C.S. Lewis: Author of the Narnia Chronicles, Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University and Christian Apologist of the 20th century. "For God, who said, 'Light shall shine out of darkness' has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
(2 Corinthians 4:6) The above words from 2 Corinthians 4:6 capture what I believe to be the best definition, in scripture, as to how a man or woman actually comes to saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. As smart as a man or woman thinks they are, people do not reason their way to a saving knowledge of a God they cannot see. Likewise, our material, naturalistic world has no trinket's or scientific devices that can bear out the reality of the spiritual world that encompasses it. Because of this, man is sure (and the atheist prides himself in this) that there is nothing there at all. That the material, natural, realm is all that exist and any concept of a spiritual world or reality is pure folly. Thus man marches onward...blind. What obliterates that closed system of solid naturalism in a person's life and thought? It's not some higher level of intellectual reasoning that they attain but rather, the piercing light of a revelation granted by God that people may know, what they will never know, without that revelation.
When revelation from God meets the cold reasonings of the mind and changes a heart that totally disbelieves that God even is (let alone that Jesus Christ is His Son) into a person that not only believes but now stakes their entire life on the revelation given to them, we call that GRACE.
And it truly is amazing. One of my favorite stories of God's grace bestowed upon an unbeliever is the conversion of C.S. Lewis, best known as the author of the Chronicles of Narnia. Lewis was born in 1898 in Ireland and was raised within the Church of Ireland until in 1913 at 15 years of age, Lewis abandoned the faith he was raised in and became an atheist. He had concluded that the Christian "myth" was inferior to other religious myths, explaining to a friend:
"I believe in no religion. There is absolutely no proof for any of them and from a philosophical standpoint, Christianity is not even the best." By the time he was 20 Lewis was a thorough going materialist (believing nothing exist but what he could see, feel, hear, taste, touch) and he remained this way for 13 years until at age 33 a light, greater than the darkness of his doubt, penetrated his life and brought him to saving faith in Christ.
It happened like this. On September 19th, 1931 Lewis was having a dinner with J.R.R. Tolkien and Hugo Dyson, his friends and fellow academic's from Oxford, who were both devout Christians. They engaged Lewis in a lengthy discussion about Christianity that went into the early hours of the 20th. Though they could challenge the reasoning's of his mind in their discussion and set the stage for the entry of grace they could not change his heart and Lewis left on the 20th as unbelieving in Jesus as when he'd come.
It was two days later on September 22nd, 1931 on a ride to Whipsnade Zoo in the side car of a motor bike that grace met the closed mind and cold doubts of the atheist. On that day, revelation from God once again shone forth the light of the truth, of spiritual realities, that reason could only grapple for in the dark. Lewis's words on the entry of grace into his heart are probably the most descriptive I have ever read on the work of grace in a person's life. In his own words:
"I know very well when but hardly how the final step was taken. I was driven to the zoo one sunny morning. When we set out I did not believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo, I did. Yet I had not exactly spent the journey in thought, nor in great emotion. It was more like when a man, after a long sleep, still lying motionless in bed, becomes aware that he is now awake." Ad that is the amazing thing about grace. C.S. Lewis would go on to become one of the foremost defenders of Christianity in the 20th century. When it comes to God, or the things of God, or spiritual realities in general, it is not you or I who cleverly discover their truth. It comes by revelation alone. We do not reason it out, nor do we nullify it's existence, because we cannot reason it out.
Truth is objective not subjective. Truth is truth even if nobody believes it. And the truth of God is that He is a God who reveals Himself. The Bible says.
"The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men." (Titus 2:11) You say, "That can't be. What happened to Lewis hasn't happened to me." The Bible also says: "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13) That doesn't mean so much that God is looking for you to make some great quest for him so much as He is saying if you will honestly open your heart to knowing Him, He will meet your openness with the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. If you really want to know God, God will bring the knowledge of Himself to you. God will dispense with the darkness and limitations of your natural mind and supersede them with the light of revelation that is found in Jesus Christ, and the entrance of that light will change your life completely.
As it did for me. As it did for C.S. Lewis. As it did for everyone who now call Jesus Christ their Savior.
"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see." Pastor Brian Smith