What is the nature of Christian experience?

Date posted:  1 Sep 2023
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What is the nature of Christian experience?

It was a wise and gracious man who said, ‘I want a feeling religion, not a religion of feelings,’ and Joseph Hart sang the truth when he wrote: ‘True religion’s more than notion, Something must be known and felt.’

True Christianity has as its foundation the great unalterable doctrines of Biblical revelation, the undeniable facts of history and, pre-eminently, the real living Lord Jesus Christ whose life, death, and resurrection is infallibly recorded under the direction of the Holy Spirit. This is the varied panorama of objective truth to which the humbled spirit of a believer always looks with the utmost confidence as he says ‘I believe this is absolutely true and reliable’. Yet the same believer can say more. He or she can speak of the subjective side of their religion, their experience and their experiences; and this is an essential and vital part of true Christianity. Jesus Christ is the Saviour of sinners whether people believe it or not, but only the believer knows Him as his own Saviour; he alone may say ‘I know whom I have believed’, and he alone can express this subjective experience by saying, ‘He is the Son of God and I trust in Him for my salvation’.

It is evident to the reader of Acts 17.30 that God commands all people everywhere to repent; but equally evident is the fact that all people do not repent. The objective truth is plainly written, the subjective experience is plainly essential, for Jesus said: ‘But unless you repent, you too will all perish’ (Luke 13.3,5).

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