Your Case For Christ
By SUSAN SMITH WALKER
We are currently studying “The Case for Christ,” at my church. It’s a book covering the historical and archeological evidence that supports the truth of the gospel. It is a fascinating study written by a man who set out to prove that the gospel was a fairy tale but after seeing the evidence for himself, he concluded it was true and became a Christian.
I was moved one day to hear the participants in the class say that whatever the facts are, their own experience with God is the most important proof to them. I would have to agree with that. Before I became a Christian, historical and archaeological evidence was interesting to me, but it was the evidence of God moving in the lives around me that ultimately drew me to the Lord.
Author Lee Strobel’s mission to disprove Christianity takes him to Bible scholars, university professors and other experts on ancient history and archeology. What he learns from them slowly opens his eyes to the fact that proofs for the authenticity of the ancient gospel manuscripts are more numerous than for writings of other historical figures like Socrates and Aristotle which we generally accept as true. Facts like that changed his mind, and so instead of being one who disproved the gospel, he is now one of its strongest messengers.
Even so, when we read his story of transformation we see that the changes in his wife were just as persuasive, if not more so, than all the facts he learned along the way. He had feared she would become a rigid, legalistic prude. Instead, he saw her became more loving, peaceful, and tolerant of the ups and downs in life than she had ever been before. He saw that the changes in her were good. Her devotion to study and prayer touched him and made him wonder what was happening to her on the inside.
So while the book stresses the historical and archaeological facts of proof in the case for Christ, I believe more importantly it was his wife’s example before him that was the most convincing evidence. Her love for God and her thirst for Christ drew him closer because the Holy Spirit is irresistible. He could not help himself. The facts he learned along the way helped convince his worldly mind, but the Spirit manifesting itself in his wife took him past the world into the presence of God. She was radiating Christ and he could not deny it.
I remember many years ago arguing with an Episcopal priest about whether or not the gospel was true. I was an atheist and I wanted proof. After giving me a lot to think about the priest finally said, “Susan – I can’t prove the existence of God and the truth of the gospel. No one can do that for you. You can’t think your way into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Just be open to it. Surrender. When it happens to you – you’ll know.”
Drawn by the behavior and testimonies of some close friends, my spiritual eyes opened to Christ within and my life was changed forever. All the facts in the world were not enough until I saw evidence of Christ in the lives around me. How they lived made their case for Christ to me. How about you? What kind of case for Christ are you making to those around you by the way you live? Rev. Walker is the pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church www.emanuelreformedchurch.com