What Does It Mean to Believe In Jesus Christ?
WHY MUST I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST?
Because everybody has sinned. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (moral perfection of God) – Rom. 3:23. Sin is missing the mark of God’s perfection and we have all fallen short of this mark. This is why the Bible says, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). Since all of us have sinned there are no good people in God’s sight. Romans 3:10 says, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” In God’s eyes there are no good people – only sinners! This is why our good deeds are viewed as “filthy rags” in God’s sight (Isa. 64:6) and why we cannot be saved by our good works. Salvation is “not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:9).
Because sin deserves a penalty. The penalty or wage we receive for being sinners is death or separation from God. The penalty is one of judgment whereby we are separated from God’s presence forever in hell. Rom. 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death (eternal separation from God’s presence in hell). In Mark 9:45 Jesus spoke about being “cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched.” Revelation 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Sin has a penalty.
In summary, Jesus died in our place to pay the penalty for what we did. What did we do? We sinned against God (“Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight” – Ps. 51:4). What is the penalty for committing sins? The penalty is separation from God in hell. But Christ died taking our own sins and judgment upon Himself and then rose again so we could go free and not experience judgment in hell.
WHAT MUST I BELIEVE ABOUT JESUS CHRIST?
I must believe that Jesus Christ died in my place. The Bible says that Jesus Christ died on the cross in our place taking our sins and judgment upon Himself. 1 Cor. 15:3 says, “Christ died for our sins.” This means that Jesus died for the purpose of paying the penalty of judgment that our sins deserved. Jesus took our sins upon Himself and sin’s penalty (judgment) so that we would not have to be judged for our sins in hell. Jesus died in your place. He died as you, for you, and in your place bearing the penalty that you deserved for your own sins. This is the most beautiful display of love ever known to mankind. Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth (demonstrates) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
I must believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead the third day. 1 Cor. 15:4 says, “That he was buried, and that he rose again the third day.” The resurrection of Christ is the proof that Jesus paid the penalty for sin’s judgment in full. It guarantees that God the Father has accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, that Jesus can now save us from hell (Rom. 4:25), and give to us eternal life (John 11:25-26; Rom. 6:23).
I must believe there is something to receive through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God accepts Jesus’ death and resurrection as the only way for sinners to receive personal forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:26), salvation from hell (John 3:16; 5:24), and the gift of eternal life (Rom. 6:23; John 3:14-15). This is why Romans 6:23 says: “For the wages of sin is death (eternal separation from God in hell); but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (through His death and resurrection on our behalf). Eternal life means that we receive spiritual life in our human spirit so that we can live eternally with God in Heaven. John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
The way we receive forgiveness, salvation, and the gift of eternal life is by believing on Jesus Christ.
Acts 16:31, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
John 3:15, “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
John 6:47, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”
Belief or simple faith means reliance or trust. Faith (trust, reliance) conveys the thought of making a commitment to someone. When a person relies or trusts in another person to accomplish a specific task for them they are committing themselves to that person wholeheartedly. Belief can be expressed as a personal commitment (handing over, turning over) of an individual’s faith to Jesus Christ alone for salvation. It’s a commitment of one’s faith to the death and resurrection of Christ for salvation. Faith is a commitment to Christ’s ability to give you salvation and eternal life. Believing on Christ means a person places their complete trust in the death and resurrection of Christ for the specific purpose of providing them with the forgiveness of sins, deliverance from hell, and the gift of eternal life.
Many people only believe in the historical facts of Christ’s death and resurrection. They believe He died in a generic way for the human race, but they have never committed their personal faith to Jesus Christ alone for salvation from hell. They have never personally relied on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for their salvation. Belief in Jesus Christ can be accurately expressed as a definite decision or choice of a person’s will to commit their faith to Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
There is a vast difference between believing about Jesus and believing in Jesus Christ for salvation. General belief in God without committing your faith to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for salvation does not result in salvation (James 2:19).
Faith accepts the fact that Jesus died and rose again to give salvation. But it does not stop here. Faith then depends on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for salvation. Faith involves a definite decision or choice of a person’s will to commit their faith to Jesus Christ alone for salvation. You have not truly believed in Jesus Christ or expressed genuine faith in Christ until you make a personal choice to rely on Christ, commit your faith to Christ, or transfer all your trust in Christ alone for your salvation.
A person may believe that a chair might support him, but until he sits down on the chair and commits himself to the chair for support, he has not expressed true faith.
A person may believe an airplane will take him to his destination, but until he gets into the airplane and trusts the airplane to take him to his destination, he has not expressed true faith.
A person may believe that a lifeboat will save him, but until he steps into the lifeboat, he has not expressed true faith nor can he be saved from drowning.
A truck driver may believe the bridge is safe, but until he drives onto the bridge, he does not express true faith that the bridge will support him.
A skater may believe the ice is safe to walk on, but until he steps out onto the ice, he does not express true faith that the ice will support him.
A person may believe that an elevator will carry him to the top of the building, but until he steps into the elevator, he has not expressed truth faith in what the elevator can do for him.
A person may believe the meal may nourish him, but until he eats the meal and receives nourishment, he has not expressed faith in what the food can do for his well-being.
True belief or faith in Christ is like sitting on the chair, getting into the airplane, stepping into the lifeboat, driving onto the bridge, skating onto the ice, stepping into the elevator, or eating the nourishing meal. Okay. You get the point. True faith always involves personal trust and reliance. It involves making a personal choice to commit your faith to Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
WHAT IS THE OBJECT OF YOUR FAITH?
Do you express faith in your baptism, church membership, taking Mass, some experience or feeling you had, your good deeds, or have you committed your faith only to Jesus Christ for salvation? The Bible says we should only express "faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21),"faith in Christ Jesus" (Col. 1:4), and that we become "the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:26).
So let’s state it clearly. Belief in Jesus Christ involves a definite decision or choice of a person’s will to commit their faith to Jesus Christ alone for salvation (“If thou believest with all thine heart” – Acts 8:37). With the heart (a person’s will) they make the decision (choice) to believe or rely on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to save them and give them eternal life (“believe in thine heart” – Rom. 10:9).
Don’t put off or neglect this commitment of your faith to Jesus Christ alone for salvation. Proverbs 27:1, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” Tomorrow may be too late! You may die tomorrow and have no other chance to believe in Christ for salvation. Hebrews 9:27 says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” If you die without believing on Jesus Christ you will be judged in hell for all eternity. You will die and go to hell. You will have missed your chance to receive forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life. Don’t wait. Believe on Jesus Christ today for your personal salvation from hell. Belief involves a choice. What is your choice?
Addressing God in prayer will help you believe (trust or rely) on Jesus Christ alone for your salvation from hell. Prayer is the way we approach God and express our faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.
Are you ready to tell God that you are going to only trust in Jesus Christ to save you and get you to Heaven? Go ahead and address God right now in prayer.
You can express your belief or faith in this way:
“Dear Lord Jesus, I admit that I’m a sinner and deserve the punishment of hell for my sins. I understand that Jesus died in my place, taking my own sins and judgment upon Himself, which I deserved. I understand that Jesus rose from the dead. Today I want to place faith in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of my sins, salvation from hell, and the gift of eternal life. Right now I choose to commit my faith only to Jesus Christ for salvation believing that His death and resurrection will save me from hell and give to me the gift of eternal life. Thank you for personally dying for me, rising from the dead, and saving me today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
If you have believed on Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life, then please send a brief note to the webmaster of this website, letting the pastor know of your newfound faith in Christ. Just click the button marked "contacts" and send a short message. We would like to pray for your spiritual growth and new Christian life.