If You Believe in Jesus, then…
If you believe in Jesus, you have been ordained to eternal life (Acts 13:48), from before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4–5), having been sovereignly predestined unto glory (Rom 8:29–30), according to the eternal purpose of God (Eph 3:11). Can you imagine if preachers actually preached these ideas from the Bible?
If you believe in Jesus, it is because faith has been granted to you (Phil 1:29), by God’s grace (Eph 2:8–9), from His indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9, 11; 1 Cor 3:16; 2 Cor 6:16), who has caused you to be born again (1 Pet 1:3), born of God (Jn 1:13; 1 Jn 3:9; 4:7; 5:1). God is the cause. Grace is the means, and faith is the effect.
If you believe in Jesus, it is evident to all the people around you because believers in Jesus gladly bear witness of Him, in the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). Believers are not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the power of God that has entered their hearts by the Spirit (Rom 1:16; 5:5; 2 Cor 1:22; 4:6). This is the believer’s new life (Rom 6:4; 2 Cor 5:17).
If you believe in Jesus, God has positioned you in right standing before Him. Not that you will ever be righteous yourself, but God has imputed the righteousness of Christ to you, meaning He has declared that you are righteous by the work of another. Christ, the Lord our righteousness, has legally joined Himself to you (Col 1:27). You are also joined to Him in spiritual union (Eph 2:6). You have been justified as a gift, justified by grace, as evidenced by the justification of faith. Your legal status can never change because you were bought for a price, with the precious blood of Christ, who has promised to never leave you, nor forsake you. He who has begun a good work in you, will bring it to completion (Phil 1:6).
If you believe in Jesus, you have been crucified to the world and the world has been crucified to you (Gal 6:14). You are dead to sin but alive to Christ. Christ has made you alive, and the life you now live is by faith in the Son of God (Gal 2:20). The world has lost its appeal. There are still seasons of sin, brought on by temptations that appear, but the believer’s disposition is other worldly. He does not love this world, nor the things of this world (1 Jn 2:15). His eyes are on Jesus, in whom his life is hidden in heaven (Eph 2:6; Heb 12:2).
If you believe in Jesus, the primary course God has directed you to is holiness (1 Pet 1:16). God chastens you, as He did Moses, in prohibiting his temporal entry into the land of promise (Dt 3). Paul was sanctified with a messenger of Satan, a thorn in his flesh, to prevent pride (2 Cor 12:7). This chastening path often means the Christian is poorer than his neighbors, has fewer things in the world, and even struggles to pay his bills. Still, even as Paul and Barnabas suffered persecution, they had joy in the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:52).
If you believe in Jesus, your faith came from hearing the Word that gave life to your soul (Rom 10:14–17). The Word of God is your delight. Moses was denied access to the land, but God gave him the Law (Dt 4). Paul and Barnabas were forced to shake off the dust and move on to the next town, but they had the Word of God. More precious than silver and gold, houses and cars, dream boats and vacations is the Word of life.
Child of God, rejoice in the faith of your fathers, granted to you by covenant, and filled with promises for this life and the life to come. Delight in the grace that gave you faith to believe in Jesus. Your faith was prepared and preserved in heaven before creation. It was ordained in time, as a token gift of God’s love for you. It is the evidence of your salvation, made known and reinforced each time it is expressed. It increases. It is tested by God. It grows sweeter as the years go by, and as the world grows strangely dim. This is your life…if you believe in Jesus. It is new, then abundant, and eternal. It is a gift of God, and that is why you believe in Jesus.
Spokane Valley, Washington
September 9, 2021