Have You Seen Him?

  "The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, 'Come, be My disciple.' ...Philip went off to look for Nathanael and told him, 'We have found the very Person Moses and the prophets wrote about. His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.' ....'Nazareth!' exclaimed Nathanael, 'can anything good come from there?'....'Just come and see for yourself Philip said,' " Luke 1:43-46......"Some are saying that our greatest need today is for apologists to defend the truth and make a good case for the Christ of history, doctrine, and the Scriptures. But we are awfully short on apostles who have seen the Lord and out of a warm heart know how to tell others." Vance Havner


There is no doubt that the truth of His Word, of Scripture is under attack today with an intensity not known in the lifetime of any alive right now. False teaching abounds, and the enemy's question to Eve in the Garden has certainly found a foothold in the Church; "Did God really say that?" I am in complete agreement with taking a stand on the authority and power of all Scripture, and will have nothing to do with any view that seeks to take away from it in the least. However, our great need is not speaking as those who merely hold sacred the words of a book, but of speaking as those who have personally seen and encountered the One who is the Living Word Himself. 

When Philip witnessed to Nathanael that the promised Messiah had come, he was speaking to a man who would have been well versed concerning all the Scriptures that spoke of this Messiah, just as Philip himself was. The power of his witness lie in the fact that he had seen the very Word of Life come to life in Jesus Christ. He saw not just the word(s) about Him, but the very Word Himself. His words then to Nathanael were an invite that he would "Come and see." Nathanael went because he could not deny the power and fervor of his friend's witness. He wanted to see what Philip had seen. Does anyone want to see the Christ we have seen? Have we truly ever seen Him for ourselves? Or is our knowledge limited to what we have read in our Bibles? Information about Him abounds. Experience of Him, much less so I think. All the "letters" of learning added after our name are useless  unless those who possess them have in experience, seen and known Christ. Such hearts burn for Him. Burn to know and experience Him in ever deeper ways. Burn to see others know Him in such a way as well. Havner writes, "After we have presented the Christ of history, of doctrine, of the Scriptures, and of the experience of others, let us be sure that we can add, 'And He was seen by me.' " 

We are very busy in the Church today seeking to win souls to Christ. Are we trying to win them to a Christ we know intimately and deeply? Or is He as much an unknown to us as to them? Havner, writing decades ago, says, "In our churches we are out to win banners and raise quotas, not to know God." Paul, soon to martyred and join His Lord, writes that his deepest desire is to "Know Christ, and the power of His resurrection." What place does that desire have in our lives? Does it really have a place at all?

Pastor O


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   May 2019   
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