Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Daily - 4/13/10

John 3:7-15

7 Do not be amazed that I told you, 'You must be born from above.'

8 The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."

9 Nicodemus answered and said to him, "How can this happen?"

10 Jesus answered and said to him, "You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this?

11 Amen, amen, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony.

12 If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?

13 No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.

14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

15 so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."


Yesterday we talked about what "born anew" means. For today -- what does it mean to believe in Christ? Per verse 15 ... that's important.

I've been round and round in my mind on this over the years. At first I didn't think of it very much. About ten years ago, I came to think that "believe in Christ" meant "accept Christ as my Lord and Savior." Once I do that, I'm saved.

I have a lot of testimony to give between how I got from that point to where I am now, but let it suffice to say that I put the question directly to God, and he answered me with crystal clarity. If you've got a six pack and two hours, I'll fill in the details.

"Belief" isn't just a mental understanding of who Christ was and why he came. It is a full acceptance of that, which includes submission to God's will and obedience to Christ's commands. Christ says this directly on multiple occasions. One of my favorites comes later in John 3

John 3:36

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.

I’m sure that I had read this more than a dozen times before it really sunk in with me. Christ himself states that disobedience of the Son is the opposite of belief. Obedience to God and acting on his commands aren’t a result of belief, they are belief, by Christ’s own definition. If I don't think I have to obey God's commands, then I don't really believe in Christ.