Thursday, April 24, 2008

Why Do You Believe?

Too many times I have found people's interest in Jesus Christ to be what He can do for them. Indeed there are life-breathing elements He brings to a dead soul. Through your belief that He is the Son of the Living God, sent from God to be a propitiation for our sins, we are saved from eternal separation from God the Father. By this grace, we love Him because He first loved us. 

Many of us seek Him or accept Him because of what He can do for us. He is sought for the means of financial and physical blessings as well as emotional and physical blessings.

Many times people seek Him out as a self-help guru. They read and focus on the "good parts" of the Word of God to validate their emotions. What's wrong with that? You may ask. The problem arises when your relationship with Him is based on HOW you feel, which is a foundation that can break at the moment of hardship. People with "emotional" relationships with Christ really do not have a relationship with Christ for it does not come from faith. Any bond with Christ that does not stem from  full, complete, loyal Faith and Trust in Him is NO bond at all. It is only by Faith can we have a true relationship with Him. When this relationship is true, it is validated by our genuine desire to ask, not what Christ can do for you, but what you can do for Christ.

What exactly IS Faith?

Hebrews 11:1 tells us that Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Let's break down this verse for clear understanding.

Substance

The term substance comes up as many definitions. Please click on the link Substance to see the complete details. The primary definition of the term is:

1. that of which a thing consists; physical matter or material: form and substance.

The first part of the definition of Faith in Hebrews 11:1 describes Faith as the substance of Hope. Faith makes up the "physical matter or material" that defines Hope. It is the very essence of  of the things that are hoped for. We can see the clear correlation between Faith and Hope in this short passage of Galatians  5:5

"For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith."

Evidence

Without Faith, there is no hope. The second part of the definition of Faith is "the evidence of things not seen". If Faith is the substance of Hope, it is also then the proof of things that cannot be seen. The use of the term evidence is powerful in the understanding that something is manifested from Faith that proves it's unseen existence. What IS manifested from Faith? It is Charity, in other words, LOVE! Love for HIM that results in a strong desire to do HIS will as opposed to our own.

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity"-- 1 Corinthians 13:13

Charity is the manifestation of Faith, the substance of things hoped for. The chapter of Hebrews 11 is full of examples of those who have FAITH that resulted in CHARITY, an actionable self-sacrifice, for the HOPE of the promises set before them. Read the 11th chapter and the characters it names as examples. Then go back to the Old Testament and read those actual stories for yourself.

So Why DO You Believe?

Why do you believe in Jesus? The Bible is clear, He does not promise us riches, or health. He does not promise us a life free of trouble.  He does not promise us perfect marital relationships. He DOES promise a life of trials.

"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you" -- 1 Peter 4:12

He DOES promise opposition with the "world".

"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you". -- John 15:18

"Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you". --  1 John 3:13

He DOES have expectations.

"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." -- Luke 9:23

So again I ask why do you believe in Jesus? If you come to Him seeking on how He may "fix" what is wrong with your life IN this world, you come to Him for the wrong reasons. Anyone can see this world continues to deteriorate under the reign of imperfect, sinful man. If you believe in a spiritual aspect of life, then you must recognize the evil aspect of that spiritual realm. It is THIS evil aspect that is currently reigning over this earth. He is called Satan, prince of this world. If we understand that, then we understand that this life we live, in this world, in this present time, isn't the life we want to have. It is the promise of Eternal life with Christ we HOPE for. It is only with this understanding does this passage make clear sense:

"He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." -- John 12:25

Related Posts:

Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Sower Addendum

3 comments:

  1. Hello Hannah,
    I hope that you are doing well.

    “Why do I believe in Jesus?”

    I think that my answer might be a little on the selfish side.
    1. Simply put, I don’t want to spend eternity without His love.
    2. I have tried to run my life and failed…He does it so much better.
    3. I can do all things through Him.
    4. He is my strength, my shield from every danger.
    5. My only hope is in Him.
    6. I find rest in Him.
    7. He is my confidence.
    8. He is with me wherever I go.
    9. He understands me…all of me.
    !0. And He loves me just the same.

    Thanks Hannah, for making me reflect on this.
    God Bless!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Bobby!

    Thanks for sharing your testimony! Thanks for visiting. Family and I (and baby) are well. Hope you and your loved ones continue to be blessed in His love.

    Give my love to everyone :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very, very good post, Hannah. I'm hopeful that more people who have bought into the health and prosperity gospel will come to read this and ask themselves this question!

    ReplyDelete

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