Saturday, April 23, 2011

Holy Week Special (Part 4): Do You Really Believe in Jesus?

Perhaps the most taken for granted fact in a christian's life is one's belief in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Many of us acknowledge the reality of knowing there is a Sovereign God in heaven and many of us profess to believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son of the Father, who was sent to die for us. Ask a professing christian you meet on the street if they believe in Jesus Christ, and you will not find a single one who will say "NO."

Many know about Jesus. Even non-believers hate His name. Many of us know His story from what we sporadically read in the Bible or in christian storybooks somewhere. The life of Jesus offers hope for those who are lost. Although, that part of the story even gets so misunderstood at times. Often we think of Him as a God who is so loving and gracious that He came to save us from all our misery. Part of it is true, but we usually tend to hold on to the part where we make Him our imaginary heavenly vending machine!

It seems like most of us who acknowledge that we believe in Jesus, believe only in His ability to help us in our times of need. We believe in Him because we cling to the idea that there is a God upstairs who loves us to pieces and will take very good care of us while we're living on this earth. We believe in His awesome power to heal, to bless, to give, to provide, to lift up, to make life here on earth easier and better. We believe in His abounding love, and magnify His mercy and grace in the midst of life's passions turned mishaps.

Yes, we believe in Jesus who died on the cross to save us, but save us from what? From our difficulties? From financial hardship? From our diseases and disorders? From broken relationships? From loneliness? From trouble? From disasters and maybe from death? If we really consider it carefully, we believe in Jesus Christ mostly because we believe He can provide us with the things we need to enjoy life here on earth - abundance, protection, good health, healthy relationships, good life, happiness, prosperity. We cling to the gospel of "Living Our Best Life Now!"

Many times during the ministry of Jesus here on earth we hear Him say "Believe in Me," or "Believe Me." Believing in His words and in what He preached may sound so easy to do for most of us, but it's not until we come face to face with what it is really that He wants us to believe in that we find it difficult to do so.

Jesus clearly states in John 14:1,

"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in Godbelieve also in Me." (NASB)

The Bible also tells us this in John 14:6,

"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life
no one comes to the Father but through Me."(NASB)

Jesus established His authority as He said those words to us. He is the way, the truth, and the life! There's is no other way to God the Father but through HIM. This truth may easily be acknowledged by most of us, but we simply take it for granted. How? Because many of us also believe that if we can be good enough, we can eventually come to the Father. Many still believe that someone else can help us pray our way to heaven. Many still call on the intercession of another name believing that they can help us get to heaven someday.

We say we believe in Jesus and that He is what He said He is - the Way, the Truth, and the Life - but we blindly continue with the stupor of calling on someone else's name to help us find the right way to get right with God. We pray for so and so's intercession for our souls. We call for this and that to help save us. We fall on our knees and cry out to this and that to help pray for us. We call on the name of so and so to save us. 

Jesus invites us... "Believe in Me"... but the reality of it isn't really easy for most of us...

"Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. “He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERSbut WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10-12)

There's no other name that we can call, pray, and invoke to pray for us, let alone save us! If we want to consider intercession by anybody, let the Word of God show us this truth... 

"In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." (Romans 8:26-27)

Our needs, our weaknesses, our salvation, our help, our everything relies only in God and God alone... in God the Father's mercy, in God the Son's sacrifice, in God the Spirit's intercession.

Let's carefully consider that and test our hearts... do we REALLY believe in Him?

Believing in Jesus and Him being the only Way and the Truth could be very difficult for a lot of people. If we believe that He is the Way and He is the Truth, then His way is the only way to go. Jesus speaks of a difficult truth that could make a lot of us angry and resistant, but I'd like to share this truth today...

"Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

      Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”" (John 3:1-8)

Jesus himself told us about a needed new birth. He tells us this because...

God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24)  

Many of us will resist that truth, and this is why Jesus challenges us to "BELIEVE in Him"...

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13)

Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances." (Ezekiel 36:25-27)

When we profess that we believe in Jesus Christ and in His words, we ought to take great consideration of this profession. It comes with a great requirement of FAITH! Not everyone will find Jesus' truth easy to accept, but that is not new for there were many who resisted Him during His time, too. 

Before we can ever believe in anything or anybody's word, we ought to get to know them first, right? This is why we ought to open up our Bibles and read God's Word because it will point us to Jesus and to His Truth... He himself tells us this is John 5:46-47...

"For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me
But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" 

My dearest, it is but time for us to stop swaying with the stupor that the prince of this world has led us to. We have been blinded for far too long...

"Submit yourselves therefore to God
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)

God reveals Himself to us in His Word. He has spoken to us at present through his Son, and we should learn to listen to HIM and HIM ALONE! No other authority must be greater in our lives than that of Jesus Christ - The Word of God!

This year's Holy week reminds us of God's work for humankind's salvation. If we profess to believe in Him and His Son, Jesus Christ, then we ought to see the fruit of it in our life. The Word of God presents that we would KNOW if we are of God because of the evidence in our life. As in any legal case, only the evidence counts to prove that something is real. When we profess to believe in Jesus Christ, let us then examine ourselves to see if that fact is real in our lives.

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