How Jesus Defines Belief
“You believe that God is one, you do well – even the demons believe and shudder.” Jesus says that you must believe to be saved. I didn’t say that, He did. So, what is belief? How do you know you believe correctly? “And these signs follow those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” If you look at this the other way, it says that if these signs do not follow you then you do not believe. If a man looks at his life and compares it to this scripture, what does Jesus say to him about his belief. He either says, great you believe, or He says son, you do not yet believe?
Is the Word of God Trustworthy?
Before I continue, I want to remind you that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” The writings of a man are not Scripture. Devotionals are not Scripture. A man will starve spiritually if that is all he feeds on. Only Scripture is held up as the source for equipping a man for every good work.
How do you recognize a disciple (believer, Christian) of Christ?
How are those that have salvation recognized? Not everyone who says that they know God is a disciple of Jesus Christ. For “Whoever says, ‘I know Him’ but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” How does Jesus recognize those with salvation? “Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and their testimony of Jesus.” “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on Him.” This is what Jesus calls belief, and “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” This belief is in accordance with the definition Jesus provides.
What must we understand so that we may obey?
How does Jesus say we should behave? It is best to state the greatest commandments and the new commandment; the two sum up all the laws and the prophets: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind; secondly, love your neighbor as yourself.” A new command He has given is to “love one another; as I have loved you, love one another,” and by this all will know that you are His disciple. Jesus says that the greatest love for your brother is to lay your life down for him. Let me just review the command in another way. “And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love His brother.”
So what is love according to Jesus. What does His Word say about love?
Love defined by Jesus: “And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in.” “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandments.” “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” “And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Fathers commandments and abide in His love.” “You are my friends if you do what I command you.”
What are these commandments that we must follow if we really believe and we really love God?
What, then, has He commanded? “And He commanded us to preach the gospel to the people and to testify that He is the One appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.” “For so the Lord has commanded us saying, ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent.”
God came as one man, Jesus Christ. “From that time Jesus began to preach saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” “And He went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.” “And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.”
Then He called together twelve guys that had been following Him. The One has been replicated into twelve others. “And He called His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to cast them out and to heal every disease and every affliction.” (A command here) “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons; You received without paying, give without pay.” “And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and they healed them.” “And they departed and went through the villages healing everywhere.”
Then the One, that had replicated Himself into twelve continued into 72 others. (Another command exactly the same as the rest, and the same as His life, the true, and only example) “Heal the sick in it and say to them ‘the kingdom of God has come near to you.'”
Then Jesus was crucified and resurrected, but He gave another command about communion, “Do this as often as possible in remembrance of me.” Upon His resurrection, Jesus met two disciples on the road and explained, from Moses and the prophets, all the Word revealed about Him, but they did not recognize Him; not until they partook of the bread He had broken and given to them. That seems pretty significant. Their eyes were opened through communion.
Then He appeared to all of His disciples at the time (numbering at least 120 – The One became twelve more, then 72, then 120) “All authority in Heaven and earth has been given to me. (A four-part command) 1Go therefore and 2make disciples (not disciple people, but make disciples of Jesus, to follow Him – meaning, the discipling occurs through you, but is done by the Holy Spirit, not you – they are not your disciples), 4baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (note, that when the disciples baptized they only did it into Christ Jesus, because baptism into the Father is repentance, baptism into the Son is water baptism, and baptism into the Sprit is being baptized with the Spirit), 4 and teach them to observe (do, be obedient to) all that I have commanded you, and low, I will be with you until the end of the age.” Therefore, He is saying, let’s go together, make disciples for me, baptize them, and teach them to be obedient. He also said, “Go into all the world and proclaim (shout it out) the gospel to the whole creation.”
There are quite a few gifts of the Spirit, why did Jesus give focus to healing and casting out of demons?
Why did Jesus always couple preaching the gospel with healing and casting out of demons? “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed.” “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” “For you were called to freedom, brothers.” “’What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?’ And when he said, ‘From others,’ Jesus said to him, ‘Then the sons are free.’” “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” There are many, many more verses, too numerous to list here. It is about freedom.
What does it mean that Jesus is with us?
As we go, how exactly is Jesus with us? “And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.” “It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those that heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will.” “So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” “And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while You stretch out Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
Test the spirits?
Do not see enemies in men. See the enemy. Anything not born of the truth is a lie. This does not mean that the brethren are liars. It does mean that if something is said that is not born of the truth, the Word, the Holy Spirit, then it is a lie. Do not receive lies, even when mixed with truth. “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greetings, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.”
I am not telling anyone whether they are saved or condemned or anything else, for I am not the judge, and nothing will be judged before its time. I am only sharing the Word so that all may compare their life to it, and not to their own conscience or to other men. The Word is the only standard and the only truth. As the book of John says, Jesus is the Word. “This is He who comes by water and blood – Jesus Christ; not by the water only, but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the One Who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: The Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.”
I confess that the Lord is still at work in me, and will be until the day I meet Him. “For this reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.”