My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power… (1 Cor. 2:4)
I had the opportunity to spend a year of college in England. The educational model there is very different from the United States. Here students generally go to several classes each semester. There you read an essay to your assigned tutor once a week.
One week as I was reading my essay to my philosophy tutor, Dr. Graham, he said, “Stop. Am I discerning that you actually believe in God?”
I said, “Yes, I do believe in God.”
He said, “I would’ve thought you were brighter than that. Today’s tutorial is over. Next week come prepared to defend why you believe in God.”
I can still remember what transpired during our next session. I began by saying that I couldn’t defend my faith by giving any proof for God’s existence, just like he couldn’t supply any proofs that God didn’t exist.
I went on to say that the only way I could make sense of my life is that God was in it. I also said that whenever I tried to walk away from my faith, my life got smaller. I finally said that Jesus seemed like the most real, most interesting, most compelling person I’d ever heard about or read about and that without Jesus, I felt like a dead man.
I encourage you to wrestle with the challenge Dr. Graham gave to me. Are you ready to defend your faith? If you ever try to walk away from your faith, what happens to your life? Why do you believe in Jesus? Who is He for you? Why do you call Him Savior and Lord?
When I responded to the professor’s challenge, I didn’t feel—like Paul in today’s scripture—as though I could defend my faith with “plausible words of wisdom.” Instead of any eloquent proofs, all I could talk about was the “power” Jesus had in and over my life.
Defending my faith before that professor strengthened it. I believe that your working with and through that professor’s challenge to me can do the same for yours.
- If someone asked you to defend your faith in Jesus, what would you say?
- As I prepared to defend my faith with my professor, I realized that I couldn’t rely upon any philosophical proofs or logical arguments. All I had was my experiences of God’s presence in my life. What are your own experiences of God that have brought you to have faith?
- How would you describe the power of Jesus in your life? Do you see that describing that power to yourself could actually strengthen your faith? Do you also see that describing that power to someone else could strengthen theirs?