Christians know plenty of people who are unwilling or unable to believe in Jesus Christ because we can’t prove His divinity, resurrection, truth and worth to them.
I have a driver’s license in my pocket that proves I am a licensed driver. Somewhere I have a diploma that proves I graduated from college. The fact that I am in church most Sundays proves … that I go to church.
But the Jesus license I carry in my heart is not something so easily revealed to, proved to, or understood by others. If Heaven is a diploma, I can’t dig in a dusty box and say, “See? Here it is.” If I attend and am involved in my church, it takes Jesus or other Christians to understand and judge my actions. The life we lead, the love we share, the servanthood we offer, the peace-patience-mercy we demonstrate, the perseverance we exhibit can all be evidence of Jesus Christ in our lives.
We all know lots of people with these generally “good person” traits – generosity, humility, a magnanimous spirit toward others; you know, nice folks – who would never darken the door of a church or seek the light of Jesus. To believe Jesus is real, they demand clear, unarguable evidence: a license, diploma or visible proof – not mystery.
The New Testament hammers home the centrality of faith as our proof and love as our purpose as the core of the Gospel truth, the good news of Jesus Christ.
A Christian’s demonstration of a loving attitude, exhibition of knowledge, or even an offering of works won’t be enough to “prove Christ” to an unbeliever. Anyone can be even-tempered, bright and generous; anyone can be deceived by “a fine-sounding argument” (Colossians 2:4). Faith is bigger than actions or argument.
God loves us enough to sacrifice the most precious life He knows – that of His son Jesus – to cover the sin of man’s worldly existence. No government bureau or academic institution can issue that kind of credential; only the Holy Spirit can. The joy of being a Christian is our shared, loving relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ thanks to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.
The Jews and Gentiles of Jesus’ time had a similar problem accepting the reality of Jesus, because Jesus wasn’t one to fully disclose, codify, or systematize the truth He brought of God’s love. “Jesus doesn’t fully disclose himself because faith only develops if you make your own discovery,” teaches Christian scholar Dr. George Bebawi.
Our faith is our proof; sharing God’s love is our purpose.
That’s the point Jesus was trying to make.
Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org) for most of his life preferred argument to belief.
Special note: Walters coordinates Dr. Bebawi’s Wednesday night Bible study at East 91st St. Christian Church, Indianapolis, 6:30-7:45 p.m., upstairs Sun Room. Free and open to the public.