Evidence is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days. We hear about evidence in court cases, scientific studies, and everyday conversations. But what exactly is evidence from a biblical perspective? As Christians, it’s important that we have a solid understanding of evidence so we can think critically and biblically.
In this post, we’ll take an in-depth look at how the Bible defines evidence. We’ll see that true evidence is not just about having proof or facts. It’s about having confidence in the truth and relying on the witness of God’s word and Spirit. With an open mind and heart, let’s dive into the biblical meaning of evidence together!
- Evidence goes beyond just having proof or facts – it’s having confidence and assurance in the truth.
- God’s word and his Spirit bearing witness are the ultimate evidence that provides certainty.
- While facts and empirical evidence have a place, they must be founded on the bedrock truth of God’s revelation.
- As Christians, we need to think critically about the evidence and test it against Scripture.
- Our faith is not blind – it’s based on real evidence and the witness of the Holy Spirit.
The Limitations of Facts and Proofs
When we think of evidence, often the first thing that comes to mind is having solid facts, data, or proof. Evidence is linked to empirical facts that can be observed and verified. This is useful in science, law, and everyday life. However, while facts and proofs provide a degree of confidence, they have limitations from a biblical perspective.
Facts alone cannot lead to complete certainty. Our observations and reasoning may be flawed or limited. Proofs can point to truth but cannot provide 100% certainty. As Proverbs 3:5 warns, we must not lean on our own understanding. Just having empirical facts is not enough.
This is because ultimate truth extends beyond what can be physically seen and measured. As Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The most important truths of God, eternity, and salvation cannot be directly observed or scientifically proven with mere facts.
So while facts and proofs have a place, the Bible presents a much deeper view of evidence. Evidence is not just about empirical data – it’s about having confidence and assurance in the truth. Let’s look further at how the Bible presents evidence.
The Divine Witness of Scripture
At the heart of the biblical view of evidence is recognizing that God’s word testifies to the truth and provides divine warrant for what we believe. The Bible is not simply a book of facts and stories – it’s God’s revelation that serves as evidence.
Several passages affirm that the Scriptures serve as a witness to point us to salvation in Jesus Christ. John 20:30-31 states, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
The truth of Scripture points to Christ so that we may believe and have eternal life. The Bible is the God-breathed testimony that provides sure evidence that Jesus is the only way to salvation.
In John 5:39 Jesus himself says, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” He makes clear the Scriptures bear witness about him. They serve as evidence by testifying about Christ.
Several other verses refer to the Scriptures as God’s testimony and witness (e.g. Psalm 119:88, 2 Timothy 1:8, 2 Peter 1:16-19). The Bible is not just a book written by men – it is authored by God through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to provide divine warrant for the truth.
So the witness of Scripture serves as authoritative evidence. It is a more sure word than any human facts or reasoning (2 Peter 1:19). The Bible alone provides God’s perspective and testifies to the only way of salvation in Christ.
The Inner Witness of the Spirit
In addition to the outer witness of Scripture, the Bible also presents the inner witness of the Holy Spirit as crucial evidence. When we are saved, the Holy Spirit takes residence within us and bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16).
The inner working of the Holy Spirit provides personal assurance and confirmation of the truth as we experience repentance, regeneration, and the bearing of spiritual fruit. Through this inner witness, we not only know the fact of Christ intellectually but we know Him relationally through the Spirit.
1 John 5:6 says, “the Spirit is truth.” The Spirit guides us into all truth (John 16:13) and convinces the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). By the Spirit, the truth becomes a living reality, not just a set of facts. The inner witness provides experiential knowledge of God’s truth.
This Spirit-given assurance goes beyond just objective facts – it is subjective and personal while still being rooted in reality. The inner witness provides evidence that brings deep heart knowledge, not just head knowledge.
Evidence Must Be Tested Against Scripture
Given the limitations of natural facts and proofs, we must think critically about evidence. Facts, experiences, and reasoning must all be tested against the standard of God’s authoritative word.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 says we must “test all things; hold fast what is good.” As fallible humans, our perception of facts and experiences may be flawed. So we must carefully weigh them against the truths of Scripture under the guidance of the Spirit.
Any supposed evidence must align with the revealed Word of God to be considered valid. Our faith and assurance must be built on the foundation of Jesus Christ and the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 3:11, Ephesians 2:20). Facts and experiences cannot overturn or reinterpret the truths God has revealed.
When evaluating evidence, we must maintain humility, discernment, and continual reformation to the Word. We must let Scripture critique us rather than the other way around. God’s word serves as a lamp to our feet and light to our path, keeping us on the narrow way of truth (Psalm 119: 105).
As Christians we are called to renew our minds and think biblically (Romans 12:2). That means interpreting facts, experiences, and logic through the lens of Scripture rather than the lens of human wisdom. God’s word must be our ultimate standard of truth.
Our Faith is Based on Real Evidence
While biblical faith extends beyond natural facts, that does not mean it is blind, irrational, or contrary to evidence. True saving faith relies on the assurance of “things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Our faith is based on real divine evidence.
The witness of Scripture and the Spirit provide tangible conviction and assurance of salvation in Christ. God gives us warranted, rational grounds to place our faith in Him. Our belief is not a blind leap but a reasonable step of trust founded on divine revelation.
The truth of Christ is not understood in a vacuum of facts but in light of God’s authoritative, infallible testimony in the Word and confirmed by the inner witness of the Spirit. This divine evidence provides unshakable confidence. Our faith does not require us to believe against the facts or without evidence.
When our faith is rooted in God’s sure Word rather than worldly wisdom, we gain assurance and hope. We can boldly proclaim with the apostles, “We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). Our faith is based on real, trustworthy evidence from God.
Understanding the biblical view of evidence is crucial for thinking critically as Christians. While we shouldn’t ignore facts and logic, we must remember evidence goes deeper. True evidence provides Spirit-wrought assurance and confidence in the truth of salvation through Christ alone.
Our faith has a firm foundation in the divine witness of God’s Word and his Spirit. This lifts us above uncertain human reasoning to gain conviction in that which cannot be seen. When our roots go deep into God’s revelation, we will withstand the shifting sands of facts, proofs, and human wisdom. Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
So next time you encounter the word “evidence,” remember there’s more to it than having physical proof. Let your assurance be founded on the surer evidence of Scripture and the inner witness of the Spirit. Place your confidence in God’s revelation and you will never be shaken.