An old joke told by my husband goes something like this:
After a long discussion about serious matters confronting our country and our businesses, one man asked another “What do you believe?” The response was “I believe I’ll have another cup of coffee.”
While the humor is superficial, the real question hangs in the air like Spanish moss hangs from tree limbs – what do you believe? Or, more pointedly, what do you believe about God? This is the question, the only question, that is of eternal significance. Do you believe that because you are a good person God will certainly accept you into His heaven? Do you believe that your money and fame will be, on balance, more than your evil, selfish deeds on earth? Do you even believe that there is a future or do you think that life on this earth is all there is? What if you are wrong? What then?
What you believe in is of critical import – it is a matter of eternal consequence.
One thing that is certain is that you can trust the Holy Bible to be true. What it says is true because it contains the Word of God, the Creator and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. And, regarding the need for a Savior, the Bible says this:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
While there are many additional concepts involved in God’s salvation for His people, the Scripture of the Holy Bible encapsulates them concisely and definitively in the John 3:16. Christians can argue about the finer points, the details and the doctrine, but ultimately, eternal life comes down to believing in Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
But salvation does not come just from believing that Jesus existed … even the devils believed that. Rather, Paul expresses the belief required as:
“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
In our church, we recite The Apostles’ Creed each week.
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into Heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic* church, the communion of the saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*Catholic means “universal”.
It is appropriate for us to remind ourselves of that which we believe because what we believe about Jesus Christ determines our ultimate destiny. Why do we need Jesus as a Savior? See Romans 3:23.
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Unfortunately, we cannot save ourselves from the consequences of our rebellious sin.
“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,”
Paul said that we are “dead” ro God because of our trespasses and sins, and we know that a dead person cannot do anything to bring himself back to life. Rather, God has to intervene to raise that person from death to life in Jesus Christ.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
If you receive Him as your Savior through grace alone, as you believe in His atoning death on the cross and His resurrection and ascension into heaven, if you confess your sins and repent, Scripture says that you will be saved. Your position in Heaven for eternity is guaranteed and you will be a new creation in Christ.
Think about the Apostles’ Creed and each of its elements. Do you believe this? Does it make a difference in your life? Pray that you will be more aware of how your beliefs determine your actions, because they do.
Here is a song entitled “I Believe” sung by the Bar J Wranglers from their album entitled For God and Country. I pray that you would be encouraged by its beautiful message.
Father, I thank You for Your grace that was extended to me by Christ’s death for me on the cross of Calvary. I thank You for the mercy and forgiveness you granted to me and I praise Your holy name for the gift of salvation. I pray that these words would challenge those who may not know You, and I pray that Your Holy Spirit would touch their hearts and bring them to You.