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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Believing About Jesus or Believing In Jesus?, continued
For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, (Romans 8:13—NIV)
It is impossible to correctly interpret Romans 8:9,10 without reading the entire letter. One need look no further than Romans 8:13 (above) to see it is not enough to "believe" and "confess." There must follow a lifelong battle of resisting sin through the Holy Spirit if the Christian is not to slay his own resurrection.
To be saved it is absolutely necessary to confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord.
To be saved it is absolutely necessary to believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead.
To attain the resurrection unto life it is absolutely necessary we put to death the misdeeds of our body.
In our haste to make proselytes to our religion we have taken a few verses, have the seeker embrace these, and declare him or her "saved." But the Lord Jesus said, "he who endures to the end shall be saved."
Are we to maintain our concocted formula or are we to hold forth the whole counsel of God? Today we are by no means holding forth the whole counsel of God. We have our religious formula and churches full of proselytes who would flee for their lives if the demands of discipleship were placed on them.
We must get back to the Bible, the New Testament in particular, and start perceiving what it actually is stating. We may discover the text is quite different from what is being preached and taught today.
Let's turn now to the Gospel of John and let the Lord define what He meant by believing in Him.
What It Means to Believe In Jesus
Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." (John 6:28,29—NIV)
The above two verses are sometimes used to "prove" that the only work God requires of us is that we believe in Jesus. Actually such teachers really mean believe about Jesus, that He is God's Son. But Jesus goes on to explain what is involved in believing in Him.
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." (John 6:32,33—NIV)
The Lord proceeds to compare believing in Him with eating Him. Here is a vast distinction. Believing in Jesus, as we use the term today, has to do with our mind, our philosophy of life. But eating Jesus, gaining life by eating Him, is totally different from taking a mental position concerning His Deity and work of redemption.
This is why theology can be a dangerous discipline if not employed properly. Theology attempts to systematize that which is not systematizable. Eternal Life and the Resurrection from the dead are a Person, not knowledge no matter how accurate or refined. God cannot be understood by mental analysis. God draws near to those who love Him and gives them His flesh to eat. This is the new covenant.
To be continued.