Thursday, 11 December 2008

Reasons For Faith In Christ

The Apostle Paul never saw Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry. Many scholars believe that utters deep regret about this in his statement in First Corinthians 15:8-

Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

Yet Paul certainly did encounter Christ. His first encounter with Jesus was while he was on the road to Damascus. His next encounter was at perhaps the lowest point in his life, when everything seemed to be going wrong-

Acts 18:9-10 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”

To be sure, Paul had other spiritual experiences that involved visions, dreams, and out-of-body experiences. But his spirituality wasn't based on these experiences. His spirituality was based on provable hitorical facts. Paul makes a big deal about the facts of Christianity and in particular the greatest and most important historical fact: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. He says that many of the people who had witnessed the Resurrected Jesus were still alive and that he had personally met them and verified these events with them.

Secondly, Paul's spirituality was grounded in Christ being the fulfilment of the Old Testament message. To Paul, the birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ was all foretold in the Old Testament and uniquely fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. This could not have been a series of mere coincidences to Paul. It could only have been orchestrated by God.

Thirdly, Paul's spirituality was grounded in God's creation. To Paul, creation screamed of a Creator. This led Paul to wonder in awe about, and worship, this Creator who he said was Jesus Christ (Col. 1:17-18).

The issues that Paul faced in being a Christian and keeping his faith in Christ are the same issues that Christians have faced down through the ages and perhaps we face today. But for the same reasons that Paul was able to keep going in his walk with Christ- the facts, fulfilled prophecy, and the wonders of creation- are also good reasons for us to be spiritual and follow Christ.

Father, help us to develop the gift of faith that you have given us. Help us to know and make known the historic facts for faith in Christ . Lead us in our reading and study of your Word so that we might marvel at Your unfolding plan fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Lord, give us eyes to see the wonders of Your handy-work in Your creation. May our lives increasingly reflect Your transforming glory.

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