A few weeks ago in church, we studied 1 Corinthians 9 which begins: “Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?”
Though I don’t feel I’m an apostle, which means “sent one” in the original language, I do know freedom. Freedom from my sin—past, present, and future—because I believe in the finished work of Christ on the cross. Not that I now have license to go around sinning. Believers are called to be Christ-like, to be holy as He is holy. Even so, sometimes often I do what I shouldn’t, and in those circumstances, I am grateful for grace.
What about Paul’s third question: “Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?” This is the reason for the hope that I have. If I was ever asked to participate in an apologetics event, or to defend God in court, I wouldn’t display pictures of the Shroud of Turin or the ossuary box purported to belong to James, the brother of Jesus. I wouldn’t quote the writings of Josephus, the historian whose records provide insight into early Christianity. Instead, I’d bring three things, all evidence of the times I’ve “seen” Jesus. Not blinded by the light on the Damascus Road, but in my own daily life.
First I’d hold up my old prayer pages where half the requests are crossed through because God answered them. What of the other half? Those will no doubt be answered in His perfect timing, and if not, it’ll be because He knows better than me what needs to happen.
I’d also show my current “blessing book,” or better yet, all of them. One by one I’d find the pages where I recorded then highlighted God-whispers: “When you see my Word, you see Me.” And, “Do not despair. I have better for you.”
The last proof I’d present would be my cell phone pictures. Sunrises and sunsets. Rainbows and waterfalls. Butterflies hovering beside flowers. My children, each a miracle to me. My husband who loves me well.
When I see a masterpiece, I assume an artist created it. It’s like Romans 1:20 says: “Ever since the creation of the world, God’s power and nature have been revealed through what he has made.”
People can argue until they’re hoarse about whether God is or isn’t, but they can’t refute what I’ve experienced: Jesus Christ, the son of God, acting on my behalf on a daily basis.
Whether in an apologetics arena or a court of man’s making, my closing statement is: