In the song “He Lives,” there is a line that says, “You ask me how I know He lives.”
Is “He lives within my heart” a reasonable answer? If so, how?
There are several ways we can look at this expression.
We read in Romans 8:16, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” So, if we are thinking of the personal evidence of the living Christ or the communion we have with Christ through the Spirit, then yes we can say, “He lives within my heart.”
But, there is more. John 10:28 says, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” So, we also have Him in our hearts in the sense that His life is in us, if we are believers. So, in this sense also, “He lives within my heart.”
So far, these only speak of the personal aspect of knowing. That is, I know through personal experience. But, this is not really enough because our experiences are so variable. One day I may feel close to the Lord and another day I may not. We cannot trust our feelings for something so important. So, John tells us in his first epistle, “ I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 Jn. 5:13). Notice that our relationship to Christ is based on believing what John has written. This is evidentially based knowledge.
So, in fact, I know both from personal experience and from God’s written Word (and God cannot lie) that “He lives within my heart.” However, the answer I give may depend on who is asking. If a skeptic asks me how I know, he might not be impressed by my personal conviction, but he is obligated to honor evidence—if he is an honest person.
Notice finally, if I am in a position where I am likely to be asked such a question by a skeptic, it is a good idea to be familiar with some of the best arguments supporting the reliability of God’s Word. In this way, I can present a credible case which might hopefully be used by the Spirit to convict the questioner.