Rev. Hong Shunqiang
Previously we mentioned that God gives us the instinct to believe in him, and some people may want to know how to believe in Jesus. So let us look at what the Bible says.
Faith Comes from Hearing the Message
People must hear the Word before they believe in Jesus; otherwise, they will need to know what to believe. In the Bible, Romans 10:12-18, says: ” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”
People in Europe, America, and countries with freedom of speech are very blessed because they can hear about the salvation of Jesus Christ everywhere. God intends that the gospel spread throughout the world. Unfortunately, evangelists cannot preach the gospel in some places, such as Muslim, Buddhist, and atheist countries. Christians are not free to preach or choose a different faith. It prevents people from hearing the Good News. Therefore, if you can listen to the truth of the gospel, I hope you will not be tired of listening to it because God is giving you a chance to expose to the gospel. In the Bible, Hebrews 2:1-4 reminds us: ” We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”
To Receive is to Believe
After we hear about the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ, we can then receive it, and to receive is to believe. In the Bible, John 1:12 says: ” Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”. God does not require us to do anything, because He has already prepared salvation for us. The Lord Jesus came to the world to bear our sins and was crucified, becoming the scapegoat. Because sinners cannot save themselves and need the Savior to save them, our response is to accept Him to substitute for our sin. It is like a person who owes a debt. When the creditor comes to collect the debt, he cannot repay it. But a rich man comes along to pay off his debt for him. As long as that person accepts what the rich man has done for him, the creditor will not pursue him again. He should feel the weight off his shoulder. In the same way, all people in the world are in sin, unable to face the accusation, death and future judgment brought about by sin. Now the Lord Jesus has redeemed us from our sins. In the Bible, 1 Peter 2:24 says, “He (the Lord Jesus) himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 John 2:2 says, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” Hebrews 9:27-28 clearly states: ” Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
To Call on the Name of the Lord is to Demonstrate One’s faith
When people accept the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible points out that we should call on Him in prayer. Praying shows that you need Him, admit that you are sinful, have left the Creator, are self-centered, and have lost your way in life. Now ask the Lord Jesus to be your Lord and let Him lead you on the path of life. Romans 10:13 says: ” Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Therefore, faith is not a belief in the mind and knowledge, but a practical action. The most basic action is to call on the Lord. Some people say they believe in Jesus, but they have never called on the Lord Jesus. This is not faith, but knowledge, because they don’t really feel the need for the Lord Jesus.
To call on the name of the Lord is to trust in the Lord. To believe is to trust. In the past, we trusted in ourselves and regarded ourselves as the master, but now we trust in the Lord. This is a public proclamation. Romans 10:9-10 says: ” If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him (Jesus) from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Therefore, those who truly believe in the Lord Jesus trust in the Lord. So if you say you believe in the Lord, ask yourself whether you really trust the Lord, at least in the matter of salvation. Acts 4:12 says, “Salvation is found in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
To Believe is to Obey
Where did the faith of the Israelites go wrong? Paul said in Romans 10:16-21, “But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” …… Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.” And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.” But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” Their problem is that they refuse to listen. From the Old Testament (that is, before the Lord Jesus became flesh) to the New Testament, they refused to obey God, and the result was God’s judgment. Obedience, of course, means obeying the Lord, obeying His Word, and doing His will, which is the proof of a believer. Remember the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
Dear friends, have we obeyed the Lord’s true way in the matter of salvation? The Lord Jesus said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Have we repented? He said: “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. ” (John 3:3) Jesus said to the crowd: ” I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) If we sincerely accept the Lord Jesus, call on the Lord and obey Him, this is faith.