Search 'YeahImABeliever' for specific subjects, words, and Scriptures.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Believe With My ?

I'm sure that we all know about the peculiar type of 'believing' that has to be present in order for us to accept the Blood of Christ as [our] atonement for sin.  Or am I assuming too much?  I've been known to do that, usually in matters to do with my wife, Faith, and we all know how that turns out!  Let's start with the basics, and work our way forward, that way we won't have any assumptions that will later on bite us.

'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."  (John 3:16    NKJV)

Okay, just for the sake of covering all of the bases, we've got the words of Christ here, in plain language, telling us pointblank that we have to believe in Him to receive everlasting life.  Now let's back up just a bit here and establish not only the difference between the spirit and the flesh, but the importance of that difference to those who believe or those who are seeking.

'Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I way to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born or the Spirit is spirit.'  (John 3:5-6    NKJV)

It's pretty obvious here that according to Jesus, there is a huge difference between things of the flesh and things of the Spirit, and if anyone would know from first-hand experience, He would!  I mean, just think about it for a minute, He endured every trial, every tribulation, every type of pain.  He had victory over all of it, and never questioned His Father, until the one instance in which He couldn't feel the [Spiritual] presence of God in Him.

'And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”'  (Matthew 27:46    NKJV)

For just that split second, when Jesus bore all the sins of you and I, God took His [Spiritual] gaze off of His Son.  Why did He do this? 

'For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.'  (I Peter 3:12    NKJV)

Now don't go thinking that I'm saying that Jesus was seen by God as being evil, or doing evil.  What I'm pointing out is that Jesus conquered not only death, which is usually the focus of His death, burial, and resurrection, but also that He conquered sin.  One couldn't have happened without the other. 

'For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.'  (Romans 3:23    NKJV)
The presence of sin by man's disobedience brought with it the wages, or payment, for that sin, which is [Spiritual] death.  From the point of mans disobedience there in the garden of Eden, Biblical history has as one of it's primary focuses the sin-death relationship.  I know that I've gone the long way around to get back to where Jesus was very much aware that His Father had turned His [Spiritual] eyes away from Him for just an instant.  God had made it clear that He would not look at sin, in whatever form it took, He simply refused to gaze upon it.  This wasn't something new, we find evidence of His position on sin scattered throughout the Old Testament.

'Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, hat it cannot save;  nor His ear heavy,  that it cannot hear.  But your iniquities have separated you from your God;  and your sins have hidden His face from you,  so that He will not hear.'  (Isaiah 59:1-2    NKJV) 

'And there is no one who calls on Your name,  who stirs himself up to take hold of You;  for You have hidden Your face from us,  and have consumed us because of our iniquities.' (Isaiah 64:7    NKJV)

The one thing that has, and will continue to, separate man from God is man's sin, and the prophet Isaiah nailed it in the Scripture we've just looked at.  So when Jesus was there on the cross, and He knew His time as God the Son became Flesh was drawing to an end, He had to have known that He would be 'loaded down with' or 'covered' by the sin of mankind.  But even knowing in advance what was happening still couldn't prepare Him for what had to have been an immediate and awful sense of abandonment and helplessness when the moment of separation [from God] actually happened.  Just spend a moment and try to imagine a situation in which everything you knew and was, everything of importance and value, was in a flash simply....gone!  Just like that, everything that made you who and what you are was no longer there or had any value.  Now, take that same situation and imagine that you could see it coming, and knowing that there was nothing you could do to stop it.  To me, since I've lived most of my adult life in the snow country, it would be if I was out of control on icy road, sliding towards a drop-off, or even worse, towards a crown of people.  They couldn't move, for whatever reason, and I had no control over the vehicle.  Just imagine the helpless gut-wrenching feeling.  As bad as this sounds, what Christ experienced was much worse.  When He spoke those words, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Now we've gone full circle again, but maybe now 'how' we believe can be seen to be as important as it is that we believe at all. 

'For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”(that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.'  (Romans 10:5-10  NKJV)

We have to believe not with our heads, with reasoning and intelligence, but with our hearts.  This is completely at odds with what the world would insist on, and it makes no sense at all to those of the world, it isn't supposed to.

'Forsake foolishness and live, And go in the way of understanding.'  (Proverbs 9:6    NKJV)


'For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.'  (I Corinthians 1:18    NKJV)


'But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.'  (I Corinthians 2:14    NKJV)


'For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”;'  (I Corinthians 3:19    NKJV)

This concept, that the foolishness of the world is contrary to God and His Ways, and that the ways of the world are considered foolish by God and His Believers, isn't something found just in the New Testament, as most things with God aren't.  Remember Abraham?  Formerly Abram, married to his half-sister, lived in a town full of pagan [god] worshippers.  God told him to pack up and get out of town, that He would make Abraham a 'father of many nations' and give him and his descendants land.  This was probably about the most foolish thing ever heard of, but Abraham packed up and left.  I wonder what his neighbors and friends thought when they saw all of the commotion.  I would imagine that someone would've asked where he was going.  I'll bet it through them for a loop when he [rightfully] said he didn't know, just that God told him to go, so he went.  How about Noah?  Can you imagine what had to have been going through peoples minds when they watched this old man build this big boat.  What was going through his mind, what with hearing this deep, booming voice, telling him to build this big boat, but he did it. 

These two examples of men's obedience, and there are plenty more, are also examples of believing with the heart.  It couldn't be any other way than with the heart, that little voice of conviction, that gut feeling, intuition.  Call it what you choose, it's still believing with your heart.  Is it any different when we read in His Word 'to believe with the heart and confess with mouth.....and thou shall be saved'? 

I've been reading through a compilation of works entitled 'The Fundamentals' and in particular the arguments of a group called the 'higher critics.'  As you can imagine, there are many groups who dedicate their whole lives arguing that the Bible is just a big myth.  And the whole idea of believing anything with any part of the body except the brain is completely ridiculous, beyond laughable!  I think that the reason I've been going round and round with this subject today has to do with my reading of the past several days, and the silliness in some of these 'higher critics' arguments.  If it wasn't so sad, some of the things people will say in trying to deny God, His Ways, and His Life, it would be almost comic.  I was warned once, a long time ago, to not read anything of this sort, because all satan needed was a tiny toehold to separate my from God.  I cannot be separated from God, and the reason is because I believe with my heart!  No academics, no intellectual reasoning, nothing that can be influenced by [worldly] evidence or argument. 

How about you?  Do you believe with your heart? 

This is my last posting for this year, and my prayer for each and every one who may read this is that you'll either become a Christian, or you'll continue to grow in Him and His Ways.  Either way, don't feel like you have to justify your belief in Him to anybody, Christ already justified all of us with every drop of blood He shed on that fateful day of the Cross.  All we have to do, and this has to be by our own choice, is to keep on believing with our hearts.

Be Blessed in the years to come, and fulfill the works He's called you to!
Terry, praising His name in Montana.

No comments:

Post a Comment