Whoever Believes

Throughout many years of ministry I have met people from different countries, backgrounds and denominations who have told me in no uncertain terms that they believe in Jesus. Yet I have found that, when questioned as to exactly what they believe, many of them have no more than a superficial understanding of who Jesus is and what He has done for mankind.

Many from none Christian religions have a historical knowledge of Jesus, whilst others know little more than that He was a baby born at Christmas.

What then does it mean to believe in Jesus?

What does Jesus mean to us?

First of all, to believe in Jesus means to know Him and be known by Him.

‘Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal: “The Lord knew those who are His.”’

2 Timothy 2:19

To be able to know Jesus we must first know, and accept, who and what we are.

It is the general attitude of church-goers to divide the world into two groups of people: ‘Them’ and ‘Us’ – ‘them’ being the wicked folk who never come to church, and ‘us’ being the ‘good’ people who don’t want anything to do with that lot out there.

I have experienced the anger of otherwise very nice old ladies who have taken offence when I have shown them scriptural truths within Romans 3:10-18, which begins:

‘… as it is written: “There is none righteous, no not one …’

Romans: 3:10

Collectively, the passage asserts that they are not as good as they think they are. None of us are.

So, we have to accept that we are all sinners and in need of a saviour. We have to realise that belief in Jesus starts by acknowledging that He is the saviour.

This belief must then go further, becoming a deep inner desire to be cleansed from sin and to partake of Jesus’ life and Spirit.

The consequence of adopting such a belief will set in motion a dramatic change in us. We become those who no longer view Jesus historically or as a focus of church doctrine; we no longer see God as being ‘out there’, somewhere far away, but as a loving Father who is always near to us.

Christ Himself becomes the very source of our life; His presence by His Spirit is a living, dynamic reality. We know Him and we are aware that He knows us. To believe in Jesus is to have Him takeover our lives.

Toward the end of his life, the Apostle John wrote:

‘And this is the record, that God has given to us everlasting life, and this life is in His Son.
He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.’

1 John 5:11-12

The New Birth

Jesus was very emphatic about our need to be born again. The reason? The soul on its own cannot enter heaven.

When Adam and Eve ate fruit from the tree they had been warned not to eat from, they died. God told them, were they to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would die.

God’s spirit died in them the moment they ate the fruit.

Consequently, they were sent out of the Garden of Eden. They began to age, deteriorate, and eventually they died.

A further consequence of their sin is that everyone subsequently born into the world no longer has the God element in them. They are body and soul with no spirit. When the body dies only the soul is left.

The soul cannot enter heaven so awaits the end. The Bible refers to this as a ‘second death’. This is a perpetual or everlasting death from which there is no escape or hope.

The person who is born again has God’s spirit reborn in them. The soul with the spirit can enter heaven. That’s why Jesus said you must be born again.

This can only happen through forgiveness of sin, and Jesus is the only one who can make this happen.

Jesus took our place, and so paid for our sin. He did this in order for mercy and grace to be released, allowing for salvation for the soul. This salvation, however, can only be received through faith in Jesus the Christ.

Are you willing to take up the offer of life eternal and to be with Christ?

Fear Holds the Key

Fear can be negative or positive, and depending on how we relate to fear will determine how it will affect our lives. Some fears are negative and have unhealthy outcomes. There is one fear, however, that holds the key to successful living.

Fear of the Lord

In the book of Isaiah we read:

“The fear of the LORD is His treasure.”

Isaiah 33:6

This is something good that God wants His people to have. Let us look at what Scripture has to say about the fear of the Lord.

Psalm 19:9:

“The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever …”

Also, Proverbs 23:17 says:

“… be in the fear of the LORD all the day long …”

So we see that there is no time in our lives when we should not be in the fear of the Lord.

In his second letter to Timothy Paul writes:

“For God has not given us the spirit of fear …”

2 Timothy 1:7

Furthermore, in his first letter to John he states:

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love.”

1 John 1:18

Remedy for Torment

Tormenting fear is from Satan. It has no place in the life of a believer.

The best remedy for the tormenting fear is the fear of the Lord. One word that best describes the fear of the Lord is awe. From this we get the word ‘awesome’, which is a reaction to majesty, power and holiness.

Unfortunately, ‘awesome’ has lost its true definition in the modern world. Therefore the word reverence might be a better way of explaining what the fear of the Lord means. Reverence is a response to a revelation of God.

A good example of this is found in Isaiah, Chapter 6 verse 5, where we read of Isaiah’s response to the revelation of God that he had just received, and of which he says:

“Woe is me for I am undone!”

When God reveals Himself to us, the only response is reverence and submissiveness.

Scripture also tells us that what we fear can become our god. In Genesis, Jacob says to his father-in-law:

“Unless the God of my fathers, the God of Abraham, and the Fear of Isaac had been with me, surely you would have sent me away now empty.”

Genesis 31:42

Here, Jacob referred to God as “The fear of Isaac.” In other words, what Isaac feared was the true God.

Likewise, what you fear can become your god.

If you fear people or poverty, sickness or disease, any or all of those things can become your god. In other words, it is what you give your attention to, and what can eventually take over your life.

The Seventh Anointing

It is helpful to look at the fear of the Lord in the life of Jesus.

Isaiah, when speaking about the coming Messiah (the Anointed One) described seven distinct aspects of the Holy Spirit, spoken about by John in Revelation 1:4 and which would rest upon Jesus.

The first on Isaiah’s list is The Spirit of the Lord, which is the Spirit that speaks in the first person as God. Next comes the Spirit of wisdom. We then have the Spirit of understanding, the Spirit of counsel, those of might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

We also see in Isaiah:

“His delight is in the fear of the Lord.”

Isaiah 11:3

Jesus was marked out as the Messiah by the sevenfold anointing of the Holy Spirit and the seventh anointing was the fear of the Lord.

The Right Choice

The fear of the Lord isn’t something that we receive but something that we must learn. We have to be taught it and we are taught by the Holy Spirit – but only if we listen to Him.

In Proverbs we learn:

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Proverbs 1:7


“Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”

Proverbs 3:7

We are not to trust in our own wisdom, for when we are full of self-confidence and believe we have all the answers then there is no room in our lives for the fear of the Lord.

Note that in Proverbs 3:7 we’re told we must depart from evil, for we cannot associate with evil and have the fear of the Lord. Each one of us has to make a choice.

Which one do you want – the fear of the Lord or things that are evil?

Half Truths and Lies

One of the first things I was told when I became a child of God was that a half truth is worse than a lie. Sadly, the church in general is today full of half truths and many out and out lies.

Each year, how many churches have Father Christmas for the children? A nice little lie, I am told. Revelation 21:8 should be read and re-read by those who think God accepts any form of lying.

One of the reasons people are led astray is that they do not have the knowledge of God’s presence in either their own lives or in the church.

In referencing the church here I am not referring to the emotional excesses we have witnessed in many churches over recent years where both leadership and led have been trying to work up some sort of ‘spiritual experience’. 

If people really grasp what we are, where we are and what we have, many would stop trying to fill their lives with the things of this world, but would instead enjoy true fellowship with their heavenly Father.

First of all, we need to understand what we are. Romans 8:16 declares:

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”

Those who are truly born of the Spirit will have this absolute assurance, that they are a child of God, and that their Father loves them. They will not need to go to church every Sunday to be told that God loves them. They will have the peace of His presence within them at all times.

Secondly, where we are.

Hebrews 12: 22 says:

“You have come … ”

This is present tense. We are not on the way. We have arrived – this is the here and now, not something that will happen in the future. Where have we come to?  Hebrews 12:22 goes on:

“ … to the city of the living God …”

Verse 23 adds:

“ … to God the judge of all … ”

We have come; we are in the presence of the living God. 

In Ephesians 2:4 Paul writes “But God” – then in verse 6 adds “raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

What do we have here? In one word: ‘Fellowship’ – that is, a true unbounded relationship with our Heavenly Father, the true treasure of heaven, which is more valuable than gold, more fulfilling than worldly possessions.

Jesus said:

“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 12:21

Where is your heart?

The Doorway to Hope is Always Open

In these times of uncertainty everyone is looking for answers. They want to know what to expect; to know what awaits them in their lives. This can be a problem.

Hope is the answer to life’s problems. Hope that is certain and always available is the hope we can have in Jesus. The door to receiving this hope is open.

Jesus gives a reason to hope. He says to all those who come to him:

‘I am with you always, and I am the same today, yesterday and forever.’

Jesus does not offer a false hope but rather a hope that can be relied upon. Miracles are happening today. I can attest to this.

A close friend of mine had lost the use of his legs, no longer able to walk and stand. A request for prayer was made. This person put his hope in God who heals. This person’s hope and prayers were answered, and is now able to walk and stand unaided, and to continue with life.

Hope is not lost, it is we who are lost. Perhaps you can be helped to find a way back to God.

‘Miracles are happening today.’

A Call to Action

Becoming a Christian is not a statement or a verbal ascent, it is an action.

It’s not about going to church on Sundays it is a way of life.

GOD put the plan of yours and my salvation into action and fulfilled His part by Jesus being born into the world and living according to all that was required. Jesus accepted death on a cross and dying as a common criminal for you and me.

The gift of salvation and a way back to GOD was completed. It now requires an action on our part to receive that gift.

The call to all is to repent or repentance. Repentance means to make a change of direction in your life.

What will you choose – as it is in our hands and is determined by the choices each of us makes.

Knowing our Rights

‘Whilst previous generations would turn to God, many people today look to the government as if it were God.’

Since the foundation of the NHS in Britain in 1948, people’s attitude to life expectancy has changed.

Over the intervening years, people have ceased thinking about their duties, obligations and responsibilities and instead begun to think in terms of what rights they have.

My late brother would state “I know my rights.” Sadly, this same attitude has worked its way into the church as many Christians today claim their rights from God, telling Him what they want Him to do for them, rather than finding out what He wants them to do for Him.

In short, everything revolves around us.

People have somehow come to the conclusion that it is the government’s responsibility to protect and preserve them. Having embraced the theory of evolution and that there is no God, they expect that the government, through the NHS, is duty-bound to shield them against those things from which previous generations felt only God could protect them, such as disease, famine and natural disasters.

Whilst previous generations would turn to God, many people today look to the government as if it were God.

This weighs governments down with a burden they cannot carry. In the process, those in positions of power become pressured into making promises they cannot deliver.

Consequently, when those promises are broken, people realise the limitations of government, which then becomes the target for the anger and frustration of those who have to face the fact that neither they nor their loved ones can live forever in this world.

For those of us who know Jesus as our Saviour, the world that we live in is not the world that we live for.

God promises a new world to come, enabling us to live here with that hope. This means that, even if we cease to have life in this world, there remains a life we can enjoy eternally with Him in the next. If we know the peace His forgiveness gives, that peace will continue into eternity.

When people talk of losing someone, the reason they grieve is their sense of “I will not see them again.” However, there is a promise Jesus Christ makes by which, if we put our trust in Him, there is the hope of a resurrection.

The Christian faith imparts an assurance that those who are in Christ will live on. We will meet again.

Whilst the pain of absence and of separation is no less real for Christians, it is tempered by the certainty that we may look forward to a time of reunion, when we will meet our loved ones once more.

This hope is received because of what Jesus was willing to do for us when He came into this world and gave his own life for ours; so that we may find not only forgiveness but a peace of mind and spirit with Him.