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What is Faith? Hebrews 11:1-4 Hebrews 11: 5-8 Hebrews 11: 9-16
Hebrews 11: 17-22 Hebrews 11: 23-27 Hebrews 11: 28-31 Hebrews 11: 32-40

 

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“What It Means To Believe in Jesus” Continued

KNOWLEDGE

1. [Under this first category of Knowledge are three points] Number 1 is this. I must believe in Jesus Christ as Deity, that he’s God. If you do not believe that, here’s what happens. Now watch this. If Jesus Christ is not God [God the Son, the Logos, the Word (John 1:1-11)], he is not sitting upon the throne with the heavenly Father-you know what he was [following this line of reasoning]? He was no more than a man who is [or was] here on the same level of all the rest of us men, who have our naturalness and who have our sinfulness and who walk at times in the flesh. That is, if he is not deity, then, what could he do for me?-if he were just a man? So I must believe that Jesus Christ is God. Somebody says, ‘Well, I don’t think it’s necessary to believe that Jesus Christ is God in order to go to heaven.’ Well let me ask you a question then, ‘Who is he?’ If he’s not God, who is he? Is he a prophet? Then he was a sinner, because everybody else has sinned. Was he just a great teacher and preacher and a healer? Was he a false prophet? You see if Jesus Christ was not absolutely who he says he was, then he was a liar. He said “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father. I and the Father are one.” And one of the things that caused so much turmoil around him was the fact that he claimed not only to be the Son of God, but he claimed to be God, deity-and who’s resurrection was absolute, listen, absolute proof of that. Now, so therefore I must believe something. First I must believe he’s Divinity, he’s God, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

2. Second thing I must believe is this. That I am a sinner, and my sinfulness has separated me from God, and my only hope of salvation is, must come through God-that is, I must believe and recognize that I am a sinner. I must believe that Jesus Christ is deity, that he’s God [#1], and that my sinfulness has separated me from God [#2]. The Bible says, our sins have separated us from God. I must believe that.

3. The third thing [under the heading of knowledge] I must believe this. I must believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sin, and that when he died, he paid for my sin[s] in his death. But you say ‘How much of this was I supposed to know when I was saved?’ I’m coming to that. Just hold that thought. First of all I must believe, I must believe without a shadow of a doubt, Jesus Christ is God. Secondly, I must believe that my sinfulness has separated me from him, and that I need to be saved by something he’s gonna do for me, I can’t do it for myself. #3, I must believe that Jesus Christ went to the cross and died for my sins.

4. The fourth thing I must believe is that Jesus Christ not only died for my sins, but he was resurrected from the grave. Because, you see, if Jesus only died, he can’t do anything for me today. Listen, he died for my sin. And he’s resurrected and his resurrection validates every single thing he claimed to be and everything he did. Now turn if you will to Romans chapter 10, and I want you to notice this verse. Romans 10, verse 9,--Some will say, ‘Well, you know, now wait a minute, I believe in the resurrection, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and I believe in the resurrection. The Bible says is if you believe in the resurrection, you’re saved.’ This verse I’m gonna give you is a typical verse that people will take out of the context of which is was written and say ‘Well, the Bible says, you believe in the resurrection, you’re saved.’ Let’s see if this is what this verse says. Look here in verse 9 now, Romans chapter 10. He says, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Verse 10, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness: and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Verse 11-13, “For the Scripture says, Whoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. But there is not distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding for riches for all who call upon him, for whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” And then he says, verse 14, “How shall they call upon him in whom they have not believed. How shall they believe in him whom they have not heard. How shall they hear without a preacher”-which says you’ve got to have knowledge-you’ve got to know something. What must I know? That Jesus is God. [For a more complete description of who Jesus of Nazareth is, log onto the introduction to the section on the book of Romans (http://www.UNITYINCHRIST.COM/romans/introduction.htm ). For a complete look at Jesus and who he was on earth as God in the flesh, log onto the section on the Gospel of Mark (http://www.UNITYINCHRIST.COM/lamb/1.htm ), and also on the prophecies of Jesus Christ’s first coming (http://www.UNITYINCHRIST.COM/prophecies/1stcoming.htm ), and the section “Jesus our Passover Lamb” (http://www.UNITYINCHRIST.COM/lamb/lastsix.htm ).] What must I know?-that my sins have separated me from God. What must I know?-that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins and that Jesus Christ was resurrected from the grave. Just saying he rose from the grave gets me saved?-no. Read the first part of that verse “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord.” Here’s what that means. I believe that Jesus Christ is who he says he is, that I am accepting him and acknowledging him, and committing myself to his lordship in my life, and believing that certainly he was resurrected from the grave. You can’t take one phrase out of some passage and say, ‘Well I believe that, therefore I’m saved’-no you’re not. Therefore when we talk about what we believe we must first of all, have knowledge. So what is the first word, the first word is what?-knowledge. I must believe something, that he [Jesus Christ] is deity, my sins have separated me from him, he died on the cross for me [to pay for those sins], and that he rose from the grave. Listen, he can’t be the Lord of my life if he’s a dead man. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus is Lord”-and how did he become Lord? He died on the cross for my sins, was resurrected and is seated at the Father’s right hand-to do what?-to be Lord and Master of our life. So the first thing necessary for true New Testament belief is KNOWLEDGE. Second word is CONVICTION.

II. CONVICTION

The second word is conviction. I want you to notice something here now. That means to simply be truly convinced of something. To be convicted of something is to be fully convinced of it’s truthfulness. So therefore, when we talk about believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, what I believe I am fully convinced and persuaded that what the Bible says about him is true. I am fully convinced and persuaded that he is who he says he is. I am convinced and fully persuaded that he will do what he says, convicted. That is, if there’s no conviction, for example, about my sin, that I’m separated from God, fully convinced and persuaded what he says about the consequences of my sin, that I’ll die without Christ and be eternally separated from him-because you see, without any conviction, I’m not gonna move, I’m not gonna budge. It’s not enough to have knowledge, factual knowledge about Jesus Christ, who he was and who he is and what he says he’ll do. It’s not even enough to be full persuaded, full convinced that these things are true, though it is very important. Because in terms of conviction you recall that Jesus said in John, when he’s talking about the Holy Spirit coming, he said that the Holy Spirit will come, and he will come to do what?-to convict the world of sin, of our sinfulness, to convict the world of the righteousness of Christ-which means that he was so right, so holy that he was able to die for our sins-and to convict the world of judgment to come. What does that mean? It means that when the Holy Spirit comes to your life and my life and begins to work in us, what’s he gonna do? One of the first things he’s gonna do is convict us, convince us, fully persuade us that we are sinful, that we need God. He’s gonna fully persuade us the death of Jesus Christ was adequate to pay for our sin-fully persuade us that there is a judgment to come, and the only thing that will get me ready for that judgment is to have a right relationship with God. Therefore, first of all, there must be knowledge. What’s the second word?-conviction. So give me the first two words. The first word is what?-KNOWLEDGE. The second word is what?-CONVICTION.

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