“Do you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God?” That question has been ringing in buildings and from hearts for ages. It’s a question asked and answered before we’re immersed (baptized) in the precious blood of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. A question which begins an eternal journey. A question which defines who we are and what we hope to be. A biblical question. A vital question.
Yet there’s another question which isn’t always asked, but a question even more crucial. It sounds like the same question, but it differs by one word. A word which changes everything.
“Do you believe like Jesus?”
Read that carefully. Not simply do you believe IN Jesus, but do you believe LIKE Jesus?
Many believe in Jesus but they don’t believe like Jesus. They believe Jesus is the Son of God, and they have no problem confessing it; but, His goals aren’t their goals. His desires aren’t their desires. His heart isn’t their heart. His journey isn’t their journey.
When Jesus calls us into the life of discipleship, He calls into a life built on more than words. When Jesus says, “Follow Me”, Jesus asks us to believe like He believes. He asks us to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. To teach those who can’t teach themselves. To pray for our enemies. To feed the hungry. To clothe the naked. To serve the downtrodden. To shine light in dark places. To serve, not to be served. To always see people’s potential.
How many congregations believe in Jesus, but they don’t believe like Jesus? A few key indicators come to mind. How much of their money is spent on keeping the saved happy verses saving the unhappy (the lost)? How much of their energy is devoted to keeping peace rather than challenging the status quo? (Which hasn’t been working too well across America, if you haven’t noticed). How much of their teaching is “preaching to the choir” rather than “maturing the choir”? Jesus didn’t come to keep things as they were. Jesus came to make all things new. To make things better. To bring Heaven to earth. To provide hope. That’s what He believed. We must believe it as well.
When we believe in Jesus, we take a first important step, but we simply take a step the demons have already taken. James, Jesus’ little brother, phrases it this way—“You believe in God; good! Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (James 2:19)
So take the next step! May we not only believe in Jesus, but believe LIKE Jesus! As John so powerfully penned, “…whoever claims to live in him (Jesus) must live as Jesus did.” (1st John 2:6)
One belief system states. One belief system saves. I’m confident you know which one is which.