A Walk of Faith
By Ken Holmgren
How can I know that Jesus is real?
This is the very pertinent question that calls for an answer as we consider the focus of this LIFEline issue: “Where Christ Is Real.” As I recall how I have come to enjoy a growing relationship with the very real Person of Jesus Christ, I can identify three very trustworthy witnesses.
First, the witness of Scripture points me to the reality of Christ. I was blessed to grow up in a home and a church where the reality of Jesus was strongly believed, formally taught, and clearly proclaimed by family members and church mentors who modeled trust in God’s Word. For a brief season, the subject matter in a college history course afflicted me with doubts about the veracity of my childhood belief in Scripture, but the central biblical message that God revealed His love for me through Christ proved to be unshakeable
Second, the witness of changed lives shows me that Jesus is a real Person who transforms people from living with hopelessness and despair to living with purpose and joy in relationship with the God who made them and loves them. I saw this in many close family members, perhaps most notably in my uncle Bill, whose frequent sharing of how Jesus had changed his life three decades earlier continues to live in my memory. Many men and women at my home church and here at Bethel Christian Fellowship have given a credible witness to the life-changing presence of Jesus.
Third, the witness of the Holy Spirit faithfully convinces me of my sin, God’s gift of righteousness for me, and the victory I can experience over sin and evil through faith in Jesus. The Holy Spirit speaks to my heart and confirms the bedrock truth of Scripture that Jesus Christ, God incarnate, came to Earth to live among sinful humankind, suffer the eternal punishment I deserved for my sins, and rise from the dead to guarantee the gift of eternal life for me.
As I was reading Hebrews, chapter 11, recently, it seemed that God put His divine highlighter on the phrase “seeing Him who is unseen” in verse 27 (New American Standard Version). In this verse, the writer of the Book of Hebrews tells how Moses, the great Israelite leader, left Egypt by faith and endured because he saw God, who is unseen but very real. Even though we cannot see God with our limited, human vision, we can, like Moses, see our very real God with eyes of faith.
So how can I know that Jesus is real? As I listen to the trustworthy witnesses of Christ, I hear the voice of God calling me to enter into a personal relationship with Him. My knowledge of God has to move from mere intellectual awareness of Bible stories and the testimonies of others to a heart response of faith in Jesus and surrender to Him. As I turn from my sins and receive His forgiveness, I begin to walk in a daily love relationship with Him. I find that Jesus Christ is real because He has actually come to live and abide in me.
Is Jesus real in your life? He is inviting you to come and experience the precious truth that He is real indeed.