Believe in Christ
What it means to
"believe in jesus christ"
In the Gospel of John (3:16) we read “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
The Greek translates it as, “whosoever believes into him.”
This sums up what the Bible tells us about what faith in Jesus actually amounts too. Lots of people believe in Jesus in the sense that they believe He was an historical person who walked the earth and that he was possibly a prophet of sorts. The Muslims, by way of example believe this, but this belief does not make a person a Christian.
There are some who believe and know that Jesus is the Son of God and that He currently sits at God’s right hand, as does Satan and his demons, but this also does not qualify them for the title of Christian.
Only those who “believe into” Christ through a commitment to following Him by faith become children of God and thereby truly Christian.
Being a Christian
What is a christian?
A Christian is someone who:
– Confesses Jesus as their Master with their mouth and who believes in their heart that God has raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 10:9-10)
– Has turned away from sinning deliberately and doing what they know is wrong and has, by faith, sought and received ongoing forgiveness from God for breaking His laws and falling short of the standards; (I John 1:9)
– By faith in God’s Word, as recorded in the Bible, has become a child of God, a member of His family and who has been transferred from Satan’s Kingdom of darkness in to the marvelous light of God’s Kingdom. (John 1:12-13, Colossians 1:13)
– Whose human spirit has been “born again,” or made alive and sensitive to God by His Holy Spirit when we receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord (John 3:3-8).
– Has entered into a personal relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and who has access to His presence through prayer (Hebrews 4:16).
– Is growing in fruitfulness, primarily marked by love for God and others (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, 2).
– Has been given a particular spiritual gift or talent by God to be used to further the expansion of God’s kingdom here on earth (1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 27-31)
What does salvation mean?
Salvation, in the biblical sense, means deliverance from evil, both in this life and eternally. It additionally means that the saved person is now able to live a life of freedom because sin is no longer their master. They now live under the grace of God. (Romans 6:14) The Bible also tells us that the devil only comes to kill, steal and destroy but Jesus says “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’’ (John 10:10)
We are saved to live purposeful and fruitful lives through continuing faith in Jesus. The ultimate result of not being saved is judgement for sin and damnation.
How can I be Sure I'm saved?
How can you be sure that God knows your name and absolutely everything about you? How can you be sure that He loves you and that all your sins have been forgiven? The answer is simply through a heartfelt faith in what God has said through His written Word, the Bible. It is your anchor in a storm. Your salvation is not dependent on your good works, your feelings or your circumstances but on you humbly receiving by faith the Word of God that has been sown into your heart. (James 1:21) and continuing in that faith. (John 15:5-10)
Isn’t Christianity just
one of many religions leading
us to god?
Definitely not and for the following reasons:
-The Bible, unlike any other religious text, was written over many centuries, is filled with actual, historical figures and also many prophecies (300+) which were realised in the unique person, teachings, claims and work of its central figure, Jesus (e.g. Isaiah 9:6-7, 42:1-7, 52:53-12 and 61:1-2, Zechariah 12:10, Malachi 3:1)
-The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus were prophesied many centuries before these took place (Psalm 22, Psalm 16:8-11 and Acts 13:35-37). No one else has risen from the dead as did Jesus. The lives of His disciples were dramatically and forever changed after he appeared to them in the flesh after His resurrection.
– The message of the Gospel is also unique. Not only did Jesus say that no-one comes to the Father except through Himself (John 14:6) but it is also unique in this: that every other world religion requires that you perform good works or religious duties in order to be saved. Christianity on the other hand teaches that you cannot be saved by good works but only through faith in God’s unearned kindness by sending Jesus to take the punishment for our sins on the Cross. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
When we truly grasp what God has done for us in Christ Jesus, the love of God will be shed into our hearts (Romans 5:5) and we will enter in to the good works that God had prepared for us to do. Good works then do not save us but are merely a sign that we have indeed come to faith in Christ. The reformer Martin Luther put it well: “We are saved by faith alone, but not by faith that remains alone.”