Day 9: A Dramatic Change of Life
The Our Daily Bread University class Ten Reasons to Believe in the Resurrection gives ten lessons with experts discussing different reasons we can be sure the resurrection is fact.
In today’s post, we are jumping into their conversation with Vernon Grounds and Doug Groothuis about the life-changing experiences of those who trust Christ.
Down through history countless men and women have experienced a dramatic change of life after entrusting themselves to the resurrected Christ.
Vernon Grounds: And that’s the continual story from the day of Pentecost on. From the earliest hours of the Christian faith down into our late twentieth century . . . that people have asked Jesus Christ, as if He were alive, and indeed He is . . . they have asked Jesus Christ to enter into their lives and to forgive their sins and to bring about a personality change.
This change of heart was experienced by the apostle Paul who hated the followers of Jesus until He himself became a witness of the resurrected Christ. It was after his own change of life that he wrote, “If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11 (NKJV)
Vernon Grounds: And even today you have millions of people, I would say normally intelligent and not likely to be the victims of a delusion, who bear witness that Jesus is alive and that they are in fellowship with Him. And all I can urge people to do is to make the experiment of faith, asking Jesus to enter their lives and to be their Savior and to be their Companion and Friend.
Doug Groothuis: The Christian faith never asks us to believe against the evidence or to annul our minds, or come out of our minds in some kind of faith experience that makes no sense. But understanding the gospel message of the good news of Christ, understanding a Christian view of the world, goes beyond just saying I believe this is true, believing that something is true. It’s also believing in, trusting, committing. So when a person begins to see that Christianity makes sense, it answers the deepest questions of life, it gives meaning and significance, it’s backed up historically, it’s backed up philosophically, then you start to feel the pull of, What am I going to do with this now?
And this is what happened to me twenty-one years ago as I began to see that Christianity made sense. I didn’t understand a whole lot at the time, but as I read the teachings of Jesus, I was compelled not just to say, this is interesting, it probably happened, but I’m compelled to become a follower of Jesus. So Jesus says, “Come to me; believe in me; believe in me; trust me.” So it’s not just believing facts; it is that, but it’s in trusting yourself to this living resurrected Savior. It’s a matter of the mind believing, giving assent; it’s also a matter of the will giving oneself over to the service of God. And it’s possible to start to be convinced of the truth of Christianity and out of willfulness and pride to simply keep it at arm’s distance, because I want to be god of my life, I don’t want God to be my God. But we’re creatures; we’re finite; we’re dependent beings. We can’t save ourselves. The only way, as Scripture says, to really be exalted is to let yourself be humbled. If you let yourself be humbled, you can receive His unparalleled, unmatched gift of forgiveness, of new life, of hope, of eternal life, of meaning, significance, and value from God. But if you close down and you say, I want to do it myself, I want to go my own way, then you can’t receive the gift, and you’ll miss out on the greatest possible thing that could ever be offered to a human being.
Part of lesson 10 from the class Ten Reasons to Believe in the Resurrection
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