A Wisdom Retreat - March 31

Evidence from Within

Romans 8:15-17
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

H. A. Ironside, a former pastor of Moody Church, began preaching one night in the open air of Chicago, attracting a large and enthusiastic gathering. During his message a man stepped out from the crowd and handed him a note. This particular man was a well-known agnostic, sowing skepticism and discord wherever the truth of Scripture was spoken, especially in relation to God being a personal God who seeks relationships with humans. That is why, with face full of pride and self-confidence, he approached Ironside with a letter. Pastor Ironside opened the note and read the words aloud: "I challenge you to a debate in the Hall of Science next Sunday afternoon." Then he turned to the agnostic and delivered this wise response:

I will come and debate with you the reality of the Christian life, if you will do one thing; you must agree to bring with you one person from your sphere of influence. One person who was discouraged and defeated by life, not knowing where to turn or what to believe, until that person came and heard you lecture your agnostic beliefs. And then that man, after listening to you, said in effect, ‘I believe what you are saying and will begin living in light of it.' Bring one person who, after hearing you speak, found peace of mind, victory over temptation, and a purpose for living.  Bring one and I will debate you; and will bring with me one hundred.

Upon hearing this, it was reported that the agnostic refused the offer and quickly turned away.

What a great reminder to us that the unanswerable argument for Christianity is, in fact, the Christian! Every religion requires faith to believe it, reason to defend it, and evidence to prove it; but this is where Christianity stands out above all the rest. Our primary evidence is not only found in the revelation of Scripture and the discoveries of science, but it is found inside us.

We are the living and breathing evidence of Christianity—the walking proof that God really does save lives, and that His Spirit changes them completely. God's Spirit is actually inside us, giving us faith when we have none, and testifying in our spirits that we are part of His family.

Make no mistake about it—our God is not only alive, but He is alive and dwelling . . . in us!

Prayer Point: Take a moment to consider a time or an event in your life when you lacked faith—either in God or His Word—and recall how the Holy Spirit drew you back to Himself, "testifying" in your spirit that He was alive and active in your life. Thank Him for the promise in Romans 8:16, that He has not left us to mere faith, nor reason, nor science (like all other religions), but He has given us Himself as evidence in our hearts.

Extra Refreshment: Read the whole chapter of Romans 8, and notice the incredible ways in which the Spirit of God works in the lives of believers, changing us and conforming us into the image of Christ.

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