples must have come in the middle of the night while they slept and took the body. Neither side, believers or non-believers, from the 1st century dispute the evidence of the empty tomb. Rather, the non-believers believe that the disciples came to the tomb in the middle of the night and opened the tomb while the guards slept and took the body, all without waking the guards.

Jesus appears to His disciples in Galilee (Matthew 28:16-20).

Jesus says:

  1. All authority has been given to Me. … Jesus has power over everything, even death.

  2. Go and make disciples, baptizing them and teaching them to obey my commands. … This is the great commission we are given, to go and make disciples of all people.

  3. I will be with you always. … No matter where we go, what we do, who we are with, Jesus is always there. His Spirit is with us.

Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest. Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection: Jesus Is Crucified

Sunday Sermon Series Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection Holidays Easter

Matthew 27:11-54

Early Friday morning, Jesus stands trial before Pilate (Matthew 27:11-25). … Jesus has been interrogated by the Jews all night long and they want to execute Him, but they don’t have the legal power to do it, so they take Him to the ruling Roman governor, Pilate. Pilate questions Jesus and realizes Jesus has nothing wrong and sends Him to Herod Antipas but Herod sends Him back not wanting the mistake of Jesus’ death on his hands either (Luke 23:6-12). Finally, Pilate gives the Jews a choice to set Jesus free or to set a known criminal named Barabas free. They chose to free the known criminal and yelled “crucify Him” about Jesus. (Don’t let this verse lead to anti-semitism. The Jews are God’s chosen people and Christians should have no part in hating them.)

Jesus is beaten, mocked, and crowned with thorns (Matthew 27:26-30). … Jesus is hailed as the King of the Jews, so they give him a sceptre and a crown of thorns.

Jesus s forced to carry His cross to the place of execution (Matthew 27:31-33). … Jesus struggled to carry His cross after such a beating and they made a man named Simon of Cyrene to carry it further, to Golgotha, the place of the skull.

At 9:00 AM, Jesus is crucified (Matthew 27:34-37). … While on the cross, Jesus was offered some wine with gall/myrrh which may have been an act of mercy to help dull the pain or may have been intended as another mocking gesture. Either way, Jesus refused it. Below Him the guards gambled for His clothes. Over His head a sign reads “King of the Jews”. On either side there are criminals also on crosses.

Jesus is mocked by those around Him (Matthew 27:38-44). … Those who walked by mocked and taunted Him. And not only Him, but also God’s plan, whether they knew it or not.

At noon, the sky becomes dark (Matthew 27:45; Amos 8:9-10). … This may well be the result of creation mourning the death of its Creator. Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 are great prophecies of Jesus’ death,but a lesser known prophecy is found in Amos 8:9-10 which prophecies the darkness and that the event would occur during a religious festival.

At 3:00 PM, Jesus dies (Matthew 27:46-50). … Jesus , the Son, experiences separation from the Father, experiences being forsaken. He cries out “eli, eli, lama sabachthani” (“my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) and the crowd thought He was crying out for Elijah. They gave Him wine with vinegar and listened for what else He might say. Then He cried out once more and died.

When Jesus dies, two things split open:

  1. The temple curtain (Matthew 27:51) … This is the veil that separated the outer room from the inner room, the holy of holies. The tear signifies the end of the need for the sacrificial system. The perfect sacrifice has been given. Now we all have the ability to directly pray to God and have no need for priest to mediate for us.

  2. Rock and tombs (Matthew 27:52-54) … Rocks and tombs opened up. And after the resurrection some of the holy men who had died rose and walked among the people.

After Jesus died, his guards, the centurions, saw all this and proclaimed, “surely, this is the son of God.” It’s a proclamation from the lips of a gentile, one that shows us that anyone can believe, not just Jews.

Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest. Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection: Jesus Is Arrest and Put on Trial

Sunday Sermon Series Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection Holidays Easter

Matthew 26:31-27:5

Setting: It’s late Thursday evening and they’ve just eaten supper. They were probably on their way back to the house they were staying at in Bethany.

There are four main characters in this passage. Can you identify with any of these four?

Jesus predicts that His disciples will desert Him (Matthew 26:31-32).

Peter says he will never fall away (Matthew 26:33-35). … Peter is guilty of overestimating himself, which is a dangerous trap we can all fall into.

Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, where He is betrayed by Judas (Matthew 26:38-39, 47-49, 53-54). … This garden seems to be a place where Jesus would have prayed in often. He left eight of his disciples in one area and took three of His inner circle with Him where He experienced anguish. Then He left those three and fell on His face to pray. He prayed to have the cup of God’s wrath taken away from Him, but He understood what must be done and why. Earlier that night He shared the cup of redemption, representing His blood, with His disciples. We will all drink from one of these two cups, and the one we all deserve is the one full of wrath. Fortunately for us, Jesus has taken that drink for us so that we may drink from the cup of redemption, of salvation. He prayed this three times as His disciples kept falling asleep. … Eventually Judas shows up with the priests and some soldiers to arrest Jesus. Peter cuts off an ear of one of them with his sword and Jesus rebuked Peter, saying He could have many legions of angels there to fight if that was His desire, and healed the man’s ear. This tells us Jesus died voluntarily when He easily could have saved Himself.

Jesus is arrested and taken to home of Caiaphas, the high priest (Matthew 26:57, 63-64, 67-68). … During the trial Jesus doesn’t answer their questions and there really isn’t enough evidence to convict Him of anything. Then Caiaphas gets the idea to directly ask Him if He is the Messiah. Jesus confirms the accusation and makes a bold statement that explains he calls Himself the Son of Man, referring to a prophecy from the Old Testament (Daniel 7:13).

Peter denies Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75). Judas regrets his betrayal and kills himself (Matthew 27:1-5). … Peter denies being a follower of Jesus just as Jesus predicted. Judas realized he had betrayed an innocent man and tried to return the money. They wouldn’t take it and he killed himself.

All four of these men were religious people, but we are told only two of them knew God and would go to Heaven.

Caiaphas was religious but was only out to protect his own position and status.

Judas was one of the twelve disciples and apparently blended in quite well. He came to regret what he did but to repentance.

Peter failed but he got came to repentance and got back up to become a great leader in the church.

Jesus submitted to the Father’s plan even though He did not want to.

Are you like any of these?

Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection: Jesus Eats the Last Supper with His Disciples

Sunday Sermon Series Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection Holidays Easter

Matthew 26:17-30

Jesus instructs Peter and John to prepare the Passover meal (Matthew 26:17-20). … The disciples asked Jesus where they should go to set up for Passover, and Jesus gave them some specific instructions, which the Gospel of Luke tells us even more about. So Peter and John went and followed the instructions and everything went as Jesus said. … It’s possible that this room they set up and ate in is the upper room in Mary’s, the mother of John Mark, the author of the Gospel of Mark, house. This is supported by a couple of passages in Acts. … So, they likely set up the meal at u-shaped table where they would recline. In John we learn that the disciples argued about who is greater, then Jesus washed their feet to illustrate a powerful point about humility and servant leadership.

While they are eating the meal, Jesus reveal that one of the twelve disciples will betray Him (Matthew 26:21-25). … When Jesus makes this revelation He also implies man free will to opt in or out of God’s plans and certainly also to refuse the devil. Jesus has washed Judas’ feet and warned him and shown him great love even though Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him.

During the meal, Jesus institutes what we call the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-28). … The bread, which was unleavened, represents His body that was broken for us. Why is it unleavened? Because it goes back to the Exodus when the Israelites left Egypt and didn’t have time to add yeast to their bread. Normally, yeast represents evil in the Bible and before the Passover each family would search through their house and throw out any yeast. Do you have any yeast, any sins, you need to throw out of your life? … Then Jesus took a cup of wine (which would have been mixed with water, 3 parts water and 1 part wine), the cup of redemption. He calls it His blood of the covenant, blood that is poured out for the forgiveness of our sins, blood that covers our sins and the shame and guilt from those forgiven sins. If you have sins that you still commit or haven’t confessed then that shame and guilt will remain and won’t be covered until you take those sins and put them away and confess them before God.

Jesus predicts a future time of fellowship in the Father’s Kingdom. They sing a hymn (Psalm 118:22-24), and go out to the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26:29-30). … Jesus didn’t finish the Passover meal. Instead, He said there is a time coming when they will all feast together again. The last words of the psalm they sang are prophetic. In Acts 4:10-12 Peter realizes this and professes it in front of the Sanhedrin. Jesus is the cornerstone that was rejected and is the only way to salvation.

Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection: Jesus Is Honored and Betrayed

Sunday Sermon Series Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection Holidays Easter

Matthew 26:1-16

It was time for Passover. Historians estimate that the population of Jerusalem increased tenfold for Passover, which worse than Bonnaroo in Manchester. Jesus and His disciples also traveled there to celebrate the Passover, but Jesus also had another reason for coming. They likely stayed with Lazarus and his sisters in Bethany before heading into Jerusalem proper.

The events in this passage occur on Tuesday evening. … This is just a couple of days before the Passover.

Jesus predicts He will be handed over to be crucified on Passover (Matthew 26:1-2). The chief priests scheme to arrest Jesus, but not until after the seven day feast of unleavened bread (Matthew 26:3-4). … Jesus knew the plan and what would actually happen better than the chief priests did. They thought they could wait and try to avoid riots, but Jesus, in His sovereignty, had other plans.

Mary pours perfume on Jesus while He is eating dinner. The perfume is worth 300 denari, or about a year’s wages (Matthew 26:6-13). … This act by Mary symbolizes Jesus being anointed as king, just as old kings of Israel were anointed with oil. Judas, the treasurer of the disciples, wondered why she would waste such costly perfume instead of selling it and giving the proceeds to the poor. He also embezzled from that fund and saw this as a wasted chance for income for himself. Jesus rebuked him and explained to them all once more what was going to happen.

Judas agrees to hand Jesus over to the chief priests. The price is 30 pieces of silver, about a month’s pay (Matthew 26: 14-16).

What is your valuation of Jesus? … Mary valued Him more than her most valuable possession. Judas valued Him at a month’s wages. … We may not have a bottle of perfume worth a year’s pay, but We have life. We can live our lives for Jesus, reach others for Him and His kingdom. There’s nothing more valuable than that.

A Defense of the Gospel of Salvation by Faith in Jesus: The Law of the Harvest: You Reap What You Sow

Sunday Sermon Series Galatians


Galatians 6:7-18

The law of the harvest states that you always harvest what you plant. … This law applies to many things, not just farming. One area is the spiritual realm. Let’s what “this means.”

This means you can’t fool or outwit God (Galatians 6:7). You cannot get by with sin. Every sin will be judged. See also Matthew 12:36; Luke 12:2-3; 2 Corinthians 5:10. The only relief from the law of the harvest is in the death of Jesus. … Every sin will receive a corresponding punishment. Yes, every sin. Sometimes the punishment comes in this life in the form of consequences, but all will be taken into account on the day of judgment. Fortunately for us, Jesus took the punishment for all our sin when He died on the cross. … This is also the reason we shouldn’t take revenge upon those who have sinned against us. We can rest in the mercy and judgment of God.

This means it is extremely important what you put into your mind and how you invest your life (Galatians 6:8). … When our goal is to appease our fleshly desires, the ultimate outcome is rot and destruction, but when the goal is to please the Spirit then we reap rewards of eternal life. What we put in our mind affects what we sow. For example, if we hold a grudge towards others then that will work its way into the relationship and we won’t reap harmony.

This means the work you do for the Kingdom will bear fruit if you do not give up (Galatians 6:9). … The danger that would shortchange the harvest is that we quit. There’s a time gap between sowing and reaping, between planting and harvesting. This time gap can be frustrating and cause us to lose heart.

This means it is important for us to invest our lives in ministry while there is time or opportunity (Galatians 6:10). … We have an obligation to not only minister to other believers, but also to non-believers and to sow the Gospel among them and to reap the harvest.

Galatians 6:11-18 is the conclusion to this letter. He gives his mark of authenticity and reinforces the main point in the letter, that salvation is by faith in Jesus alone.