<<faith, conviction, trust>>
To accept as true, thus a believer (Christian) is one who agrees with God’s opinion and acts in faith. It is acknowledging ‘I am a sinner, I can’t save myself from sin’s penalty but I repent and claim Christ’s righteousness’. Then follows walking in the light and putting to death the desires of the flesh. Jesus declared, “To those who receive Him, He gives the right to become the children of God” (Jn 1:12). He gives us His Spirit to be within us (Rom 8:9). It is not just mental agreement to His standards and principles that makes a person a Christian but it is through having a vital relationship with Him that is evidenced by a changed lifestyle – living out His Word (Jas 1:22). Belief is an action word – there must be an outworking of that confession, ‘putting your money where your mouth is’. What we believe is revealed by how we live.
Behaviour follows belief. If you really believe, this will make a difference in your life
believes in the Son has eternal life” (Mt 3:2, 4:17; Jn 3:36). Today many mistakenly believe they will be going to heaven because they try
live a good life; yet without any valid connection to Jesus in a life changing ongoing relationship, resulting in obedience, service and holiness they will be excluded. Genuine believing without the process of life changing results is not possible. The Bible message is, produce evidence consistent what you confess (Lk 3:8,11-14). Jesus said, “By their fruits you will know them’ (Mt 7:16). Sincere belief in Jesus brings salvation, active obedience to God’s Word and demonstrates the genuineness of our conviction. “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day” (2 Tim 1:12). Do I have this confident trust? “Anyone who believes in the Son of God has the witness of the Spirit within” (1 Jn 5:10).
“Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him” (Heb 11:6). “Though you have not seen Him…you believe in Him. Those who believe in Him will never be put to shame” (1 Pet 1:8, 2:6).
The message of Christ’s death for sins seems foolish to those who don’t believe, but it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Rom 1:16; 1 Cor 1:18-25). The Bible states, “These [miracles] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name” (Jn 20:31). Also “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 the heart that you are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Rom 10:9,10).
Our faith (belief) is to be based on solid fact and irrefutable evidence, not man’s changeable opinion or unreliable and unproven hearsay. Feelings are not a reliable foundation to support any conviction.
God has revealed His existence in nature but many people refused to ‘see’ or acknowledge He exists. They mistakenly think they will not have to give account before Him and refuse His opinion that they are sinners and need His salvation (Rom 1:18-32, 14:12). Even demons believe in God, but do not obey Him and so are not saved (Jas 2:19).
Don’t be gullible and accept everything you are told, just because someone says ‘it is a message from God’ (1 Jn 4:1). We should be like the Christians who “received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Act 17:11). The truth can stand up to scrutiny, so verify whatever you are told. If not challenged and refuted, flawed (false) teaching leads to heresy with people being entrapped in deception or in bondage with a cult. It is essential to know what the Bible says as well as clearly understanding its message with the practical application of being outworked in our life (2 Tim 2:15, 3:16,17).