Author: Ron Graham
Believing in Jesus
—The second step
Every one who wants to be right with God must have faith (belief) in his Son Jesus Christ. This comes from hearing the word of God, the gospel which God revealed.
1 Why believe in Jesus?
Jesus is going to judge all mankind, including you and me. He will reward those who have followed him, and punish those who have rejected him (2Timothy 4:1,8, 2Thessalonians 1:8-12).
2 Where is the evidence for belief?
There are four written testimonies (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) that record the signs and wonders that Jesus did, including his coming back from the dead. These were written that we might believe that Jesus truly was the Son of God (John 20:26-31).
God has made sure that everything necessary to belief has been revealed and recorded in the holy scriptures. "So then faith (or belief) comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:11-17).
This shows how belief comes about. God provides the evidence in his word. By honestly and earnestly hearing that word, we can believe. Faith comes from God, not from ourselves. We don't listen to our own hearts. That won't produce a true belief. We listen to God’s word. That produces true belief leading to salvation.
3 Is there anyone else like Jesus to believe in?
No. Jesus is God’s unique Son. He is the one whom God gave to the world. There is no one else through whom we may come to God (John 3:16, John 14:6, 1John 5:10-13).
4 Is believing all that we need to do?
No. A belief without actions is a belief useless and dead (James 2:20-26). Believing in Jesus requires also doing what he says (John 15:14, 1John 3:23-24).
5 When we believe in Jesus what should we do?
Here is the answer given to those who asked that question: "Repent (change your heart) and let each of you be immersed (baptised) in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of sins..." (Acts 2:37-38)1. That is how one begins to put belief into action.
This is God’s answer (God having spoken through Peter) to the question, "What must we do?" (Acts 2:37). Many preachers are not giving that answer today, but a different answer. They will say that baptism is good, but it's NOT for forgiveness of sins. They will say that believing by itself is all that is necessary for salvation.
1. Jesus is one day going to judge all people. How should each person act toward him? (Believe and obey him, reject him, or ignore him?)
2. What evidence is belief in Jesus based upon? (His utterances, His miracles, or no evidence at all?)
3. How many men have come into the world who can give us eternal life? (One only, three, or seventy?)
4. What is the value of believing in Jesus without obeying him? (Sufficient for eternal life, better than nothing, or no value at all?)
5. A true belief in Jesus will cause a genuine change of heart (repentance) and a desire to overcome evil. What step should one take, at that point, to have one’s sins forgiven? (Make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, say a prayer, or "Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins calling on the name of the Lord"?)