Monday, August 25, 2008

Belief in Christ

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Last week's column was on the critical issue of belief, however belief in and of itself means nothing unless you understand what it is that we are believing in. You can believe in George Washington, you can believe in a light switch to bring you light, we can even believe in our belief, but none of those things will save us. What is really critical is what we are believing in, if you have true belief, but it is in works to save you, then your belief means nothing, our belief must be in the Lord Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, very few people who think they know who Jesus is, actually know the Jesus of the scriptures, they want to take Jesus on their own terms instead of going to the Bible to find out who it says He is. It is my desire to show you the Jesus of the Bible, (if such a thing is possible in such few words as I have at my disposal here.)
The first thing we need to address is just which Jesus we are talking about, Jesus was and still is a very common name among Jews. In Hebrew it is the same name as Joshua, and it is not enough for us to believe in just any of the many Jesus' of today or history. Peter specifies it when he says "that same Jesus", the Jesus that Peter is talking about is the one that was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died as an innocent man, and raised himself the third day. If you disagree with any of those facts, you are not believing in "that same Jesus" that I am believing in, and that Peter was preaching, if you deny any of that about Jesus you are putting your trust in a Jesus that is never mentioned in scripture.
The second thing that Peter preached about this Jesus is that He was the Christ. It is not enough for you to believe in Jesus the good man, or in Jesus the prophet, or Jesus the miracle worker. Believing in the Jesus of the Bible means that you believe He was the Christ, the Messiah, the chosen one of God, and in fact God Himself. The scriptures use the phrase "Jesus Christ" standing alone, without any other words describing Him, 93 times. How can anyone claim to believe in the Jesus of the Bible and yet deny the fact that He was the Christ? You can't, saving belief includes believing that He was and is the Christ.
The third and final description that Peter said was so intrinsically intertwined into who Jesus is that there is no salvation outside of it, is that this same Jesus is also Lord. This is a doctrine that is bucked by many and yet there can be no more escaping this fact then the truth that he is Christ, because the name Jesus is proceeded by the title "Lord" 115 times in the New Testament. To say that you believe in Jesus and yet refuse to submit to his authority as Lord, you would have to tear 115 verses out of the Bible. To believe in the Jesus of the Bible it is expedient that you believe that He is Lord, and if He is Lord then we need to be obeying His commandments, and that is where so many people get hung up. They want to believe that they have been saved from hell, but when the rubber meets the road they don't want it bad enough to except it on God's terms, they want to get it on their own terms. They want to be saved from hell but not from their sins, until God has brought you to a point where you are willing to believe on the Jesus of the Bible, the Jesus of Peter, Paul, and Silas, then there can be no salvation.
Belief is the critical doctrine of Christendom, but it is all a bunch of rot if you are not believing in the right person, I would challenge you to examine your own life and see just who you have believed in. Was it the Lord Jesus Christ? Have you ever believed at all? Believe in the Jesus of the scriptures and be saved.

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