In a recent small group discussion this question was asked point blank: How do you know Christ is real to you?
One thing I wanted to do when answering that question was NOT rely strictly on personal experience or feelings.
But that’s somewhat difficult.
We are beings with a heart, a spirit, a mind and a body.
We encounter this world with our emotions, with our spirits, with our minds and with our bodies.
Yes, our feelings inform us. And fail us. Our minds inform us. And fail us. And our sense of observation. Or smell. Or sight…
They inform us. And fail us, too.
That’s why I insisted on rounding out my list of reasons why I know Christ is real to me with an undeniable, objective anchor. You’ll see what that is in a second.
After you scan this list, leave your own reasons why you know Christ is real to you. And make sure you answer the questions that follow this list.
1. Internal Testimony of the Holy Spirit
Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.”
The holy spirit plays a valuable role in a believer’s life, especially when it comes to doubt and persecution. And while this is a subjective assurance of Christian truth, it provides a concrete assurance for the believer.
2. Spiritual Growth
I’m not where I want to be, but I’m not where I was two years ago. What kind of spiritual growth am I talking about? A growing love for the lost. A sharper eye for spiritual truth and error. A deep appreciation for Christian fellowship. A fierce will to obey God.
3. Appetite for God
Christ’s reality–birthed in me at the time of my salvation–planted an unapologetic, incessant hunger for God and for the things of God. Things like prayer, the Bible, mission work, intense study of his saints and their material.
4. Repugnance Towards the Things of This World
On the other hand, Christ’s reality created a revulsion in me for immorality. Though this world offers and tempts in multiple ways–and I feel myself getting drawn at times–I’ve found the desire AND the ability to stiff-arm those temptations that cause me to lose spiritual traction.
5. The Word of God
Of course, the historical record of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ stakes all the prior reasons into objective ground. What I know about the above reasons for Christ’s reality in me I learned from the Bible. And what I know about nurturing spiritual growth I know from what the Bible teaches. Our faith is not a groundless faith. A blind faith. It’s a historical faith. Rooted in a flesh and bones being.
Now, it’s all well and good when we can account for the reasons that God is real to you. But I’ve got two follow up questions for you: Is his reality changing you? And can he be more real in your life?
We should never get satisfied with the reality of Christ in our life. In fact, our thirst for Christ should always increase.
Thus, I’ll commit to pray for you if you commit to pray for me that our appetite for Christ’s spirit-growing reality would flourish in us to the praise of God’s glory. Cool? Cool.