We must believe

4. We must believe what God has said concerning His Son; that Jesus Christ is indeed God (the Son) in the flesh, the only Savior, that He died for our sins according to the Scriptures, was resurrected from the dead and exalted to glory at God's right hand as the Reigning Lord of the Universe.

There is nothing for you or me to add or contribute; God left nothing undone concerning our release from sin and hell. I must simply believe in the work of Christ and embrace it personally, abandoning all efforts to save myself or to improve my condition. Christ has done all and I can do nothing...except believe and trust in His accomplishments on my behalf. (When we put our faith in Christ, we are no longer a casual observer, but an active participant. In this movie, the viewers are able to get out of their seats and join the cast on screen! The heart and mind engage in an actual relationship, an interactive friendship with the Savior Himself Who offers this reconciliation that we may know Him and enjoy Him and His Kingdom forever.)

1 Cor.15:1 "Now I (Paul) make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you.... 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures..."

5. Belief in Christ is more than a mental agreement with Christian doctrine; true faith demands a submission and surrender of one's total being. This submission to God might be understood as a conscious and willful death to sin and the self-absorbed life and a new focus upon living for Christ and upon obedience to His Word.

To understand and embrace the Gospel is to begin radical changes with a Presence and Power that was never known previously. Habitual sins and hurtful characteristics begin to die away and become replaced with deeds of righteousness, compassion, efforts of goodness and a daily dependence upon prayer and a study of the Scriptures. (It is not enough to have "seen the movie" or to simply believe that it exists. Those who only observe and never get involved miss the essence of the plot. This is one story that really can change your life! We could find ourselves leaving the "theatre" and crossing over the threshold into a new life and extraordinary changes. As good movies sometimes do, our emotions and thinking may have been profoundly affected. However the Gospel actually touches us more deeply than that, invading the core of our being and transforming us from the inside out. God, by His Spirit, truly takes up residence within the soul and establishes an eternal friendship and partnership, one that He created and desired "in the beginning" but which was lost in the Garden of Eden and recovered only by the work of the Savior, Jesus Christ.)

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Evidence of True Faith:

a.) Love for God; joy, gratitude and thankfulness for salvation;
b.) Love for God's Word; a desire to read, study and understand the Scriptures;
c.) Love for God's people; a commitment to Christian fellowship;
d.) Love of holiness; righteous living and the manifestation of the fruit of the Holy Spirit;
e.) Love for service; demonstrating Christian humility and a servant's heart.

This is the Gospel, stated succinctly and simply, and the evidence of it received in someone's life. Trusting in Christ may happen in a flash of God-given insight or over a period of days, weeks or longer. God works in very different and unique ways. If you currently have doubts about where you are in the faith, it may be that you are on the right road but have not quite arrived at the door of the Kingdom of God. Just as a natural birth involves a gestation period, so the spiritual birth may require time, growth and development. My advice is to spend time alone with the Bible [perhaps one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) or Romans] and ask God for faith, for understanding, and for repentance concerning the things that may be a hindrance.

Take God at His word: "And you will seek Me and find {Me,} when you search for Me with all your heart." (Jer. 29:13)

And remember these words of Jesus:

John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

If you think you have received Christ but have no assurance that you are saved and belong to Him, please read the Full Version.

Please E-Mail me if you need help in understanding the Gospel or your present condition before God. There is nothing more important.

The author,
Rick Edwards