We Are Radical

Bringing radical thoughts worth pondering (A blog of poriruachurch.com)

Salvation Series 3: Belief

We have now established the fact that people have a problem with sin (Romans 3:23). Sin has consequences, consequences on earth and on the Judgment Day (Romans 6:23). It is not God’s desire that we should face those consequences.

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9.

Christ came to this earth to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). It doesn’t take long, however, for one to realise that salvation is conditional. Meaning, God will not force anyone to be saved (or be condemned, for that matter). Instead, He gives us a choice, as so many passages point out.

And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” Acts 2:40.

One of the conditions God requires is true belief.

Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. John 8:24.

That’s an authoritative message! Will you pay attention to it?

What Belief in Christ Doesn’t Mean

In the fairytale world, belief is a child’s or character’s way of escaping his or her current situation to go to some magical land. During the holidays, some children are taught that if they believe in an old man in a red suit, then he will give them presents. Unfortunately, some people have started applying these types of “belief” to their “relationship” with Jesus Christ, the Lord of heaven and earth. Simply acknowledging that Jesus exists doesn’t cut it. In fact, many people will be surprised on the Judgement Day that even going beyond that still will not guarantee their place in the kingdom of heaven.

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.” Matthew 7:21-23.

Most of us would admit that calling Jesus our Lord is important. Equally important is performing good deeds in His name. After all, “faith without works is useless” (James 2:20). However, Jesus claims that many of those who call Him Lord and do mighty deeds in His name will still have to depart from Him on the Judgment Day. So, what is missing from the equation? Apparently, it was obedience to the Father’s will.

What It Means to Believe in Christ

The previous lesson highlighted the best-known verse of all Scripture.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16.

Many well-intentioned people have perverted this passage and have taught others that all we have to do is believe Jesus is real, and He will give us presents. That sounds a lot like the jolly, old man in a red suit, doesn’t it?

Again, as Jesus warns in Matthew 7, simply calling Jesus Lord will not get you into the kingdom of heaven. You have to show that Jesus is Lord by your actions. Many people love to call Jesus the Savior, which He certainly is (Acts 13:23). However, people are all too hesitant to show it through their lives that He is Lord. The New Testament refers to Christ hundreds of times more as Lord than as Savior. He must be your Lord before He can be your Savior. If Jesus is your Lord, He is your Master; He is the Ruler of your life; He is your King.

Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation.Hebrews 5:8-9.

Jesus Christ authors salvation to “all those who obey Him.” Jesus Christ is the worthy “Lord of lords and King of kings” (Revelation 17:14). He deserves our loyalty. How shameful it is to call Him our Lord and not do what He says! In fact, He feels the same way.

Why do you call Me, “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great. Luke 6:46-49.

If Christ is your Lord, you must be His servant. There is no other way to have it. Those who play the hypocrite by “believing” in Christ by thought or word only will learn the above parable all too well. Join me in doing all you can now so that if Christ came today, we would hear the beautiful words together:

…Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Matthew 25:23 (KJV).

I love you with the love of the Lord,

Lance

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2 comments on “Salvation Series 3: Belief

  1. Pingback: Salvation Series 6: Confession | We Are Radical

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This entry was posted on 19/11/2013 by in Salvation and tagged , , , , , , , , .