Hey guys, sorry about the delay in writing this blog post. My schedule last week prevented me from doing so. In keeping you in the loop I felt is was important to back-track a bit.
Two weeks ago at Emerge, on Oct 13th, we started a three week series that we are calling “What the heck is…” We are leaving the end of this question blank as each week we are looking at a different question each week. Each of these three questions deal with a pillar of the Christian faith. These are not the only “pillars” but they are the things that #1 unite us in the Christian faith no matter what church you go to and #2 they are things we say or do often in the church. We are praying that knowing these three things deeper will deepen our relationship with Jesus.
We opened the series with the question, “What the heck is…being saved?”
This question is what enables us to be able to call ourselves Christians. You can always tell whether a religious-sect is “Christian” or not by their belief in Jesus. To help us answer this question we looked at a story in Acts 16: 16-34. We actually read the whole story and identified with all that was going on. For the sake of this blog post I will not recap everything we mentioned but in this story we see three things:
- A Jailer…who we’ve identified as someone who is not a follower of Jesus
- Paul and Silas…who are followers of Jesus
- The greatest question that an individual could ask
The jailer asked that great question: “what must I do to be saved” (Acts 16:30). Pauls answer here is what we focused on as this is what we see biblically to the answer to this question.
Answer: Believe in the Lord Jesus.
This answer begs for another question: If I just say that I believe in Jesus, is that enough to “save” me? The heart behind this question is, can I believe in Jesus and live any way that I want. Answer: No. Believing in Jesus is fully relying on that what Jesus had done on the cross.
What was that? Because we are sinful people…no matter who you are…we can not know (or have a relationship with) our creator God. God is in another stratosphere in His holiness, righteousness, and goodness. This is why we can just do “good deeds” and be saved. Nothing we do could ever earn us favor. For us to be “right” with God, someone has to die. Jesus died in our place on the cross so that we can have a relationship with God. Jesus died so that we can know God!
Here is the catch. When you turn to Jesus you have to turn away from the things that break Jesus’ heart! We’re not saying that you have to be perfect. You will never be perfect! Jesus is perfect for us!
When you come to the crossroad in life where you take the leap and say, “I believe in Jesus…I believe in who He claimed to be (God)…and what He did on the cross for ME” you start pursuing this new relationship. No one who believes in Jesus is unchanged. There are greater degrees of change but change always happens.