Evidential Christianity – yes, you heard me right – it’s in the Bible…
by Steve Warsa
The New Testament is filled with examples of both the apostles and our Lord talking about evidence and proof. We are still given ample evidence in Scripture that the apostles and even Jesus Christ Himself our Creator and Savior placed great value on evidence, proofs and practiced persuasion. Here are some references for you:
1. Jesus Christ the Lord said in John 4:48 – “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” Then He proceeded to perform the miracle for the royal official to heal his son. Once the royal official realized that the fever left the child at the exact time that Jesus had said that the child would live, then he and all his household believed. He believed because of the evidence of the miracle.
2. Peter speaking in 2 Peter 1:16 – We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. Peter is clearly trying to persuade his readers…
3. The apostle John speaking in 1 John 1:1-3 – That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched–this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. John is clearly trying to persuade his readers.
4. Jesus Christ (John 5:36): I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.
5. Peter and the Apostles before the Sandhedrin (Acts 5:27-32): Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead–whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
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6. Hebrews 2:2-4 – For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
7. The apostle John near the end of his gospel (John 20:30-31) explains why he wrote it: 30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
8. The apostle John at the end of his gospel (John 21:24-25) – This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
9. The apostle Paul relaying evidence for the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:3-6 – 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
10. Describing Paul trying to persuade Jews and Greeks (non-believers) Acts 18:4-5 – 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. 5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.
11. Jesus Christ the Lord showing Thomas “proof”, after which Thomas gives a great profession of faith in John 20:27-29 – 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
12. Regarding Jesus Christ, the King of Kings post resurrection in Acts 1:3 – After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God…
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