Jim's Jots and Tittles. . .
What Is Your Evidence?
Each one of us who has been baptized into Christ must present evidence to prove we are Christians. The words prove and proved are used numerous times in letters written to Christians. Prove is a word that refers to providing evidence to prove something is genuine or if something is what it claims to be. In the New Testament it refers to the evidence provided by Christians who claim to be children of God.
Paul writes that Christians should be careful how they walk when presenting this evidence to the world. Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:16-17)
To the Philippians, Paul compares their evidence to lights in the world. Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world. (Philippians 2:14-15)
Paul urged the Roman brethren to renovate their minds so they could be fully prepared to prove God´s will. Unless one is fully converted, one will not have the zeal to prove one´s life as a Christian. (Romans 12:2)
One´s Christian life must present evidence that one´s life is different from the lives of those who have not come to know God. The first Christians did. And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles´ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)
Any New Testament Christian who cannot show this kind of evidence in their life, regardless of one´s circumstances, has a problem sharing that evidence of faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8)
Paul did not write about rejoicing because he was in prison. He wrote about rejoicing in seven of his letters because this should be the evidence displayed in the lives of Christians. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:4-6) Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
This kind of evidence proves to the world that a Christian has something to look forward to after this life. And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. (1 John 2:28)
We are familiar with a court of law. Evidence is presented to prove one guilty or innocent. This is the picture we see of Christ´s judgment at the end of time concerning the evidence we have presented here on earth. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
What kind of evidence is each one of us placing in our lives for Christ´s judgment? Will it prove us good or bad? For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end. (Hebrews 3:14)