2006-08-08 - The Lord Jesus Christ
A wild horse will kick, jump, and go all crazy trying to buck a rider. The rider is successful when the horse is broke. The horse is successful when the rider is bucked. A broke horse will calm down and let the rider stay on. But sometimes a horse will calm down for a short time and then go right back to its ways. It acted broke but, in its heart, it never really was. A horse's calm demeanor shows that it is broke but in truth only time will tell. Brokenness is not an easing up of the riding experience; brokenness is a heart change that makes its presence known by the horse's action.
Some people have a lot in common with those horses. Perhaps those of us who fall under the Evangelical umbrella emphasize the sinner's prayer more than the sinner's heart. The sinner's prayer does not save a person. It is merely an action that shows the inner change just as the calming of the horse is an action following the inner change - just as baptism, bible study, and church attendance are actions that show the change. Never once in the Scriptures can I find a statement that says we must pray some prayer formula in order to be saved. Time and time again, the scriptures say the same things and use the same types of words: believe. confess. repent. What do these mean? What do they have to do with the Lord Jesus Christ?
Let's examine each of these words and apply them to what we know of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 16:31 - And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Believe is defined in the dictionary in several ways. It can mean you have an opinion about something. It can mean you even feel strongly about something. The dictionary also tells us that believing can mean having a firm religious faith. None of these definitions does the word justice. The word translated as believe is pisteuo. It means more than all of these definitions do. Pisteuo means I commit to something and that I put total my faith or trust in it. Pisteuo-ing on Jesus as Christ means that it's not my opinion that Jesus is the way but that I firmly know him to be the Savior he claimed to be. Pisteuo-ing Jesus as Lord means that I put my total trust in Jesus as God - the one and only maker of the universe.
Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ means being totally committed and sold out to Jesus based, not on my opinion, but on the fact that he is "my Lord and my God" just as Thomas so succinctly put it (John 20:28).
If you are totally convinced that Jesus is Savior then you also must know that there are places we are saved to and from. Being convinced that he is Savior means knowing that there is a heaven prepared for us by his salvation and a hell we are destined for without his salvation but not many of us really believe in hell anymore. Because if we really believed in hell, we would be desperate to keep people from it - but we're not. We're content to go to our little church services and read a book that we don't seem to believe. We are content to act like believers when in fact we are not. We're just pretending. We don't believe. Or do we? What in your life shows that you really believe Jesus saves?
If you believe that Jesus is God then you'd know he is in control; you would know that he is the creator. If you believed on Jesus as Lord, you'd know every beast of the forest was his and the cattle on a thousand hills. (Psalm 50:10) You would know that God came and dwelt among men to bring us real life. If you believed this, if you were convinced that Jesus was Lord, then you'd know the Lord of all cares for you and loves you as his own and there is nothing, no nothing, he would not do for you. If you believe Jesus is God, you would not fret about tomorrow but rather concentrate on his goodness for today. If you really believed him to be God, you'd walk with him and talk with him as often as you could. Who hear would not sit and eat with the President if asked? Of course we would. Why? Because we believe him to be the President, we know him to be the President - and being President is something special. Jesus extends the same invitation; do we really believe enough to sit and dine with him?
Believe! And then act like you do. Tell others of your Savior. Spend time with God. Cast your cares on the Creator.
Until next time...
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted