Connecting the Gospel to Believing

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We live in America.  And America is a Christian nation, right? So, since I am an American, and since I believe in God…… I’m good…. right?

Many operate on this notion that “I believe in God” so I must be a Christian.

The Bible does say that to be saved one must: repent and believe.  But, the Bible also tells us that even the demons believe.  Are demons saved?  Of course not!  So, how do we square:  I believe in Jesus, BUT SO DO THE DEMONS!?!

Glad you asked!

Believing in Jesus is MORE THAN knowing some facts about Jesus.  Maybe you grew up in a church and you went to Sunday school as a kid. Maybe you learned some things about the Bible and you know a bit about Abraham, Noah, David, and of course….. Jesus.

However, you have not thought about Him much since those days.  You believe He is real.  You probably know John 3:16, and you even like that verse.
But friend,

Believing in Jesus is more than knowing some facts about Jesus

, or having a head knowledge of Jesus.  Believing in Jesus has teeth!  Meaning: to believe in Jesus affects life. It affects every day of your life,…  AND it affects death.  When you stop and think about it, believing in Jesus affects every breath of your life and the last breath that you will breathe.  Did you know that believing in Jesus affects all that you do, who you are, the priorities you live by, values you hold, and the list goes on!
Coming later his week:  Believing in Jesus even affects __________.

“So what is missing is not believing in the fact that Jesus is the Son of God but delighting in that fact, embracing that fact, and making Christ the treasure and Lord of your life by surrendering to Him”.  John Piper


Remember the gospel?  Read: What the gospel is: here.  IMPORTANT:  You can “know” facts about the gospel — true facts!  You can “know” gospel content.  But… believing in Jesus is more than knowing Jesus facts or bible trivia!!!
Let’s think of it like this:
I believe in food!  I really do – and I bet you do too.  What is your favorite food?  Got it?  I bet you celebrate that food, prepare it just right, or go to that favorite place that cooks it …..  to perfection.  For me, a really rare, but great treat is…. Ruth’s Chris Steak House!  Oh my!  I can hear my steak sizzling on the plate, still cooking as the waiter places it on the table in front of me.  Are you with me?  Let’s eat!!

Now, Imagine, if I said….I believe in Ruth’s Chris’ steak…. but I have never eaten there!!  Nor do I know what they serve, or if it’s any good at all.  What if I only had some knowledge about the place because I visited their website and read some reviews?  It sounds good, but I can’t say I believe in Ruth’s Chris’ ability to cook a steak.  “I believe!!”  NO!  You would tell me:  You can’t believe in Ruth’s Chris if you haven’t ever tasted it, experienced it, put it your my mouth and bam….. said….  “ohhhhhh that is soooo good!”  I can tell you, “I believe in Ruth’s Chris steak because I have tasted it and I look forward to tasting it again!”

Many today want to say, “I believe in Jesus” because they know enough to know they need to believe in order to be saved.”  But when the Bible says “believe”, it carries more than a head knowledge meaning.  To believe is to “taste it” – Psalms 34.  It is not only “knowing” some gospel facts. Rather, it is to be so consumed with the joy of what those facts mean, that you have to have Jesus.  Like I have to have that steak…. and much more!  Believing in Him actually drives you to pursue Him and live your life for Him! Believing means:

– I live for Him
– I believe in ALL that He said
– I want to follow Him with my life
– I submit to Him
– He is the King and Lord over me
– He is the Savior of my sins!

 

This is what it means to believe in Jesus.
Knowing facts ABOUT Jesus is NOT believing in Jesus.  So, ask yourself….. do I believe in Jesus?

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5 thoughts on “Connecting the Gospel to Believing”

  1. What a great way to explain what it means to truly believe in Jesus. Churches that keep the gospel soft and fluffy totally miss the mark! Attenders can remain in the facts stage and never move beyond that. How terribly sad for those individuals who miss out on knowing Him deeply.

  2. Before I was a believer, I thought I was a Christian because I believed in God and even that He was good and generous. I believed Jesus was his son but few implications of that. Later I thought, “yeah I believe Jesus died and was resurrected…why not.”
    The real belief of the believer is that “I deserve punishment for what I’ve done.” and that Jesus received that punishment, trading our sins for His righteousness and making us clean before God.
    Also, faith is trust that He has made us clean by His work.

    1. Thanks for sharing Austin!! If you are willing….. share with us what brought you to a place where you moved from believing that there is a God and Jesus is His Son (But as you said….. “with little implications”) To where you are now…..believing God has exchanged your sins for His righteousness and has made you clean?

      1. That is a big question… Looking back, I can clearly see the hand of God…

        My wife got me involved in helping the youth group at her church. A man named Dennis talked a lot about the Holy Spirit helping him overcome faults and mistakes.
        I always thought I was in control and that I was good but I started realizing that I couldn’t love my wife as I should and I saw how awful my temper was. I wanted this “Holy Spirit” and asked for it. God gave it to me but not without making me realize that I wasn’t good and that I needed Him. It was a terrifying but joyful and disorienting time. I distinctly remember worshipping God for the first time moments after this experience.
        After this I was really excited about God and tried all the programs that my church had and started reading the bible. But somehow in all of this I was happy and disgruntled at the same time. It seemed like part was missing, some secret I didn’t get or I shouldn’t be sinning anymore and no one around me had any idea how to respond to my questions.
        Somehow I ran across a John Piper sermon and I was astonished at how he was explaining scripture. Between Piper sermons and studying Genesis with a friend, I became re-aware of the Gospel. I think we had minimized it and thought it was only for the lost, no longer needed once you were a believer. Although, I don’t ever recall being told what the gospel was except for “God has a plan for you”.
        With each new Piper sermon and reading scripture the magnitude of the Gospel and it’s implications grew in my mind.

        1. I too remember thinking the gospel was only for lost people. What a incredible time as I started to become aware of my need for the gospel…. every day! thanks for sharing this Austin!

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