We are thinking through some of the introductory issues in the Christian faith. Getting back to the basics means we need to review, periodically, the fundamentals of Christianity as we live in this world and want to serve Jesus.
While it is true that everyone lives by some kind of faith (see our previous post about stepping into an elevator), the Good News about Jesus is that we are to exercise faith in Him.
But for many “belief” or “faith” is just another way of saying “this is what I think” or “this is my opinion.” Belief in the Bible is much more than having a correct opinion. It involves aligning oneself with the reality of God and His truth!
The gospel of John has often been called the gospel of belief. Here are a few points which John makes in the fourth gospel about belief:
1. The goal of John the Baptist’s life was that all might believe in Jesus (1:7).
2. Being condemned or not condemned rests on belief or unbelief . . . in Jesus! (3:18).
3. While belief needs to be supported by evidence, it is possible to demand more evidence that one needs to believe (4:48).
4. We can’t work our way to God — The work God wants from us is belief in Jesus! (6:29).
5. Not believing Jesus’ claim to His own identify (the Son of God) means dying in one’s sins (8:24).
6. Believing in Jesus is so important that Jesus allowed one of His friends to die so He could raise him from the dead! (11:15).
7. Jesus demands the same belief in Himself as in God the Father! (14:1).
8. It is a sin not to believe in Jesus (16:9).
9. We can — and should — pray that others will believe in Jesus (17:20).
There is much more about BELIEF in the gospel of John. And I would recommend that you take a Bible you don’t mind marking up (preferably one of your own!) and highlight each use of “belief” or “believe” by John.
I heard one preacher say, “When I share the gospel, I worry about what people will think of me. And I worry what they will think of Jesus. But mostly, I worry about what they will think of me.”
Are you worried what people will think of you? Use your influence today to challenge someone to believe in Jesus. There is nothing more important than that!