Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14). The Agnostic would say it is impossible to know the truth in matters such as God and the future life with which Christianity is concerned. The Atheist would say God does not exist. Many others would say all religions in the world lead to God. But, with Paul, I say, “For I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day” (2 Timothy 2:12). What have I entrusted to Him? I have entrusted my whole life, here and now, and my whole eternal future.
Let me tell you about the one the Bible speaks of. Let me tell you about the one who rescued me from the domain of darkness and transferred me to the kingdom of His beloved Son. His name is Jesus. His name “is above every name” (Philippians 2:9). The Bible further speaks of this Jesus in that “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). He is “the First and the Last, and the Living One. [He] was dead, but look – [He] is alive forever and ever, and [He] holds the keys of death and Hades” (Revelation 1:17-18). He is the one who died for my sins. He is the one who was raised from the dead never to die again. He is the God and Creator who became a man, without ceasing to be God (Hebrews 1). He is my only hope! And I believe! Do you believe?
I cannot explain it. Like the blind man Jesus healed in John 9, “one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see” (9:25). It is a matter of faith. The Bible says I am a sinner and I deserve judgment. The Bible also says God is a God of grace and freely extends forgiveness and salvation to all who believe. But the question is, believe what. In answering that question, let’s think for a few moments about faith. It is important we understand what the Bible teaches about faith. The word itself is never plural. In other words, the Christian faith does not mean believing in a number of things. It is a single disposition of mind and heart towards Jesus Christ. This faith in the Lord Jesus Christ involves a desire for eternal life. This is what the writer of Hebrews means by “things hoped for” (11:1). It is looking for more than is on the surface. So when the Bible talks about having faith in Jesus Christ, one must understand that faith is only as good as its object. The object of faith in salvation is Jesus Christ. Therefore, one must believe in Jesus Christ. But what does it mean to believe?
Saving faith in Jesus Christ produces three elements. First of all, there is knowledge of Christ. Such knowledge would include the historic facts about the person and work of Christ. This is the gospel! Peter presented the basic facts of the gospel on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Paul mentioned the basic content of the gospel in his first letter to the Corinthian believers (1 Cor. 15:1-3). However, mere knowledge is not enough. There is a second element to faith known as assent to Christ. We must be convinced that these historic facts (knowledge) about Christ are true. We must believe that Jesus is able to do what He said he could do –forgive sins and guarantee eternal life!
However, just as mere knowledge is not enough, neither is mere assent. There is a third element known as commitment to Christ. By commitment I mean whole-hearted committal to Jesus Christ. In John’s Gospel, the Bible says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). Believe here means to believe “in, into,” or “upon.” You must believe in, into and upon Jesus Christ. It is a belief that brings about a change. This change is known as conversion (salvation). When a person is saved, he or she does not take three distinct steps. However, that person’s salvation does begin with knowledge of the Savior leading to assent to the Savior, which brings about commitment to the Savior. Saving faith is simply committing oneself to Jesus Christ. This is clearly expressed in Acts 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” When we put the sum total of our hope in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation, then we pass from spiritual death to spiritual life. We experience conversion! He changed my life. He’ll change your life, too! But it all begins with faith—Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the Cross. Will you believe? The Bible says, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
You are welcome to leave comments and you don't have to necessarily agree with me. However, I expect a civil tone and charitable spirit. We can disagree with one another without being disagreeable. "Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt." (Colossians 4:6)
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