“Jesus declared, believe Me….”
Our Lord explained, “No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven – the Son of Man…so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:13, 15)
Jesus instructs us to believe because He knows we can. He stands ready to give eternal life to everyone who chooses to believe in Him, because trusting is a – choice! Remember that our Savior’s divine purpose for coming was, “… to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10) Lost, is how the Bible describes all of humanity. Therefore, the scope of the Lord’s rescue mission has continually been universal.
Regardless of how offensive our sins may be, in Christ, there is enough grace and power to experience a new beginning! That Good News remains the timeless hope which Christianity alone can offer. Saying “Yes” to God’s grace is the only earthly decision we can make that will bless us forever. By design, salvation’s eternal power can only be experienced after it has been believed and received by faith.
The choices we make everyday reflect whose we are and what we actually believe. This is why the Bible says “…I will show you my faith by my works…” (James 2:18c) How we use our opportunities, personal influence, time, and financial resources provides the compelling evidence of what we value most in life. However, all of those decisions, however good, remain powerless to – redeem us! It is Christ alone, rather than any set of rules, works, or human thinking, that actually matter. He always stands ready and able to forgive us. Our deeds cannot remove the eternal consequences of our sin. It is only faith in our Savior that has the power to cleanse and change our lives forever!
As you pray for the opportunity to share your faith throughout the day, don’t dwell on the unsavory behavior of anyone’s past – instead discuss their current need for spiritual rebirth and fulfillment. Seek to understand what he or she really feels, understands, and believes. Because all too often you may discover that they understand very little about God.
Don’t forget that everyone’s spiritual rebirth has a marked beginning. However, following that memorable experience, spiritual growth usually takes place slowly. That upward process is the culmination of soul-searching honesty, coupled with sincere obedience in response to someone’s caring witness, convicting corporate worship, or personal Bible study. This life changing new relationship with Jesus Christ is the intended goal of all Christian discipleship. Through it, our deep yearnings to know God personally are steadily satisfied. Paul described this inner fulfillment as “…the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7)
The reality of this extraordinary inner peace is precisely what Christians are called to enjoy and share. That lifestyle does not come about automatically; it demands a deliberate commitment to rely on Christ. To summarize this Paul stated, “…I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16)
The purpose of our witness is not merely to enhance or alter someone’s behavior. God, the Holy Spirit, will personally meet that need once He enters their repentant heart. With that in mind, let’s review: step one is to pray that God will produce spiritual conviction and awareness of sin in a seeker’s heart. Step two is to explain the certainty of God’s loving forgiveness with such clarity that anyone can understand and act upon it. The Bible says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12)
By Billie Hanks Jr.