Why Believe in Jesus

When I say believe in Jesus I am not talking about believing in his existence or that he was a historical figure some two thousand years ago, but rather I mean believing in what he did and in his ability to do it, believing in what the Bible says he is.

James 2:19
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. (NIV84)

Satan believes in God’s existence, but he doesn’t believe in God as the Sustainer of life. While Satan found himself to exist he rebelled against his Creator thinking himself sufficient to be the master of his own destiny. To believe in God is to willingly abide in him. To rebel against God is to believe in yourself. To deny God’s existence is pure foolishness.

Psalm 53:1
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” (NIV84)

It is well understood that the creation has a beginning. There was a time, as it were, when there was no physical universe, and then there was one. This is a well established fact. One doesn’t need a lot of faith to see this. The fact that there was a creation means that there was a Creator. Something doesn’t come from nothing. It is also entirely reasonable to accept that the Creator didn’t create the universe on a whim, but rather did so according to a plan that he has. I mean, think about it. Is it really reasonable that God created the universe for no reason? Looking at the physical universe one can see that a lot of thought went into it. God created the universe for a reason and he has revealed that reason to any that will listen to him. Scientist’s can see that the universe sprang into being, but they can never tell you why. The why comes from God. People that are too full of themselves to listen to God will remain ignorant of the reason.
I have shocking news here: There are many many people in the world who think that they know better than God; really? Can there really be people like that? It is amazing to me that anyone could look at the world, and everything in it, and still think that they know better than God. I can only imagine that they don’t really stop and think about anything. They must be so full of themselves that there is no room for anyone else.
While Job was enduring his trial and believing himself to be unjustly treated, God said to him…

Job 38:1–18
Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: 2 “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? 3 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. 4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? 6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? 8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, 9 when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, 10 when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, 11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’? 12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, 13 that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it? 14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment. 15 The wicked are denied their light, and their upraised arm is broken. 16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? 17 Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death? 18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this. (NIV84)

This is only a short excerpt of what God had to say to Job, but I imagine that you can see the point of God’s argument. What do you really know about how the universe was created? What can you really educate God concerning? I mean, really. What can you possibly say to God? What can anyone say to God? To think that you know better than God is the definition of foolishness. Truly.
Every single pain and problem in the whole history of the world is because of the foolish idea that God is not to be believed. And don’t think that God is punishing the world because the world refuses to believe in him.

John 12:47
“As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. (NIV84)

Truly, God is not interested in punishing anyone, however, the majority of people stand in defiance of the obvious truth and through their rebellion they condemn themselves because they refused to believe and come on board with God. God has told them what they must do and they still believe that they know better—foolishness. God is holding out his hand and saying “Come to me.”
They shake their fists at God and accuse him of unjustness. They say, look at the unjust world. If God is truly just let him act and show us true justice.
When the Lord God comes down from heaven bringing justice these same fist-shakers hide from him and say…

Revelation 6:16
They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! (NIV84)

Who but a fool asks for justice for themselves? My friend, I ask you to meditate on this… Why would anyone think that they know better than God? It is because they love pleasure more than duty. It is not about what you want, but rather about what you should do. Your life is not your own, it belongs to God. You have a duty to God. I am not saying that you have been created by God to be his slave. If God wanted slaves he could have created them. What God wants is very similar to what people want, and that is that they want someone to share their life with, but in the case of God, who is love incarnate, he wants people of divine love to share his life with. God is the perfect Father and we, his children, must take our cue from him. God is love, and it is natural that God wants children of love to be with him. But, what is love? Now that is a question.
Having read this far are you now angry with me? Is fear creeping around your heart? Do you hear words of condemnation? Do you now hate me and want me to go away? That was how the people responded to Jesus Christ. Jesus came to save them, and they hated him for it, because what they heard were words of condemnation. Why was that, do you ask? It was because the people liked things the way they were. They liked being superior to their brothers and sisters. They liked being able to lord their power over them. They liked their place in the world.
Jesus Christ offered freedom for the oppressed. Jesus offered freedom from sin to all who would gather to him.

Matthew 11:28–30
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV84)

Jesus Christ, the one sent by God, calls to each and every person to come to him, and find peace. In the world there is strife and contention, there is fighting and grabbing, worry and fear, but Jesus Christ has overcome the world.

John 6:35–40
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (NIV84)

Jesus came not as God, but rather the voice and will of God is expressed through him. That is the meaning of the word Christ. Jesus was/is the one anointed by God to make the invisible God visible to the rebellious world.

Colossians 1:15–23
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (NIV84)

It is hard for us to understand just who and what Jesus was/is. It is hard because he did something that seems impossible. He completely submitted himself to God. After Jesus started his ministry every single thing he said and did was not for himself in any way, but rather what he did, he did because it was the will of God.

Philippians 2:5–11
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NIV84)

Before Jesus began his ministry he went without food for forty days. He did that to gain the mastery over his body so that he could make himself a vessel for God’s use. He did that so that we would be able to see the will of God directly though him. If you, my friend, want to see God in the flesh, then look at Jesus Christ—the obedient one. If you wonder how much God might love you, then look at what God did through Jesus Christ for you.
But, my friend, make no mistake in this, God did not offer his only begotten son to die for you so that you can continue to live a life of rebellion towards him. The Lord God is offering you eternal life, the life of God, eternal union with him, if you will die to the world and be joined with him through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the revelation of God through which we can see him and come to him—saved from the rebellion in the world.
We can see in the life of Christ, as seen in the Gospels, a person that lived in divine love. His whole life was an expression of love in motion.
I understand that the ultimate goal of Buddhist monks is to become one with the infinite, that is, they strive to put their bodies aside so that they can reach the divine state. I find this to be pretty interesting. I too wish to become one with the infinite. That is my goal too; one with divine love. Many people enamored with themselves laugh at such a goal, but I do not. The goal is wonderful. But, and this is a big but, while a determined person can get pretty far away from greed and self-importance they cannot, ever, actually attain divine love unless they tread the path that God established for them, and that path is Jesus Christ. I am sorry, but it is true. Jesus is the embodiment of the divine love walk and unless one walks with him they cannot be walking with love.
Love is more than fasting for forty days so that one might gain mastery over his or her flesh. It is about being one with God. God is love, the Bible tells us, and so to be with God is to be in divine love. Love is about serving others, love is about saving others. Jesus Christ gained mastery over his flesh so that he could go about the business of God and that is saving everyone possible from folly.
Mankind has been, and is deceived, regarding his/her place in the divine scheme. Self is in the way. Sin is about self and self is about sin. Love is the antidote for the deadly sin poison, but a person infected with sin cannot just stop being sinful and embrace love. That simply is not how it works. People tend to think that sin is something that is bad that they must stop doing, but that is not true. Can a dead person stop being dead by an act of their will?

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death (NIV84)

For a person that has contracted sin they have actually contracted death. It is a metaphor for sure, but it nonetheless accurately describes the true state of man. God has given us this definition so that we can understand our true fate and also see his solution. Every single person infected with sin is spiritually dead and will eventually be physically dead, which is only a metaphor for the true spiritual state. That Jesus was killed on the cross and buried, and then resurrected, this was a metaphor for what really happened. Jesus endured actual separation from God which is spiritual death, but because he never actually sinned the death was only means for him to conquer death. After having been separated from God, he then was reconnected to God, and that was demonstrated through his physical death and physical restoration. Jesus showed us how to cross over from death to life. The path that Jesus used was a path of faith. Jesus trusted God to save him and so he was saved. He had God’s word as an anchor for his soul, and so having faith in that word enabled Jesus to believe and be saved. He had previously told us that he would receive us in his death so that we too could be resurrected on the other side, as it were. And so, by faith, I too can die to the world and be united to Christ in his death so that in his resurrection I too can be brought from death to life. But not my body. My body is dead because of sin, but my soul can be united to Jesus’ soul and a marriage-like union of faith.

Romans 6:4
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (NIV84)

Water baptism is a metaphor for our believing in this death to life ability of Christ Jesus. Water baptism is only a teaching tool. It is the faith in what it means that enables us to die to the world and be united to Christ within our hearts. I am not talking about religion here, any religion. We are not, ever, saved because of the actions of some priest or other, but through our believing in what God has wrought through Jesus Christ, the obedient servant of God, the one that lived the Faith Love Hope walk so that we could be reunited to God.

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