Christianity Is About More Than Signs

I read a fascinating article today on the so called “oil producing Bible” in Georgia that got me thinking about what we as Christians look to for support of our beliefs. At the end of the article, someone interviewed said, “It has brought people closer to God, it has brought people healing, it has rekindled people’s faith and curiosity even if one day it’s proven that all this was a sham.” That’s not the kind of faith I want! I don’t want to be reliant upon external signs and random happenings to trust that God will keep his promises to us. Nor should any of us! Yes, God often works through common means of grace (thankfully) to encourage us, but so often we want something miraculous when the miraculous has already happened.
I immediately thought of Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians 15 when as I was reading this. Paul reminds us:
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.”
The resurrection is a verifiable historical fact. There’s no argument greater for our faith than the empty grave. And if that grave isn’t empty, then we should be pitied, according to Paul.
Our entire faith hinges on that empty grave. We don’t need any more evidence to support the truth that Jesus was the Son of God and bore the penalty for our sins, and because of that we are now his ambassadors to the watching world! That gives us hope in the midst of our long obedience in the same direction, the obedience that is impossible apart from the Spirit at work in us through the support of our family in Christ. So let’s not forget to keep Christ at the forefront of our minds and lives as we rely on that sign of the empty grave.

A Book I Wish Was Written

I found a blog today about a book R.C. Sproul has thought about writing on numerous occasions titled The Sensuous Christian. What is a sensuous Christian?

The sensuous Christian is one who lives by his feelings rather than through his understanding of the Word of God. The sensuous Christian cannot be moved to service, prayer or study unless he ‘feels like it.’ His Christian life is only as effective as the intensity of present feelings. When he experiences spiritual euphoria, he is a whirlwind of Godly activity; when he is depressed, he is a spiritual incompetent. He constantly seeks new and fresh spiritual experiences and uses them to determine the Word of God. His ‘inner feelings’ become the ultimate test of truth.

This could be true of so many people I have met, and myself through some periods of my life. Every relationship I’ve been a part of has involved work and sacrifice. It takes the daily discipline to give time to the relationship and effort on both sides to make it work. If one only spends time with someone when they “feel” like it, it’s not a true relationship. There are many times that I don’t “feel” like going to church, but I know I need to in order to spend time being encouraged by those around me and also for me to encourage and support them. Who do you know that is a sensuous Christian? Are you?

HT