Because I Have Experienced It
Jesus Christ and the truths of the Bible are not simply facts to be stored in our minds, they are truths that we are invited to experience in a personal way. God invites us to a personal relationship with Him. The evidence points convincingly toward Jesus Christ. After reviewing the evidence, we each must make the decision to move in the direction the evidence is pointing. It is then that we experience the reality of God in our lives. Although an individual's experience is a subjective thing, it is part of the proofs that authenticate faith.
When I first heard that the God of the universe loved me and desperately wanted a relationship with me, I thought it was the greatest news I ever heard. As I began to share my newfound discovery, I met scholars who seemed to have convincing proof that this was all a religious fantasy.
As I searched for answers I came across several Christian scholars who were able to defend the authority of the Bible and the claims of Christ. As I weighed the arguments and questioned men and women on both sides, I could not deny the overwhelming evidence that supported the Bible and the claims of Christ. Eventually I came to the conclusion that Jesus Christ is Lord.
I then realized it was time for a decision. Often we do not have all the answers, but we move in the direction in which the evidence is pointing. For example, many of us do not really know for sure if the person we are marrying is the right one. However, we make our decision based on the evidence we see at the time. If I find that I can communicate with my fiancé, our personalities are compatible, and that we share the same values, we move in the direction in which the evidence is pointing. When we make the commitment to marry, then our decision is confirmed definitively. Till we make the commitment, we base our decision on the evidence at hand. The same is true with becoming a Christian. Although we do not have all the answers, we can have enough faith to make a decision. When we commit our lives to Christ, we then experience the fullness of a relationship with the risen Savior.
It was then that I made the conscious decision to believe in Jesus Christ. I asked Christ to forgive my sin and invited Him to be the Lord of my life. Although nothing dramatic happened, I knew I had changed. I experienced the peace that comes from knowing your sins are forgiven. I experienced the joy of knowing I was placed here with a purpose and that there is meaning to my existence. Although I still had some questions, sins that I struggled with, and difficult trials, I had an ever-abiding peace and joy I had never had before.
The more I studied the Bible, the more the world around me began to make sense. I gained a new understanding in all my academic studies. The complexity of life on earth, biological organisms, and planets reflected the character and intelligence of a loving Creator who wants us to enjoy His creation.
My struggles in relationships were the results of selfishness, and a sinful attitude in my heart. Once I began to follow the principles of Christ's love, my friendships became much more meaningful and joyous, not competitive. I experienced freedom from living up to others' expectations because the God of the universe loved me just for who I was.
I experienced the reality of the Bible promises as I applied them to my life. My faith continues to grow each time I see that God's truth works in every day life. The more time I spend with God in prayer, in study, and in worship, the stronger my faith becomes.
How do I know Christianity is true? The facts behind it along with my experience of God's promises confirm it.
1. Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity. (New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing, 1960), 45.
2. For more extensive discussion read the Probe article, "Evidence for God's Existence " by Sue Bohlin.
3. Albright, William. Archaeology and the Religion of Israel. (Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins, 1953), 176.
4. For more extensive discussion read the Probe article, "The Authority of the Bible."
5. For more extensive discussion read the Probe article, "The Uniqueness of Christ."
6. Strobel, Lee. The Case for Christ. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1998), 265.
7. For more extensive discussion on the resurrection read the Probe article, "Resurrection, Fact or Fiction."
Boa, Kenneth. I Am Glad You Asked. (Colorado Springs, CO: Victor Books, 1994).
Geisler, Norman. When Skeptics Ask. (Wheaton, IL: Victor Press, 1989).
Lewis, C. S. Mere Christianity. (New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing, 1960).
McGrath, Alister. Intellectuals Don't Need God and Other Modern Myths. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1993).
Moreland, J.P. Scaling the Secular City. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1987).
Murray, Michael J., ed. Reason for the Hope Within. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing, 1999).
Nash, Ronald. Faith and Reason. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1988).
Probe Mind Games Notebook. (Probe Ministries International, 1998).
Stroebel, Lee. The Case for Faith. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 2000).
Zukeran, Patrick. Unless I See. . . Reasons to Consider the Christian Faith. (Dallas, TX: Brown Books, 2000).
Nash, Ronald. Worldviews In Conflict: Choosing Christianity in a World of Ideas. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1992).
Phillips, W. Gary, and William E. Brown. Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview. (Salem, WI, 1996).
Sire, James. The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog, third ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997).
Note: Material on the subjects below can also be found under the "Apologetics General" heading above.
The Existence of God
Jastrow, Robert. God and the Astronomers. (New York, NY: Norton & Company, 1978).
Dembski, Bill. Intelligent Design. (Downer's Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999).
Evans, C. Stephen. The Quest for Faith: Reason and Mystery as Pointers to God. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986).
Kreeft, Peter and Ronald Tacelli. Handbook of Christian Apologetics. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994).
Moreland, J.P. The Creation Hypothesis. (Downer's Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994).
Ross, Hugh. The Creator and the Cosmos. (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress Publishing, 1993).
Zacharias, Ravi. Can Man Live Without God? (Dallas, TX: Word Publishing, 1994).
Bruce, F.F. The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1983).
Geisler, Norman, and William Nix. A General Introduction to the Bible. (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1986).
McDowell, Josh. Evidence That Demands a Verdict. (San Bernadino, CA: Here's Life Publishers, 1972).
_______. More Evidence That Demands a Verdict. (San Bernadino, CA: Here's Life Publishers, 1975).
Price, Randall. The Stones Cry Out. (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1997).
Greenleaf, Simon. The Testimony of the Evangelists: The Gospels Examined by the Rules of Evidence.
(Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1995).
LaHaye, Tim. Jesus, Who Is He? (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Books, 1996).
McDowell, Josh. The Resurrection Factor. (San Bernardino, CA: Here's Life Publishers, 1981).
Morison, Frank. Who Moved the Stone? (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1958).
Strobel, Lee. The Case for Christ. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1998).
Is Jesus the Only Way?
Anderson, Norman. Christianity and the World Religions. (Downer's Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996).
Carson, Donald. The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1996).
Nash, Ronald. Is Jesus the Only Savior? (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1994).
Netland, Harold. Dissonant Voices. (Vancouver, BC: Regent College Publishing, 1991).
Okholm, Dennis. Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1995).
Richard, Ramesh. The Population of Heaven. (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1994).
©2002 Probe Ministries. Used by Permission
This document is the sole property of Probe Ministries. It may not be altered or edited in any way. Permission is granted to use in digital or printed form so long as it is circulated without charge, and in its entirety. This document may not be repackaged in any form for sale or resale. All reproductions of this document must contain the copyright notice and this Copyright/Limitations notice.
Patrick Zukeran is an associate speaker for Probe Ministries. He has a BA in Religion from Point Loma Nazarene University and a Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, and is a doctoral student at Southern Evangelical Seminary. He is an author, radio talk show host, and a national and international speaker on apologetics, cults, world religions, Bible, theology, and current issues. His radio talk show "Evidence and Answers" airs weekly on KWORD 100.7FM in Dallas, Texas. Before joining Probe, Pat served for twelve years as an Associate Pastor.William Lane. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994).