John 1:10-13 tells us, “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
We are addressing today, the difference between believing in God and having a relationship with God. The “believers” – There are many people who believe that God exists, they believe that Jesus is the son of God and they for the most part believe what scripture tells us about him. They believe that there is a heaven and a hell, they believe that God is supreme and sovereign.
Now in the same matter lets look at this from a day to day experience. We know that oxygen is real, we cant see it or touch it but we know its there. We believe what we were taught in science about oxygen and its purpose and what it does for humans…we cant survive without it. We live our daily lives utilizing its benefits but we don’t truly realize how much we depend on the oxygen until we face a challenge in our bodies where our respiratory is affected. We believe in its existence because we need it not because we desire it for ourselves.
Now let’s look at “Relationship” – Those that have a personal relationship with God. This is the group that has made Jesus Lord of their lives. What is involved in personal relationship in the natural sense? Quality of time spent with one another, we learn of each other, we love, we sacrifice, obedience, submission, commitment, intimacy, endurance, patience…and so on.
The same traits exist when we are in a personal relationship with God. When we make the decision to make God Lord of our lives, its like a marriage. We spend time with Him in prayer and meditation, we learn of Him by studying His Word, we have moments of intimacy singing love songs to God, worshiping Him, we sacrifice our will for His will, we obey His commandments, we submit to His supreme authority, we endure for the glory of the testimony, we have patience in what God desires to do in our lives because our desire is to be transformed into Christlikness…ans so on.
How do these compare and what is its purpose?
We have to do more than just believe. It doesn’t just end there….its the beginning! Our lifestyle and desires should change as we grow in God. Their must be an action that follows belief!
For many people there is no growth! Therefore there is no promise of salvation. You are not saved by just “believing”. The enemy deceives many by making them believe that their is no requirement for salvation. That God is loving and your a good person and you believe in Him. You even attend church on Christmas and Easter…your all good. You’ll make it into heaven for sure. Nope!! Not true….
Romans 10:8-10 tells us, “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
Matthew 7:21 says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
James 2:18 says, “But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
Again, there is an action that follows the belief…believing is the beginning. That means that you are open to the calling of God, you are receptive, your availability is made known. But following this is the confession out of your mouth which then follows the lifestyle change.
Mark 16:16 tells us, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
So, you believe, you confess, you are baptized by water and by the Holy Spirit…these are all actions! From your obedience in stepping out and opening your mouth and making the profession that Jesus is Lord of your life opens you to be able to receive what God has for you. We must walk in it and obey…obedience is referenced in scripture repeatedly throughout the old and New Testament books.
Obedience to God proves our love for Him 1 John 5:2-3 says, “We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.”
Obedience demonstrates our faithfulness to Him 1 John 2:3-6 says, “And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments.” If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
Obedience glorifies Him in the world 1 Peter 2:12 says, “Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.”
Obedience presents avenues of blessing for us John 13:17 says, “Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.”
Making Lord of our lives says we will obey ALL of His commandments.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Mark 7:20-23 “And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
Galatians 5:16 “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. “
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Matthew 15:17-20 “Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
1 John 3:6-10 “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”
Be sure your choices are wise family. Do not risk moments of temporary satisfaction for eternal damnation. Make the choice today to take action in your relationship with God, commit to make Him Lord of your life today! Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart and trust God!
Meditation verse – 1 Timothy 6:12-14 “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ”