Acts 4:12 NIV “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
When we talk to people about God we use all the various arguments of reason at our disposal to get them to look at the concept of God and specifically Jesus, because in the end, it’s Jesus that we need them to actually look at. In our society, it’s primarily the concept of acknowledging God’s existence that presents the major stumbling block. Key word being “primarily”. There are always exceptions such as different religions and a host of other side issues or disagreements.
I understand and agree with the requirement or need to be conversant with the various arguments of reason, to be aware of the evidence, to be able to defend our faith as evidential and rational. It’s the means that we use to get people to open the door of their minds, to entertain the possibility of, to actually examine the life of Jesus, who He is and what He accomplished.
But none of what I call the “discovery phase” produces faith, it just opens the door to the possibility of faith. We see this in countless blog posts, including my own, where every conceivable objection to Christianity or the probability of God, in all of it’s various forms or arguments is expounded upon. There are other types of Christian blog posts too, be they personal, a scripture study or topical as some examples. But in order to actually begin to have faith, we initially need to be exposed to the Word of God because it is through the Gospel that we come fact to face with the person of Jesus.
Romans 10:17 NIV “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
FAITH IS PERSONAL
And faith is personal, I can understand, acknowledge and appreciate the faith of others but faith or trusting in Jesus, needs to be established within me, to make it my own. God doesn’t have grandchildren, we don’t inherit faith from someone else. And this personal aspect is where the relationship takes root, where God’s Spirit within us, the springs of water within us, begin to flow. I could tell you many stories of how Jesus answered my prayers, guided me, instructed me, touched my heart, but I’m not going to. My stories aren’t really important, yours are. When I come to the end of my days and my departure is near, I won’t be focusing on what God did for you, I will be focusing on what God did for me, and the love, faith and trust that has developed between us over the years. It’s much like how we prepare ourselves for prayer, when we kneel before Him and seek to come into His presence.
The understanding of His Holiness takes time, the understanding of His wisdom and majesty takes time, the understanding of the depth of His love and forgiveness takes time. The beauty of this growth in understanding is that it never stops. A relationship with God is interaction between God and us, individually, personally. It’s precious. That’s one of the reasons why prayer is so important, especially personal prayer. It’s between Jesus and me, Jesus and you.
1 John 2:1 NIV “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
So don’t underestimate the importance of your “personal testimony” when speaking to others, don’t underestimate the importance of “speaking from your heart” about how knowing Jesus has changed your life. I’ve had instances when God has told me this is exactly what He wants me to do. Knowing the arguments and reasons for our faith is obviously important, indispensable, required, but be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Develop that personal relationship with Jesus, with our heavenly Father, with the Holy Spirit. Study His Word and spend time with God in prayer, every day. Because when it’s all said and done, it’s not just what we know that is important but more importantly, who we know.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!