16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Ok. So, I have started out with probably one of the most popular verses known to mankind. Alot of Christians witness to nonbelievers with this verse. They tell them,” All you have to do is believe in Christ and that He died and rose from the dead to cover our sins, and you will go to heaven.” Guess what! They are right.
Acts 16 : 30-31
30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
But so many times we fail to explain what “believing” really means. “Believing in Christ” means believing in everything that Christ stood for. What did He stand for? He stood for everything that is good. The whole New Testament is filled with teachings of how we should live our lives. Where did these teachings all originate from? They came from Jesus Christ.
Matthew 28: 19-20
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Notice verse 20, Jesus told them to go and teach what He commanded them. So now we know that what is coming from the authors of the New Testament is straight from the teachings of Christ. Yes, I know Apostle Paul was not one of the original disciples and he wrote alot of the New Testament, but Christ chose him, and actually spoke to him also.
The Conversion of Saul
9:1 But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” 7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; 19 and taking food, he was strengthened.
Saul Proclaims Jesus in Synagogues
For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. 20 And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” 21 And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” 22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.
There are two things I want you to notice in the passage of scripture above. First, is verse 15 and second, is the end of verse 19. Paul was chosen to teach to the Gentiles and also, he was with the disciples.
So in this blog, I wanted to bring out two things. First is the fact that simply believing in Christ is more than a belief. It is a lifestyle. It is believing in His teachings. And if you believe in His teachings, that means you will live them. Second is the fact that every author in the New Testament was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and/or was with Jesus to hear His teachings, or with the disciples to hear the teachings from them. So what is believing? It is believing everything that the New Testament teaches us about Christ, the Old Testament, and how to live our lives.
This blog is part one of a series of blogs. I want to talk more on the question “Just Believe? … Really? That’s it?” in more blogs coming up. If you read this blog please know that I am not finished with the complete answer and there will be more to come.