Let the Spirit Do His Thing

by Mike Johnson

spirit ledMy eldest niece became a Christian this past weekend, as a result of my mother giving her a Bible and explaining the gospel in simple terms to her. My niece, the oldest daughter of my oldest brother, is a year older than me (due to the lateness of my own arrival). After forty or so years of wandering in passive rejection of the gospel, she is now saved.

When I think about how my mother led her to Christ, I don’t think there was much of what I’ve considered to be apologetics. My mom didn’t present any of the classic theistic proofs, or Kalam’s cosmological argument, or C.S. Lewis’ Trilemma, or any evidence for the resurrection. She gave her a Bible and told her what Jesus did for her.

William Lane Craig, an accomplished debater well-known for his reasoned defense of Christianity on the basis of the evidence, acknowledges the work of the Holy Spirit in his coming to faith:

“The way in which I know Christianity is true is first and foremost is the basis of the witness of the Holy Spirit in my heart. And this gives me self-authenticating means of knowing Christianity is true wholly apart from the evidence. And therefore, even if in some historically contingent circumstances the evidence that I have available to me should turn against Christianity, I do not think that controverts the witness of the Holy Spirit.”

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Some people are persuaded by the evidence, and some are persuaded by something else in Christianity that reveals itself as the solution to a problem. My niece was battling a life crisis, and she decided with conviction that she could not go through life without a relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Spirit can use many things—reason or emotion—to open eyes to our need of a Savior. The gospel message has power, and by simply giving her granddaughter a Bible, which she began to read, my mom was letting the Spirit do His work. It’s easy to get preoccupied with apologetic method and our perceived need to reason people into belief…


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