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? Of course you need to complete the thought … what do you believe about ____fill in the blank_______? We can believe any number of things about any number of topics: politics, military necessity, recipes that are tempting, education, how much to drink at any given time, etc. but the only belief that is of eternal consequence is “What do you believe about God?”
“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.
In our church, we recite The Apostles’ Creed each week. It is a statement of the common beliefs of the Christian community that is a bit longer than John 3:16.
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 you believe about Jesus Christ determines your 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.”
According to Dr. R. C. Sproul our sin is “cosmic treason” against God. [For more from Dr. Sproul on this topic, see the post Good and Bad Together?, posted January 27, 2017.]
Unfortunately, we cannot save ourselves from the consequences of our rebellious sin.
“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 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.