What exactly is it that we are to believe?

This blog is formed from excerpts from a sermon by Darrell Baker from Faith Baptist Church, Huntsville, ON Canada

The obvious answer is to believe that Jesus rose from the dead. But when you dig deeper into that phrase you understand that Paul implies much more than that. Jesus resurrection means that…

  1. First we are to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God
  2. Second we are to believe that He came to this earth and lived the perfect/sinless life.
  3. Third we need to believe that He died with the sin of the world placed upon Him.
  4. Fourth we need to believe that He was buried and that three days later He rose from the dead.
  5. Finally we need to believe that it is by accepting His death and resurrection as the only way of salvation that we will be saved.

Notice: THIS IS ALL ABOUT ACCEPTING WHAT CHRIST DID FOR US.
There is no mention of

  • good works
  • or how you treat others
  • or your personal lifestyle
  • or attending church
  • or rules you need to follow
  • or reading your Bible
  • or praying
  • or any of the spiritual disciplines
  • or anything except Jesus!!

Our salvation is based solely on what Jesus has done for us. This is not to say that these other things are not important, because they are. There needs to be proof, evidence that our salvation is genuine. Our faith should make a difference in our lives but that difference grows out of our salvation it is not the means of our salvation. 

Paul says in vs. 10 that “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” We have been pronounced guiltless and declared righteous by God because of Jesus Christ shed blood.

John MacArthur summarizes this verse well when he writes: “Righteousness has to do with what we become, and salvation has to do with what we escape. The first has to do with the eternal life we receive but do not deserve, the second with the eternal punishment we deserve but do not receive. The first relates to entering into blessedness, the second relates to escaping cursedness.”

Does this seem hard? Who can live up to these standards? In one sense, it is suppose to be hard. Our sinfulness is always getting in the way of living for Jesus. Yet that only makes us more dependent on God.

We begin our life in Christ by faith and we live each day by faith as well. Just as we need Jesus to save us so we need the Holy Spirit to help us live in obedience to Him. There are two dangers in the Christian life: one is being too hard on ourselves, the second is not being hard enough.

  • There are those who are perfectionists and see every weakness every sin as a sign that they are not saved.
    • Such people need to be reminded of the grace of God and the forgiveness of God.
    • They also need to be reminded that when Jesus died He had their sin placed upon Him.
    • When we accept our Lord’s salvation He grants us forgiveness for all our sin, past, present and future.
  • Then there are those who think that sin is no big deal.
    • God understands that we are human, He made us this way, so He can’t complain or punish us for how He made us.
    • Such people need to be reminded that sin hinders our walk with God, that our prayers may be affected, and our relationship with other believers could be impacted by their sin.
    • No sin is trivial and all sin must be confessed before God.
  • Then there are some who want to “do something” in order to be saved. They want to perform some task, complete some assignment, go through some ritual. But at the end of the day all you need to do is accept what Jesus Christ did for you.

There is a story in the O.T. that illustrates this so well. It’s about an army officer of Aram named Naaman, an enemy of Israel. The Aramite soldiers had captured and brought home a young Jewish girl who became the servant of Naaman’s wife’s.

  • Naaman himself had a serious problem, he was a leper.
  • The young girl told Naaman of the prophet Elisha back in Israel, who she said could cure him of his leprosy.
  • Naaman went to meet with Elisha, but Elisha didn’t even see him, instead he sent a messenger who told him to go and wash seven times in the river Jordan.
  • Naaman was not use to being treated with such indifference and he was indignant.
  • Here is what happened next. 2 Kings 5 – But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage. Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.” 
  • If the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? Naaman almost missed a miracle because it was too simple.

Don’t let the simplicity of the gospel rob you of enjoying the forgiveness of God and of having eternal life. If God had told us to fast for one week, to memorize large sections of Scripture, to work in some social program and then to pray for 24 hours, some of you would have done it and felt then that you had earned your salvation.

Instead He says, “Believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” Believe, with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your your strength. Not just give lip service but really believe.

This I Believe by Ben Fielding / Matt Crocker

Our Father everlasting
The all creating One
God Almighty

Through Your Holy Spirit
Conceiving Christ the Son
Jesus our Savior

I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For I believe in the name of Jesus

Our Judge and our Defender
Suffered and crucified
Forgiveness is in You

Descended into darkness
You rose in glorious life
Forever seated high

I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For I believe in the name of Jesus

I believe in You
I believe You rose again
I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord
I believe

And I believe in You
I believe You rose again
I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord
I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For I believe in the name of Jesus

I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again

For I believe in the name of Jesus
For I believe in the name of Jesus

For I believe in the name of Jesus

We believe in love, Jesus
I believe in life eternal
I believe in the virgin birth
I believe in the saints’ communion
And in Your holy Church
I believe in the resurrection
When Jesus comes again
For I believe, in the name of Jesus

Come on!

I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For I believe in the name of Jesus

I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For I believe in the name of Jesus
For I believe in the name of Jesus

This I Believe (The Creed) lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

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