For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
Skeptics are in good company because the apostle Paul was once in their number. He was a violent persecutor of the church, but he was also in the best position to believe the gospel. Yet, he missed it.
Paul’s training as a Pharisee required deep knowledge of the Old Testament. He was familiar with the laws, the customs, and everything that should’ve pointed him to see Jesus and say, “that’s the guy.” We all know that’s not what happened. Instead, Paul was so offended by the message of the church that he decided to kill Christians. But that all changed on the road to Damascus, where Christ appeared to him. Paul needed to see in order to believe.
Paul proved that no amount of knowledge is enough. Jesus has to meet us personally for us to believe. When we believe in Jesus, the Word of God comes alive. This is why Paul wrote that the testimony of Christ is “according to the Scriptures.” When anyone reads the Scriptures, they hear the voice of Jesus personally. The best way to overcome our doubts is to hear from Jesus directly—to read the Bible and submit to its teaching.
- Do you have a non-believing friend who would read the Bible with you?
- How have the Scriptures changed your life?
- Thank God for His Word!