Terry Dashner................Faith Fellowship Church PO Box 1586 Broken Arrow, OK 74013
You'll need more than just a good head on your shoulders to receive this. In fact, you'll need a heart. And you will need something else.
Someone once said that human reason must follow faith, not the reverse. What does that mean? It means that reason can carry you so far with God. Then you must take a leap of faith. Faith soars far above the mind of man. Allow me to explain myself, please.
Our system of democracy is indebted to the ancient Greeks. Our system of civil law is indebted to the Romans who borrowed heavily from the Greeks. In Greek history a witness testified in a court of law what he saw with his own eyes. His facts (facts of the witness) became the facts of the court. Through the eyes of the witness the court became the observer. But the word witness came to mean something in addition to the observer. To witness meant to persuade the court that the facts were true facts. Not only were the facts presented but the witness worked to persuade the court that what he saw was indeed true.
Here's the something else you need to help you receive the things of God. You need the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can witness to what the Father and Son are doing in Redemption. The Holy Spirit also persuades us that it is true. The Holy Spirit is the Divine Persuader, and He persuades only in the context of truth. He witnesses to the believer that the Word of God (Bible) is true. I believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ because I've had supernatural help believing it. I didn't wake up one morning and determine to believe God's Word. The Holy Spirit did a work in my life that brought me to truth, and then He persuaded me that it was true. That's why I really believe that Jesus is the Son of God because the Holy Spirit persuades me.
All Christians have the witness of the Holy Spirit. That's why a believer knows what she knows, what she knows, without a degree in Theology. The Holy Spirit brought forth the truth of the Gospel and persuaded her that it was truth for her. The Bible is credible, believable, within itself-not needing the help of externals to testify to its truth-because the Holy Spirit of God testifies to it.
Moreover, the Holy Spirit is the illuminator. The work of the Spirit of God as witness and as persuader is an analogy taken from juridical procedures. But there is another model of the witness of the Spirit which comes from what might be called the realm of the intellectual or of knowledge or of learning. In this model the witness of the Spirit is illumination according to Bernard L. Ramm, author of the book entitled, A Christian Appeal to Reason (Word Books Publisher 1972). Illumination is seeing the truth of God as the truth of God. It does not necessarily mean new information. A person may know all the facts and still overlook God.
Those who are of a pure heart will see God, according to Matthew 5:8. This means that the vision of God is possible only on spiritual grounds, not rational or philosophical grounds. Illumination is then something that happens with saving faith in which there is forgiveness of sins which is in turn the purification of the heart. Then the sinner sees God. Seeing is a visual term, an intuitional term. It means a direct grasp or apprehension of something in contrast to knowing something through logical processes such as induction or deduction (Ramm, page 42).
Think about this. When you reach the limits of your understanding, don't stop. Kick in faith. Ask God to help you believe. The Holy Spirit is glad to witness to the saving grace of the Father through Jesus Christ the Son. He is overjoyed to persuade you of this truth. He will help you see God where others see only doubt and confusion. The Spirit of God is not a Ghost who scares the believer. He is Spirit. And the Bible says that those who worship God must worship Him in Spirit and Truth.
Keep the faith. Stay the course. Jesus is on His way. T.dash...