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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Believing About Jesus or Believing In Jesus?, continued
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (II Corinthians 5:17—NIV)
True belief in Jesus brings forth a new creation, a morally transformed personality.
If any individual abides in Christ the fruit of righteous behavior is borne. How could it be otherwise? The fruit of the Spirit is borne wherever the Spirit is present.
But the distinction between knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus, believing the things about Jesus and believing in Jesus, is not always made clear. Thus we have many, many people who term themselves Christian who are not Christians at all. They do not know the Lord and the Lord does not know them.
For the present let's think about what is involved in believing in Jesus. Is it the same as believing about Jesus? Is there any real difference?
A person can believe Jesus was born of a virgin, worked miracles, was in fact the Son of God, made an atonement for our sins, was literally raised from the dead, sent forth the Holy Spirit from Heaven, and is coming again in the clouds of glory. We can believe all this and yet not have one drop of eternal life.
The demons know all these things better than we and they have no eternal life!
But isn't this faith? No, it is not. It is belief about Jesus. Faith occurs when you lay down your life, take up your cross, and follow Jesus.
A demon spirit saw Paul and his companion and cried out: "These men are servants of the most high God who show us the way of salvation." Was the demon saved? Did the fortune teller have eternal life? Apparently Paul did not think so.
We have believing about Jesus confused with believing in Jesus.
We have our head mixed up with our heart.
Believing the truth about Jesus saves no one unless the individual then comes to the Man, Christ, and makes the Man both his personal Savior and personal Lord; not just personal Savior, as in today's weak preaching, but personal Lord as well.
By teaching that belief about the things of Christ does not save us, does not bring eternal life, I am going against two thousand years of Christian tradition. Not only that, I appear to be denying such passages as the following:
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (Romans 10:9,10—NIV)
The above passage seems to be saying believing and confessing are all there is to being saved. The problem here is that we Evangelicals seize upon particular verses and from these build a pattern for "getting people saved."
We forget that the "Book of Romans" was not viewed as a book or an epistle by the Apostle Paul. It was seen by him as nothing more than a letter that he wrote to the believers in the city of Rome. Paul would never approve of someone taking a few lines from his letter and treating them as a ticket to Heaven.
To be continued.