What Is God Like?

by Richard Duncan

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

King Duncan writes about the small boy who “was consistently late coming home from school. His parents warned him one day that he must be home on time that afternoon, but nevertheless, he arrived later than ever. His mother met him at the door and said nothing. His father met him in the living room and said nothing.

“At dinner that night, the boy looked at his plate. There was a slice of bread and a glass of water. He looked at his father’s full plate and then at his father, but his father remained silent. The boy was crushed. The father waited for the full impact to sink in, then quietly took the boy’s plate and placed it in front of himself. He took his own plate of meat and potatoes, put it in front of the boy, and smiled at his son. When that boy grew up, he said, ‘All my life I’ve known what God is like by what my father did that night.'”2

We, too, can know what God is like by what Jesus did for us when he came to earth as a babe in Bethlehem and then to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for all our sins so we can be freely forgiven and receive God’s gift of eternal life to be with him in heaven forever.

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, how can I ever thank you enough for your great love gift to me at Christmas time some 2000 years ago in giving your Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for all my sins through his death on the cross so that I could receive your gift of forgiveness and eternal life? Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen.”

Many Christians do not share their faith with unbelievers simply out of fear

by William Lane Craig

Many Christians do not share their faith with unbelievers simply out of fear. They’re afraid that the non-Christian will ask them a question or raise an objection that they can’t answer. And so they choose to remain silent and thus hide their light under a bushel, in disobedience to Christ’s command. Apologetics training is a tremendous boost to evangelism, for nothing inspires confidence and boldness more than knowing that one has good reasons for what one believes and good answers to the typical questions and objections that the unbeliever may raise. Sound training in apologetics is one of the keys to fearless evangelism. In this and many other ways apologetics helps to build up the body of Christ by strengthening individual believers.

Now this dismissive attitude toward apologetics’ role in evangelism is certainly not the biblical view. As one reads the Acts of the Apostles, it’s evident that it was the apostles’ standard procedure to argue for the truth of the Christian worldview, both with Jews and pagans (e.g., Acts 17:2–3, 17; 19:8; 28:23–24). In dealing with Jewish audiences, the apostles appealed to fulfilled prophecy, Jesus’ miracles, and especially Jesus’ resurrection as evidence that he was the Messiah (Acts 2:22–32). When they confronted Gentile audiences who did not accept Jewish Scripture, the apostles appealed to God’s handiwork in nature as evidence of the existence of the Creator (Acts 14:17). Then appeal was made to the eyewitness testimony to the resurrection of Jesus to show specifically that God had revealed himself in Jesus Christ (Acts 17:30–31; 1 Cor. 15:3–8). Frankly, I can’t help but suspect that those who regard apologetics as futile in evangelism just don’t do enough evangelism. I suspect that they’ve tried using apologetic arguments on occasion and found that the unbeliever remained unconvinced. They then draw a general conclusion that apologetics is ineffective in evangelism.

~ Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, Kindle Edition, 290-295, 298-306

I believe in the bodily res­urrection of Jesus Christ

by Dr. A. C. Ivy, Department of Chemical Science, University of Illinois (Cited by Wilbur M. Smith, in article “Twentieth. Century Scientists and the Resurrection of Christ,” Christianity Today, April 15, 1957)

I believe in the bodily res­urrection of Jesus Christ. As you say, this is a “per­sonal matter,”but I am not ashamed to let the world know what I believe, and that I can intelligently defend my belief…I cannot prove this belief as I can prove certain scientific facts in my library which one hundred years ago were almost as mys­terious as the resurrection of Jesus Christ. On the basis of historical evidence of existing biological knowledge, the scientist who is true to the philos­ophy of science can doubt the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, but he cannot deny it. Because to do so means that he can prove that it did not occur. I can only say that present-day biological science cannot resurrect a body that has been dead and entombed for three days. To deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the basis of what biology now knows is to manifest an unscientific attitude accord­ing to my philosophy of the true scientific attitude.

Ten Easy Ways to Share Your Faith

by Louise Wilsher at Bible Reflections blog

Ten Easy Ways to Share Your FaithWe’ve come up with ten easy ways to share your faith: 

1. Commit each day in prayer to the Lord and ask Him for opportunities to share your faith – then go out looking for them! Make yourself available (Isaiah 6:8).

2. Rely on the Holy Spirit, asking Him to speak through you.

3. Develop relationships to create a level of trust. Consider joining a sports club, art group or book club where you can deepen friendships.

4. Show humility by asking for forgiveness from friends when you hurt them.

5. Share answers to prayer.

6. Invest in your community: organize a street party for neighbours in your home, or set up a toddler club.

7. Invite your friends to church.

8. Use Social networking! Consider sharing an evangelistic video from YouTube (Eg Why I hate Religion or Lifehouse’s Everything Skit).

9. Always be ready to give an answer as to why you believe … with gentleness. Practice a five minute testimony.

10. Talk to people you meet – don’t force the conversation but be yourself.

The bible says:

‘Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully.’ 1 Peter 3:15 (AMP).

The Necessity of Maturity

by Paul Adams at inchristus.wordpress.com

Only let us live up to what we have already attained. ~ Philippians 3:16

A few observations:

  1. This verse implicitly states that there are no excuses for not growing. Every believer should have a basic knowledge of humility in serving others and the understanding that steadfastness in the faith is a necessity. Not to order our lives after this knowledge, given sufficient time, would be nothing short of sin (see Heb. 5:12-6:2 for a clear rebuke of believers because they have not grown more).
  2. That all believers are responsible for growth is echoed in Jesus’ teaching on stewardship. Every believer would do well to pay close attention to the parable of the talents (Mt. 25:14-30; Lk. 19:12-27; see also, Mt. 7:15-27). Principles to be gleaned include:
    • Not everyone has the same amount of spiritual resources, but all are expected to do their best with what the Master gives
    • Wise stewardship involves investment (material resources simply serve to flesh out the story; Jesus is not teaching us about financial matters per se)
    • Wise stewardship brings greater responsibility and privilege, while poor stewardship ultimately leads to eternal tragedy. “To make no commitments on religious matters is really to make a damning commitment by default” (see Blomberg, Matthew, NAC, pp. 372-375).

The Greatest Enemy of Our Hunger for God

by John Piper

Christian fasting is not only the spontaneous effect of a superior satisfaction in God; it is also a chosen weapon against every force in the world that would take that satisfaction away.

The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife (Luke 14:18-20). The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable.

Jesus said some people hear the word of God, and a desire for God is awakened in their hearts. But then, “as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life” (Luke 8:14). In another place he said, “The desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful”(Mark 4:19). “The pleasures of this life” and “the desires for other things”—these are not evil in themselves. These are not vices. These are gifts of God. They are your basic meat and potatoes and coffee and gardening and reading and decorating and travelling and investing and TV-watching and Internet-surfing and shopping and exercising and collecting and talking. And all of them can become deadly substitutes for God.

A Hunger for God

God can and does speak to unbelievers

by Paul Copan

God can and does speak to unbelievers through reason, beauty, moral failure, and the existence of evil. As a cloud of apologetical witnesses can testify, God has used philosophical arguments for his existence, scientific supports for the universe’s beginning (Big Bang) and its fine-tuning, and historical evidences for the resurrection of Jesus to assist people in embracing Christ—just as God uses the preaching of the gospel (Romans 1:16) or the loving character of a Christian community (John 13:35). These are all part of the holistic witness to the reality of God and the gospel, all of which the Spirit of God can use to lead unbelievers to embracing Jesus Christ.

The charge that no one ever comes to Christ through apologetics

by Norman Geisler

The charge is made that no one ever comes to Christ through apologetics. If this implies that the Holy Spirit never uses apologetic evidence to bring people to Christ, this is clearly false. C.S. Lewis noted that ‘nearly everyone I know who has embraced Christianity in adult life has been influenced by what seemed to him to be at least a probable argument for Theism’. Lewis is an example of an atheist who came to Christ under the influence of apologetics. The skeptic Frank Morrison was converted while attempting to write a book refuting the evidence for the resurrection of Christ. Augustine tells in his confessions how he was led toward Christianity by hearing a Christian debate an unbeliever. Harvard Law School professor Simon Greenleaf was led to accept the authenticity of the Gospels by applying the rules of legal evidence to the New Testament. God has used evidence and reason in some way to reach virtually all adults who come to Christ.

Jesus Christ as a living Person

by Dr. Edgar Andrews

I was converted to Christ as a 19 year old by reading the New Testament. No one told me I had to believe its authenticity. No one even told me I should read it. I wasn’t brought up in a Christian family nor did I attend church as a child. In grade school ‘Religious Instruction’ was my worst subject … I couldn’t get my head around it at all. I didn’t even own a Bible. Yet a day came when, as a physics student, I felt an irresistible desire to read the NT. I borrowed a copy from a friend and began to read. The overwhelming sense I had was of the reality and truth of what I was reading, and above all of Jesus Christ as a living Person.

~ author of, Who Made God? Searching for a Theory of Everything 

Anybody who tries to use the argument that Jesus of Nazareth never existed

by Paul L. Maier

Anybody who tries to use the argument that Jesus of Nazareth never existed [as a verifiable historical figure] is simply flaunting his or her ignorance. There is no serious question in the mind of any serious scholar, anywhere in the world that there certainly was a historical personality named Jesus of Nazareth. Now you can argue if he was the Son of God or not, argue about the supernatural aspects of his life, but in terms of the historical character of Jesus, all the evidence is in favor.