What are some implications of the truth that the Holy Spirit in our hearts is God’s way of assuring us that Christianity is actually true? William Lane Craig explains:
This…also underlines the vital importance of cultivating the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. For though all Christians are indwelt by the Spirit, not all are filled with the Spirit. The New Testament teaches that we can grieve the Holy Spirit of God by sin (Eph. 4:30) and quench the Spirit by repressing his working in our lives (1 Thess. 5:19).
This next sentence is very true and very important. Don’t miss it…
The Christian who is not filled with the Spirit may often be wracked with doubts concerning his faith.
I can testify personally that my intellectual doubts seem most poignant when I am in a carnal condition.
Did you catch that? Dr. Craig is a world-famous apologist who teaches apologetics and debates people antagonistic to the Christian faith around the world, and he himself says that he struggles with doubts when he is, as he puts it “in a carnal condition.” In other words, if he’s not cultivating and awareness of, responsiveness to, and yieldedness to the Holy Spirit, he finds that–even with all his education and expertise, even though his career is literally showing how Christianity is true–he himself experiences doubt. He goes on:
But when a Christian is walking in the Spirit, then, although his intellectual questions may remain, he can live with those questions, without their robbing his faith of its vitality. As the source of the assurance that our faith is true, the Holy Spirit’s ministry in our lives needs to be cultivated by spiritual activities that help us to walk close to God, such as Bible study, prayer, devotional reading, inspirational music, evangelism, and Spirit-filled worship.
That’s from the first chapter of Reasonable Faith.
So, when a Christian is struggling with doubt, maybe the answer is not all about finding every answer to their every question. Maybe a big part of the answer also includes drawing near to God–cultivating closeness with him through those basic spiritual activities Dr. Craig lists.
What do you think? Do you have similar experiences to share?