Monday, February 27, 2012


"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

Believe.  It is a simple word; however, the subject is complex.  To believe means to place confidence in, to entrust, or to place your faith in.  And that's where it gets complex.  It is easy to say that you believe in something yet harder to actually do it.  To believe in God is to entrust Him with your very life.  When you read John 3:16 above and it says to believe in Him (meaning Jesus Christ), it means that you believe with every part of your being by placing your complete faith in Him alone.  When you know that Jesus died on the cross for you so that you could be forgiven and experience everlasting life in heaven, then it gets a little easier.  Many will tell you that it is too simple.  That one must work or earn her way to heaven.  God loves you more than to think you could ever get there on your own.  Only those who are perfect can get to heaven…except for the death of Christ on the cross.  God loved you so much that He sent His one and only Son to pay the penalty that you would owe.

God loves you
But because of his great love for you, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-- it is by grace you have been saved.  Ephesians 2:4-5

It is only by God's grace that you can enter heaven.  It's because He loves you so very much.  Perfect love is hard to understand.  Most people don't come close to experiencing it on this earth, because all are sinners.  None is perfect.  So you cannot show perfect love to another.  God's love and mercy is so great that He forgave you and gave you a new life.  God is just and fair.  God is also full of mercy.  It is a balance that no one fully understands.  He knew that He would have to judge you and that you could not enter heaven because of your sin and wrongdoings.  Because of His mercy, He provided a way.  It is by grace that you are saved through Christ.  What is grace?  It is what is given when you don't deserve it.  That's how much He loved you.

God sent Jesus to die for you
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.  You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:5-8

Of all the religions in the world, Christianity is the only one that involved the death of a righteous man.  Who else died for you?  No one.  Oh, there may have been some good men with lots of great thoughts but there are none that gave up heaven and stepped onto earth to die just for you.  That's what hope is all about.  That's what love is all about.  That's what grace is all about.  Hope does not disappoint you because God poured out His love into your heart by allowing Christ to die for you.  Then, God sent the Holy Spirit to be your guide and to help each day.  Without God's help, you are powerless.  Christ died for the powerless.  God knew that you would never gain access to Him.  God showed His love to you by sending Christ to die for you.

God wants you to believe in Jesus

What is believing in Jesus?  It is putting your trust completely in Him.  Look at it another way.

Believing is not…

You believe that there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that - and shudder.  James 2:19

Believing is not just knowing something.  James 2:19 says that even the demons know and believe that there is only one God.  Think about it.  Satan knows there is only one God and He knows the true God.  Does that mean that He is in heaven with Christ?  Certainly not.  Believing is not just knowing something; it is placing faith in something.  The demons have not placed their faith in God and God alone. 

Knowing about God is not enough.  Knowing that Jesus died on the cross for you is not enough.  What is enough is placing your faith in Jesus to the extent that you are willing to turn from your wrongdoing and trust Him with your life.

Believing is…

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God.  John 1:12

To those who believe and place their trust in God, the Bible promises that God gave them the right to become children of God.  It is the highest honor one can have, to be called a child of the most high God.  You must receive Him by allowing Him to be a part of your life and trusting Him in every area.  You must believe in Jesus to the extent that you allow Him to change your life through the work of the Holy Spirit.

God promises eternal life through Christ
God wants you to believe and place your faith in Him through Christ, but He also wants to grant to you the promise of a better life to come.  Jesus was the only one who could do this because people are sinful and God is holy.   You could not enter heaven if it were not for Christ.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus...  1 Timothy 2:5

Only Jesus can be the go between.  No one else.  Not a mother.  Not a priest.  No one.  Yes, the fact remains that Jesus is the only mediator between God and man.  So no one can come to the Father except through Him.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast, For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do.  Ephesians 2:8-10

When you really believe in Jesus, you understand more that you could never have done what He did.  It is God's gift to you.  You cannot take the credit for it.  You cannot do enough good works to ever earn your salvation.  It is just a gift from God.  And it is a gift that each person decides whether he or she will accept or reject. 

If someone were to offer you a gift of an ink pen, you could decide if you wanted to take it or not.  It you took it, you might appreciate it and therefore want to do something in return for the gift-giver.  With God, He offers Jesus as a free gift.  You either take it or you don't.  And with many more consequences than accepting an ink pen or not.  If you accept His free gift, you would hopefully appreciate it so much that you would want to serve God.  You don't do things for God to earn your place in heaven; you do things to say thank you for allowing your Son Jesus to die on the cross for you.

Simply put, it is God's grace.  It is not you.  You are God's precious workmanship and you are recreated to live your life by honoring Christ.  It is simple faith.  It is simple trust.  It is the blessed hope you have that not only will God be here to help you through this life, but that when you leave this earth, you can go to heaven and live eternally with Him.

Believe In Him.  He sent Jesus to die for you.

They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-- you and your household."  Acts 16:31

Acts says that when you believe in the Lord Jesus, you will be saved.  It goes on to say that your whole household will be saved.  What this is saying is that salvation will be brought to the house (see Luke 19:9) because the same light of Christ will be given to all in that home.  Anyone who believes will be saved in the same way.   When Christ is in your life, others in the household will certainly see it.   They too, will have the same opportunity to make a personal commitment to Jesus.


So, how do you believe?  You believe with all your being.  You say it with your mouth, you believe it on the inside (in your heart) and you show it on the outside by everything you say and do.  If you say you believe and do not live it out, then the question is, do you really believe?  You believe to the point that you put your whole trust in Christ and place your faith in Him and in Him alone.  He desires to give you hope and help in every area.  He desires that you believe.