When I was in graduate school at a public university some years back, I was describing for my class a New Testament view of Jesus and the church’s consistent historic teaching about him. One of my classmates spoke up and said to me, “But you don’t really believe all that, right?” Well, actually, I really do believe all the things concerning Jesus accounted for us in the Gospels. Why? Because I have found the historicity of Jesus from an objective ground of evidence as reliable, as well as a subjective witness within that resonates as true. Christians call this witness within the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Old Zechariah experienced this firsthand. The Holy Spirit came upon him and he uttered some objective prophecy over his newborn son, John that rang exultingly true within his subjective hopeful soul: “You, my son, will go ahead of the Lord to get everything ready for him. You will tell his people that they can be saved when their sins are forgiven. God’s love and kindness will shine upon us like the sun that rises in the sky. On us who live in the dark shadow of death this light will shine to guide us into a life of peace.”
Indeed, this is exactly what John the Baptist did in his ministry. When the Spirit resonates with us and testifies to the truth of Jesus, we can find genuine deliverance from sin, death, and hell, as well as have the confidence to proclaim the name of Jesus as Savior and King. The objective and subjective aspects are both needed: objective evidence alone is really nothing more than facts; subjective witness alone without evidence is just gut feeling; but the objective and subjective together presents the person and work of Christ with truth and grace, fact and flavor, mind and heart, in a compelling blend of Christianity for all people.
Praise to you, Almighty God, because you have come to save your people. Thank you for delivering me through your Son, the Lord Jesus, and giving me your Holy Spirit. May the confidence I have with faith, hope, and love be used for your glory and honor. Amen.