Religious convictions have been parts of humans since time immemorial. Thus, it is not surprising for modern people to hold certain beliefs depending on their religious, cultural, familial or even educational backgrounds. While some people hold beliefs simply because their ancestors had such religious convictions for centuries, most modern individuals are more inclined to cling to reason. Personally, I may hold the beliefs of my parents on Christianity but I also base my faith from reason. In the following paragraphs, I will be discussing my acceptance of the existence of a one true God, the essence of the death and ascension of Jesus Christ as well as the presence of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible posits that there is a Supreme Being called by the names God, Yaweh, Adonai and several others by the Hebrews. He is believed to be the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth, living or non-living things (Bible). As a Christian, I believe this to be true because it is what the Bible teaches. However, I also accept it as a rational idea because only a Supreme Being, Omnipotent and Omniscient, can make something completely complicated, work so perfectly in part and in whole.
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To understand this further, let us take the human body as an example. It is amazing to know that the human brain alone, “contains billions of neurons with thousands of interconnections and an estimated storage capacity of 1.25 x 1012 bytes (Hofman). Such numbers are astounding so that one can only visualize the complexity of the functions of the human brain when broken down into bits and pieces. Take into the picture its mechanisms when it works together with the other parts of the body which are individually and collectively performing their different functions in order to make the whole organism operate harmoniously. Looking at a bigger picture, the processes that simultaneously happen among different organic and inorganic things to balance the environment and the activities within and without, is a lot more complicated than the human body’s goings-on. Such intricate phenomena do not simply happen on their own which is the proposition of the Big Bang Theory. It is my belief that should the aforementioned theory be accepted as a fact, the process would still have been completed through the workings of a Supreme Being with sovereign intelligence and wisdom because it is the only logical explanation that could satisfy the inquisitive mind. otherwise, it would be argued that there is nothing so intricate in design and function that can just develop on its own.
Secondly, I believe that the first couple, Adam and Eve, failed to comply to the expectations of God so that they and their descendants have to suffer the consequences of their mistakes. To appease the anger of a Holy God who cannot stand ungodliness, the Hebrews offered sacrifices in the temple for the forgiveness of their sins. This is repeatedly reflected in the Old and New Testament books such as Deuteronomy, Leviticus, Matthew, Mark and the epistles. However, Yahweh, needing nothing from man but his discipline for his own sake and savior, does not really need such sacrifices. Therefore, being merciful, Yahweh has to sacrifice His Son Jesus Christ, a holy ransom for the sins of Adam which have been passed on to all generations. He must become the sacrifice to stop the annual sacrifices once and for all. Consequently, God took the form of a man in the person of Jesus Christ, destroying the curse when His blood was shed on Calvary (Bible).
This may not make sense to most people because the mystery of the Trinity is not a simple matter to comprehend. However, in reading the Bible, one can be compelled to raise questions and make the connections about other mysteries contained therein. For instance, Matthew 27:50-51 narrates how the temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom and how the tombs of holy people broke open and the dead raised to life at the same time that Jesus took His last breath. This incident makes one wonder about the implication of the curtain being torn and the raising of the holy people who have died. It is said that the tearing of the temple curtain only shows that God Himself has given the order to end the offering of sacrifices, opening the holy of holies to all men, to offer their prayers and supplications directly to God.
In relation to Jesus’ death, the Bible also tells that he has risen on the third day, appearing to his disciples and preaching to men for forty days before He finally ascended to heaven (Bible). This ascension is God’s way of saying that man is now left to continue to put his faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ because the Son is now One with the Father in heaven, listening to the prayers and petitions of the people. The ascension is the sign which shows that the role of the Son of God on earth is done. However, there is one other person of God which He left to instruct and guide believers, the Holy Spirit.
Surely, in a physical world, the spirit world is quite a difficult subject to consider. Therefore, only a spirit can teach a human being of such topic. This is the reason why Jesus, before He ascended to heaven, told his disciples in the gospel of John that He will send the Holy Spirit to teach them.
To many, it may be ridiculous to believe in an inanimate being. One might say a person is insane when he claims to be hearing things from an unseen being such as the Holy Spirit otherwise, that individual could simply be claiming something imagined to be true. Nevertheless, in a lot of cases, there have been happenings that science cannot even explain. For instance, there are reported incidents here and there, of individuals having been indwelt by spirits, changing not only in character and countenance but also with their voices. In a similar manner, the Holy Spirit indwells humans who have received the faith in Jesus Christ as He performs His functions as the teacher of the ways of God.
We can do it today.
Personally, I have experienced incidents that I could claim, could have been the result of the presence of the Holy Spirit in me as a believer of the teachings of the Bible. The Bible, with all its many explanations not only of the physical matters but also spiritual themes, is quite difficult to understand. This is shown by the scholars who have spent years of study of the Bible who still encounter challenges in understanding the Bible. Such difficulties are expected to be compounded for an ordinary person like me. However, there have been times that I really tried to understand difficult verses, asking experts about the matter but not completely comprehending their explanations. Afterwards, I would pray and ask the Holy Spirit to make me understand. Eventually, I would experience Eureka moments which are commonly known to Christians as revelations, and I would understand the teachings.
- Archeological Study Bible. New International Version. Grand Rapids Michigan, Zondervan, 2015.
- Hofman, Michel A. “Evolution of the Human Brain: When Bigger is Better”. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy. 2014.
- n.a. “Matthew 27:51 Commentary”. Bible Hub. 2017.