True Belief Makes You Something New | Opinion

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Last week, we reported on disturbing survey results that suggested nearly half of American adults (48%) believe you can get to heaven by “being good” or doing enough good deeds for others. We have said that such beliefs directly contradict the Bible, which clearly states that the only way to heaven is through faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12, John 14:6, John 11:25, etc.). Today we turn our attention to what exactly it means to “have faith” in Jesus.

We know that on some level this involves the idea of ​​belief. “If you say with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). But again, this begs the question, what does it mean to believe?

This is especially important in light of passages like Matthew 21:7, where we hear Jesus say, “Anyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will not enter the kingdom of heaven. He goes even further by saying, “I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, malefactors! (Matthew 7:23).

This strongly suggests that true faith in Jesus is something more than just acknowledging him. There are many people today, many of whom may even attend church regularly, who agree with Jesus’ idea, but have not committed to the substance. In other words, they “know” Jesus without really “knowing him”.

The end of Matthew 7:21 can help us understand this better. Immediately after Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven”, he adds, “but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. In other words, belief must be translated into action, and more particularly into obedience.

This is a recurring theme throughout the New Testament. “He that has my commandments and keeps them,” said Jesus, “he it is that loves me. And he that loves me shall be loved by my Father” (John 14:21-22). says, ‘I know him,’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4).

To some, this sounds like “righteousness based on works,” the idea that we must “do something” to earn salvation. Does this contradict Ephesians 2:8-9, which says we have been saved by grace alone through faith, not works?

The short answer is no. This confirms what Jesus said in John 3:3 that we “must be born again” to see the kingdom of God. In other words, true faith or belief in Jesus is a life-changing experience that makes us something new. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old is gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). We become obedient to Christ because he has changed our lives, taken away our sins, and filled us with the Holy Spirit. We serve Him willingly, even as slaves (Romans 6:16), out of love and not out of compulsion.

Has Jesus Christ changed your life? Do you know him personally rather than just knowing him? Are you truly “born again” in the Holy Spirit? “Examine yourself to see if you are in the faith; test yourself. Don’t you realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you pass the test? (2 Corinthians 13:5).

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. Pastor Brad Schultz, Zion Evangelical Church, [email protected]

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.

Pastor Brad Schultz, Zion Evangelical Church, [email protected]

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