Believing In Jesus

To believe in Jesus is to act on that belief. In order to have any saving power, belief in Jesus means to fully trust in Him, not only as the only sacrifice for sin, but also to trust in Him as Lord by taking up our cross and following Him: “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 10:38-39). The problem with much of modern theology is that it (1) fails to recognize the Bible as the inspired word of God; and (2) fails to define words properly.

When we define faith as simply believing that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, we defining faith as something that even demons have (see James 2:19-20). This was the kind of faith many rulers among the Jews possessed, but although believing, they were unwilling to confess Him publically (see John 12:42). None of these definitions fit what the Bible describes as faith. A broad definition of faith is found in Hebrews 11:6: “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Faith must includes our seeking after God. In Hebrews 11, many examples of faith are given. These were men and women who believed in and obeyed God.

Some have been taught that man is so corrupt that he cannot believe. Belief is said to be some kind of experience that is better felt than told. It happens suddenly and without warning when God zaps it into you. Perhaps it is like the Hollywood notion of “falling in love.” Once the love arrow hits you, you are a goner! However, the Bible teaches that the gospel is to be preached to every creature and that all who accept this gospel and is willing to be baptized shall be saved (see Mark 16:15-16). Jesus stressed the importance of teaching with these words: "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me” (John 6:44-45). Paul taught that the gospel required obedience and that faith comes from hearing the word: “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our report?’ So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:16-17). Why make mysterious that which God has made plain? I think that there are so many myths surrounding salvation that people’s eyes have been blinded to the truth. As it was in the days of the apostles, so it is now.

Yes, we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. That everyone needs to repent is the most difficult part, because people are content with their lives and filled with apathy, not realizing that God is angry and will bring their pitiful lives, with all of their excuses, into judgment. "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

That people are sinners does not mean that we have lost all of our senses and cannot be taught of God. Yes, we must hear words whereby we can be saved. The power of simple faith and trust cannot be over emphasized. It is our free choice either to believe in Christ, with all that implies, or reject Him. We are not lost because we reject Christ, we are lost because we are dead in our own trespasses and sins. It so happens that Christ is the only solution to our problem. --- Lindy McDaniel


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