Archive for July 2016

Do you believe Jesus saves [Part 2]?   Leave a comment

Do you believe?

Do you believe?

We have seen in an earlier post the implications of a belief. A belief is to consider something as true or trust in something. For example, I believe that the chair I’m using will hold me and not break. I have faith in this chair because I know its structural strength. After many years of use,  I still do not verify if it is still strong before using it. I would never have had this attitude with a weak chair. On what base is your faith sitting on?

Paul entrusted God his life and said: “I know in whom I have believed” (2 Tim. 1:12) . What does a Christian mean when he says ” I entrusted/gave my life to Christ” ?

Jesus said :”anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life“. As per Strong’s concordance, the greek word πιστεύων (pisteuōn) used to describe believe means:

pisteúō (from 4102 /pístis, “faith,” derived from 3982 /peíthō, “persuade, be persuaded”) – believe (affirm, have confidence); used of persuading oneself (= human believing) and with the sacred significance of being persuaded by the Lord (= faith-believing).  To entrust (especially one’s spiritual well-being to Christ):—believe(-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.

The belief described above is not a shallow one but based on conviction, being persuaded, having faith and entrusting self. It is not just knowing what Jesus said but acting upon this knowledge. Jesus died for the sins of all men (John 1:29,1 John 2:2, 2 Cor. 5:19) but not all men will be saved because they refuse to trust in the work of Christ. They have the knowledge but refuse to be persuaded, to have confidence and entrust their destiny to Christ. Religions taught us to do good works and obey God’s laws to obtain God’s mercy and forgiveness. When we do good deeds and obey the requirements of religions, we have an inner satisfaction that “we’re not that bad” and that God somehow owes us a good ‘karma’ or place in heaven. To have a good conscience, many have conceived in their minds the illusion that there exists such a thing as a weight balance between right and wrong that God looks at to decide our destiny.

Jesus did everything so that men stop trying to earn God’s favor by their good deeds. God wanted to draw men to Him through a mediator, the man Jesus-Christ.

This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.” 1 Tim. 2:5

What gives this man Jesus-Christ the credentials that He should be obeyed? Why should we take Him seriously? The main reason is that He claimed to be God. In previous posts, it has been discussed lengthily why Jesus is God. We’re not going to go through these here. We’ll take as a fact that Jesus is God to establish the foundation of the Christian faith and hope in Jesus. It would be risky to believe in Jesus’s words if He was just a powerful celestial being like an angel. Jesus is God’s Word who was made flesh(John 1) i.e. God took a human body. Jesus promised to give eternal life(Jn 10:28, 1 Jn. 5:11) and a place in heaven (Jn 14:3) to all those who believe in Him (Jn 1:12). If we believe that Jesus is God, it implies that we accept all His teachings and believe that He is the only true God (1 John 5:20).

This is why sinners are saved through faith. i.e. trusting Christ for giving them eternal life.

Paul said: “Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” 2 Cor. 5:14

The public acknowledgment and confession that Jesus alone is God and saves are sufficient to render a sinner righteous.

And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Rom. 10:8-11

A sinner is declared righteous because of His reliance on Jesus (Phil 3:9, Rom. 1:17, Rom. 3:22 Rom. 4:3). The basis of this righteousness is that God declares: ‘You are right oh sinner to come to Jesus and trust Him alone for the salvation of your soul!‘. The public declaration that Jesus is God, that He died for the sins of humanity and was raised from the dead implies that there’s a total rejection of getting right with God by any other means.

Posted July 30, 2016 by Cedric in Thought-provoking

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Do you believe Jesus saves[Part 1]?   Leave a comment

Do you believe?

Do you BELIEVE?

As per English dictionary, the word ‘Believe’ means:

  • to accept or regard (something) as true
  • to accept the truth of what is said by (someone)
  • to have faith, confidence and trust

The antonyms would be:

  • to reject or disregard (something) as true
  • to dispute, deny or distrust what is said by (someone)

The ‘Acceptance of a truth’ is used to define the word ‘belief’. A truth is a collection of statements considered as a fact/reality. The decision to believe in this fact is called faith. We have different beliefs or ideologies because we each decide what is the truth or the right way of doing things. The only way to be sure or prove that a fact is the absolute truth is when it can defend itself by its own existence. An absolute truth leaves no room for doubt for doubt is a form of unbelief. 99% truth is still falsity and not an absolute truth.

When Copernicus(1543) came with his statement that the sun was the center of the universe, he was ridiculed and ignored by those who had a Ptolemaic belief. For 2000 years, Aristotle, wise men and philosophers believed in an Earth-centered universe. The belief that Aristotle had could not change the fact that the earth was revolving around the sun. What a deception it was when the teachers of geocentrism discovered that they got it all wrong!

Heliocentrism is nowadays a fact that no one can disprove. Those who consider it false are considered fools.

If I ask a child: Do you believe that the Sun is the center of the universe? He will honestly say that he does not understand anything of what I am talking about. He never thought about it and is unable to say yes or no, unless he can verify by himself.

I have not been to outer space to verify with my eyes whether the sun is really the center of the universe and yet I believe like billions of humans in the sun-centered universe. If I really cared and wanted to be sure of this fact, I could still use the same observations that Copernicus made and find out by myself why Mars occasionally appeared to move backward with respect to the stars before moving forward again. It was not because billions of people believed in geocentrism that it made it true. It is also not because billions of people believe in heliocentrism that it makes it true, that would be ad-populum. The truth was over Aristotle head but in his head he conceived false beliefs out of ignorance. Though he was intelligent he did not behave like a child who would have acknowledged he did not have the answer .

It is prideful to say that a belief is false without examining it and it is imprudent to believe in something without verifying whether there is an absolute truth behind.

Jesus made statements that appealed to verify whether these were absolute truths or not. His declarations were serious and ignoring or believing them without careful examination would have both eternal implications.

Jesus claimed to be the Truth and not a truth among others. He said He was the way to God and not just another way. He claimed He was the life and not just another life giving source.

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” John 14:6

Jesus was radical when He said that those who do not believe in Him are already judged for their unbelief. After Jesus healed the man born blind, He asked:

Do you believe in the Son of Man?”The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.” John 9:35

Jesus clearly said that the sin of the world is unbelief. “The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me”. John 16:9

The bible says:

There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.” John 3:18-20

All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about his Son. And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life. I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:10-13