TRUE BELIEVING DEMANDS ACTION
By Rodney W. Francis
For the Christian it is important that we know the meaning of the words that Jesus spoke. In numbers of cases the words we use today in this modern world have a different meaning to the same word as used in the Scriptures. If we are not careful it can cause us to have a very wrong understanding of what is required of us. The word “believe” is one of those words. Today it can simply mean mental assent to something; something we believe in our minds; but in the Bible it is a word that demands a response, an action on our part to demonstrate to God that we really do believe what He has spoken to us in His Word and/or by His Holy Spirit. Over the years I have learned that every time God speaks to me ~ and there are many ways that God speaks to us (in the Bible He has spoken by at least 40 different ways to people) ~ when He speaks I have to make a positive and definite response. I have to show to Him by my actions that I really do believe what He has said. Because He is God and is the Supreme Authority of Truth, then I can commit to Him in confidence that things will always turn out right when I obey Him (even though there might not be any natural evidence of it being so). In my earlier days of being a Christian I would put off what He was asking of me until a later time, i.e. tonight or tomorrow. The result of that was often I did not get around to doing what He was asking of me; and it became a “lost opportunity” to prove the reality and truth of God’s word to me.
In this Ministry God will ask us to print a book in another country. Usually when He asks us to do that we do not have the funds to do it. But we still have to commit to Him ~ and demonstrate to Him by that commitment ~ that we are ready to do that as soon as the funds are available; so we prepare for it and get everything ready for the time when we can give a printer the go-ahead. We have learned that when God speaks He will also provide the finances to do it (we will not go into debt in this Ministry). Our believing put into action becomes faith and it is faith that pleases God: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God mustbelieve that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently (“earnestly, eagerly”)seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6 ).
Every time we believe (with action) God’s word to us we have seen God provide and enable us to do what He has asked of us. It is so wonderful to see how God works and provides for us to do what He has asked of us ~ after we are prepared to demonstrate to Him that we believe what He has asked of us. The result of our operating this way has meant we have been able to accomplish far more than we naturally thought we could. And hundreds of thousands of people have been ministered to over the years. Praise the Lord!
WHAT IS BIBLE BELIEVING?
So, make sure you know what Bible believing is. The Bible meaning of the word “believe” is: from the Greek “pisteuo” meaning “to believe (233 times in the New Testament); to have faith, to entrust (especially one’s spiritual well-being to Christ); “pistis” meaning “persuasion, i.e. credence; reliance upon Christ . . . assurance, belief, believe, faith (239 times in the New Testament), fidelity” (Strong’s); “pisteuo” meaning “to adhere to, trust, rely on” (Young’s); “be persuaded, to rely upon, to trust. The New Testament conception of faith is (i) fully convinced acknowledgment (ii) a self-surrendering fellowship (iii) a fully assured and unswerving confidence – to give oneself up to – to obey, hence obedient, faithful, to trust” (Bullinger’s). There are scores of Scriptures that speak of believing and faith in the New Testament alone.
- The basic Gospel challenge is for us to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; to believe what He says and has said.
- It is a total commitment to what He says.
- And that commitment demands a positive response, an action, a demonstration to Jesus Christ that we are prepared to respond to His word because we love Him and He comes first in our lives.
- Everything else submits itself to believing what Jesus says!
Right from the very beginning of Jesus’ public ministry He emphasized the need to believe: "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel" (Mark 1:15 ).
The evidence of repentance is that we now believe; whereas before we doubted or did not believe the truth of Jesus Christ.
- Now we are to believe in the Gospel!
- What Jesus says goes to the repentant, born-again believer in Jesus Christ!
- He is the first and final authority!
THE AWESOME POWER OF BELIEVING
When we seriously consider the words and teachings of Jesus we see that there is limitless power inour believing what He says. The disciples had been unsuccessful in trying to cast an evil spirit out of a boy with a dumb spirit. In answer to the boy’s desperate father crying out for help for his son, Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes" (Mark 9:23 ; see verses 17-29). Notice Jesus did not say, “Some things are possible to him that believes” but ALL THINGS!
Do we believe this? What about the following challenge?
WHAT JESUS TAUGHT US TO DO!
Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father Who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.”
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:10-15 ). (Read again slowly).
If we really believe what Jesus says, then we should be doing the works that He did, and even greater works! Imagine that! The sad thing is that most of us do not know even one person who is doing what Jesus told us to do with regards His works. Yet in His teachings He tells us these things will happen in the lives of those who believe Him! Jesus even declared that if we love Him we will do what He commands us. He has given us the great commission to “Go into all the world to preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:15-18 ).
In all these sayings and teachings of Jesus it is all according to our believing. It is not about what someone else believes (or does not believe), but what we believe about what Jesus said and says! Jesus was not talking to great Christian leaders that only they could do these things, but to ordinary believers ~ you and me! And it is our choice whether we believe Him or not! Believing Jesus will demand an active response on our part!
What do we believe?
- What do we have to show for our believing?
This should challenge every one of us, as it is obvious that very very few Christians are living and acting as Bible believers, i.e. doing what Jesus told us to do! There are scores of Scriptures that one could use on this subject, but I have purposely kept it to a few to help us to focus on what Jesus has taught us. As you search the Scriptures you will discover many more challenging words from the mouth of Jesus.
“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the Gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it” (Hebrews 4:1-2 ).
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:22-25 ).
Something has to change if we really desire to impact this generation for Jesus Christ ~ a generation that desperately needs the truth of Jesus Christ in their hearts and lives today! That “something” is the way we believe what Jesus has already said to us in His word. May God helps us all to seriously reconsider what we are doing with what He has taught us in His word. It is a matter of life or death for multitudes. Let us encourage one another to be serious believers in Jesus Christ! Amen.