Jesus for Life
DOES IT MEAN
BELIEVE IN JESUS?
To really believe in Jesus is not as simple as saying
honestly that "I believe that Jesus lived, and died
cross and rose again from the dead and ascended into
heaven." And, "I believe that Jesus is the Son of God."
Belief here means much more than that.
Belief in Jesus means that we DO what we believe. We
turn around from living life 'our way' to placing our
complete trust in Jesus. Belief means that we trust Him
with our life, with our soul; that we trust Him to bring
to eternal life. We come to recognise that
He is our
reason for being.
reason for being.
Belief in Jesus as our Saviour means that we no longer
want to live our lives in the same way that we used to
It means that we want to live our lives, to live in a way
which is pleasing to Him ! This change of heart is called
And why do we want to "repent"? Because,
slowly, we have come to realise how offensive our lives
have been, and are, to God.
God Who is so Pure and so Holy.
And then we hear and understand the great news that
Jesus died for OUR sins, He died to set us free from the
punishment which is so rightly ours. He died on the
cross, He who was without sin, died for our sins. He
came to earth to die, to make it possible for us to come
into a right relationship with God.
At last, we understand !
And when, at last, we repent of our sins and turn to Jesus
Christ, when we give our lives over to His control, we are
filled with the Holy Spirit, who marks us as belonging to
Jesus forever. And He, the Holy Spirit, lives in us and
helps us become more like Jesus, day by day.
We find that following this giving of ourselves, our all,
into His care, we grow to
‘Love the Lord our God with all our heart
and with all our soul and with all our mind’
and to ‘Love our neighbour as ourself’.
(derived from Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:37-39)
For in the gospel
a righteousness from God is revealed,
a righteousness that is by faith
from first to last, just as it is written:
"The righteous will live by faith."
So do not throw away your confidence;
it will be richly rewarded.
You need to persevere
so that when you have done the will of God,
you will receive what he has promised.
For in just a very little while,
"He who is coming will come and will not delay.
But my righteous one will live by faith.
And if he shrinks back,
I will not be pleased with him."
But we are not of those who shrink back and are
destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
After John was put in prison, Jesus went into
Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.
"The time has come," he said.
"The kingdom of God is near.
Repent and believe the good news!"
While a large crowd was gathering and people were
coming to Jesus from town after town,
he told this parable:
"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was
scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was
trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell
on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered
because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among
thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.
Still other seed fell on good soil.
It came up and yielded a crop,
a hundred times more than was sown."
When he said this, he called out,
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He
said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the
kingdom of God has been given to you, but to
others I speak in parables, so that,
" 'though seeing, they may not see;
though hearing, they may not
"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the
word of God. Those along the path are the ones who
hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the
word from their hearts, so that they may not believe
and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who
receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they
have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of
testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns
stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way
they are choked by life's worries,
riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.
But the seed on good soil
stands for those with a noble and good heart,
the word, retain it, and by persevering
produce a crop.
From this time many of his disciples
turned back and no longer followed him.
"You do not want to leave too, do you?"
Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him,
"Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
We believe and know that
you are the Holy One of God."
John 6:66-69 (NIV)
Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem.
It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area
walking in Solomon's Colonnade. The Jews
gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep
us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not
believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak
for me, but you do not believe because you are not my
sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and
they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall
never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than
all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.
I and the Father are one."
John 10:22-30 (NIV)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -
and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -
not by works, so that no one can boast.
For we are God's workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
[Notice here, and elsewhere in the Bible, God shows us that
faith in Jesus' saving death produces (leads to) good works,
but that good works do not lead to faith in Jesus' saving death.
In fact, such good works lead to
faith in one's own righteousness!
We are not saved by our works;
the good works which we do are the fruit of our faith. ]
You adulterous people, don't you know that
friendship with the world is hatred toward God?
Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world
becomes an enemy of God.
Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the
spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
But he gives us more grace.
That is why Scripture says:
"God opposes the proud but
gives grace to the
Submit yourselves, then, to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Come near to God and he will come near to you.
Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts,
you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change
your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Humble yourselves before the Lord,
and he will lift you up.
"I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God
unless he is born again."
"How can a man be born when he is old?"
Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a
second time into his mother's womb to be born!"
Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth,
no one can enter the kingdom of God unless
he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to
flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not
be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'
[Thomas had not been together
with the other disciples
when Jesus had first appeared to them, after Jesus'
resurrection for the dead.]
So the other disciples told him,
"We have seen the Lord!"
But Thomas said: "Unless I see the nail marks in his
hands and put my finger where the nails were,
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and
Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked,
Jesus came and stood among them and said,
"Peace be with you!"
Then he said to Thomas,
"Put your finger here; see my hands.
Reach out your hand and put it into my side.
Stop doubting and believe."
Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you
have believed; blessed are those who have not seen
and yet have believed."