Oscar Wilde once said, “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” This is a struggle for many who call themselves Christians. We often live in a way that can only be described as survival, leading us to miss the reason we were created. This should not be the case. For if you know Christ, you have a relationship with the God who created you for himself. We were made for more than mere survival. And this all should result in the Christian’s life being an apologetic to the truth of who God is.
Made for more
The first question in the Westminster Confession is “What is the chief end of man?” The answer is “To glorify God and enjoy him forever.” This is a crucial question, and it is one that people throughout history have asked, wanting to know their purpose in life.
The answer always has to go back to God. God made us so that we would give Him glory through a joyful relationship with Him. We were made to know God, and we will only be satisfied in a relationship with Him.
C. S. Lewis managed to capture this thought that we are made for more by saying, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
The truth is that we go throughout this world trying to fulfill a desire only God can satisfy. This is true of everyone who was ever created, and it’s true of you. Until you come to God through Christ, you will not know the joy for which you were made. This truth is why the psalmist writes, “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8a), and why he also testifies, “You made me know the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11).
The truth of why we were made was also uttered by Blaise Pascal, who affirmed, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”
If you know Jesus Christ, you have the truth and answer for which everyone is looking. You have found the treasure of all treasures and the answer to life’s most crucial question. The treasure is God himself, a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. This relationship will bring true happiness not only in this life, but for eternity.
A place to stand
If you have ever been on a rickety bridge, or tried to stand on something that could not hold your weight, you have understood the importance of a firm foundation. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said this very same thing:
“Everyone who hears these words of mine, and does them, will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock” (Matt. 7:24-25).
There are questions all of humanity faces, and there are many answers, but what you learn very quickly is that many of these answers are not sufficient. They cannot bear the weight of reality. You have to have something—or someone—big enough to give you a foundation, and the world’s answers are not big enough.
Christians have answers that the world simply does not. We have a God big enough to carry the weight of the issues we face in this world.
As Francis Schaeffer said concerning the world, there is “no value system strong enough to bear the strains of life.” A Christian worldview makes all the difference, and gives you a solid place to stand as you are exposed to the pressures of life.
The Bible says, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to his own glory and excellence” (2 Pet. 1:3). All that God has given through His Word and the work of Christ gives you a place to stand, and in having that firm foundation, you have what the world does not.
Take a look at the past: civilizations have come and gone, but Christianity remains because its foundation is in the truth. You have been given the truth of God’s Word about who you are, who God is, and how you are to respond in all of life’s situations. If you know Christ, you have the answers to life that the world does not. This relationship makes you a light to the truth of the gospel where you can shine as lights to the world, and can give hope to those who have none, like a city set on hill (Matt. 5:14).
Drawn to beauty
Everyone is drawn to beauty. It’s part of how we were created, and all true beauty found in creation comes from God. So, all beauty reflects God, because God himself is beautiful. This beauty can be seen in God’s holiness, love, happiness, and all else that is true of God’s character, for it is the sum of all that is true of God.
Being a Christian is not only seeing the beauty of who God is, but also having that beauty reflected in our lives. Dane Ortlund has written, “To become a Christian is to become alive to beauty.” To be a Christian is to be in the process of becoming beautified, or becoming more and more like Christ, knowing His goodness and happiness that works its way out in a life of beauty, all for God’s glory.
There should be something about our lives that draws people to us, not for who we are by way of personality or achievements, but because we know the one who is truly beautiful. We are called to walk as Christ walked (Eph. 5:1-2), and in living in relationship with God, we can point the world to the one who is most beautiful as his beauty is reflected in us. This beauty is seen in the way we act, reflecting the character of God in the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), so that through our conduct those in the world may “see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation” (1 Pet. 2:12).
The apologetic of our lives
If someone were to look at your life, would they know you’re a Christian? Is there something different about you? Do you stand out from the world around you? Even more specifically, does your life reflect a relationship with God?
One man said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Examine your life and the reason you are living it. We are created in the image of God, and because of this, we are wired for a relationship with our creator God, and we are made to worship and glorify Him who is the definition of truth, beauty, goodness, and happiness. This should make a difference in the way you live, and means that you do not merely exist, but should live life to the full.
One mature Christian’s life can say more about God to the world than a library full of theology books. One image the New Testament uses to describe life is that of “walking.” What does walking have to do with our lives?
- We are called to be imitators of God, and to walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us (Eph. 5:1-2).
- We used to walk as the world does (Eph. 2:2).
- In being saved by grace, there are now good works God has prepared in advance in which we should walk (Eph. 2:10).
- We are called to walk in a manner worthy of the calling we have in Christ (Eph. 4:1; see also Col. 1:10 and 1 Thess. 2:12).
- We are to walk as Christ did (1 John 2:6),
- We should not walk as those who do not know Christ (Eph. 4:17),
- We are to walk wisely, making the best use of our time (Eph. 5:17).
If you are a follower of Christ, the way you “walk” should be noticeably different. It is a testimony to the truth as you walk in the light (3 John 4; 1 John 1:7). This kind of walk points to the fact that we were created for something more, that we have a place to stand, and that we have been drawn by beauty and are in turn being made beautiful. This means we are lights in a dark world pointing to the one for whom we were made, the one who is truth, and the one who is the most beautiful being.
Talk your walk
There is a song I used to sing when I was young: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” The gospel should affect the way you live and should be a testimony to the truth of the gospel. But what we communicate through our lives is not enough to save the lost. People need to hear the truth of who they are before a holy God and what He has done through Jesus Christ to save them.
But those important conversations often begin as you are living out the work of God in your life. It is in living in relationship with the God who created us that we begin to live a life that is an apologetic to the great God we serve. He is the God who saved us and has called us not only to live out that relationship in our walk, but also to proclaim the gospel of salvation in Christ.
This post is taken from Standing for Truth: A Student’s Guide to Apologetics, which introduces students to arguments for the Bible’s reliability and God’s existence, while providing outlines of how to engage the culture. Standing for Truth is published by Crossings Camps in Louisville, Kentucky. Visit gocrossings.org to learn more about Crossings’ gospel-intensive camps that are packed with unforgettable fun.
Published March 31, 2019