As I lay in bed drifting off for a nap—words started to come into my mind about “Believing in Jesus, and the connection to our salvation.” Stay close with me on this and read through it all for the opening words may leave your mouth gaping open and with a ‘WHAT?’ expression.
Believing in Jesus, as Son of God, who came to this earth to die for us, and rose again from the dead,” will not save us. Read that slowly, focusing on the first word—BELIEVING. I know what John 3 v 16 reads. “For God so loved the world that He gave* His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn* the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
Question—what are we to believe when we believe in Him? That He is Son of God—yes. That He died was buried and rose again from the dead—yes. But what else is there that we are to believe about Jesus?
If I were a new car sales person, (forgive me Jesus for comparing You to a new car) if I want to sell that car to you—I would give you a complete description of all that comes with the car... interior, exterior, what is under the hood, under the car, in the trunk, and now what all technical toys come with it too. Seeing all the facts I present and looking at everything I show you, you can say, yes I believe what you say about this car. BUT, when do you really want to buy that car and have it become a part of your life for at least ten years? When do you want to really sign those papers and hope you can afford it, making sacrifices to own it?
Ah ha ---ONLY AFTER you start that baby up and take it for a drive—that is when you BELIEVE, this is it—the car of my dreams. You experience all that is promised by me. the sales person.
So, then how do we experience Jesus in our life and come to BELIEVE that He is Lord, that He is God?
We must hear the Words of Jesus, and live those words, and do what so ever He tells us to do. Living our faith is the same as Jesus giving us LIFE starting now and going into eternity. It is the same as starting that car’s engine and putting the petal to the metal and going forth on our journey in life.
Jesus is more than Son of God who lived and died for us. He is the Living Waters, He is the Vine, He is the Bread, He is Love Complete, and He was the Example given on how to love. He is the Messiah for sure—but we are only saved by living the Words He left us to live. “I give you a new commandment; love others as I have loved you.” As James 2 v 14 we are told that FAITH alone is not enough, if we do not have works of love. Jesus Himself laid down the qualifications of discipleship. Take up your cross, love God above all things, your neighbor as yourself. Deny yourself, be the servant of all---all of these commands entails on our part—ACTION.
So, going back up to my first statement—and I stand by it-- “Believing in Jesus, as Son of God, who came to this earth to die for us, and rose again from the dead, will not save us.”
Take this a little further and break it down even more---What we believe about Jesus and what He told us to do, and how we hear and obey, follow in His footsteps---THIS is our salvation!! Not only on the final judgment day, but every day we live now—Loving and giving of ourselves –this is what makes us ALIVE today!! That is how Jesus is the waters we drink, the bread we eat, the vine we are connected to, and how we enter into His love and Presence on a moment by moment basis. I really hope that you are not thinking “I am saved, because I believe in Jesus” but then go about your life as usual. Dear ones that is like drooling over your dream car but from afar, hoping perhaps, someday—you will own it.
*this message brought to you by Fiat---only kidding!*
May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always. Oh, that is right, Jesus is also the Peace that goes beyond all understanding—and to know that you must do more than just believe He is God—do as Jesus said, Love as He loved.