What does your morning routine entail when you get up and get ready for the day? You pick out a desirable set of clothes. You fix your hair just right. Some of you put on makeup and pick out jewelry. Some people spend a lot of time in front of a mirror each day. Others don’t care how they look. They get up out of bed and go on their way without a care in the world.
But what about your character? What do you look like as a person? What would the world see if your life was fully-exposed, your daily activities in plain sight? How would people characterize you? For those of you who call yourselves Christians, do you look like a follower of Jesus or just a typical individual within your community? Does anything in your life set you apart?
If your life’s timeline was displayed, with all events and decisions exposed, do you have a moment of conversion that demonstrates a change of heart toward God? Has Jesus made an impact in your life? If so, what does it mean to you, and how do you respond? Was there any life change as a result of your encounter with Jesus? What does He mean to you, and how should that impact your daily life?
Undeniably, the Bible teaches that belief in Jesus’ death and resurrection is all we need to receive God’s forgiveness and salvation from sin and death.
But what does it mean to believe?
It is more than just knowledge and understanding. Scripture teaches that the demons know that Jesus is the son of God. But in the end, they will suffer eternal torment in hell. Belief comes from the heart. Yet it is more than emotional. Belief is heartfelt conviction about something perceived as solidly grounded in truth.
True belief is unshakable and unwavering. It serves as a foundation and guide. True faith will affect one’s decisions, priorities, and goals and directs the course of one’s life.
The Bible teaches that “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)” Earlier in that same chapter in Romans, Paul teaches that “…no one is righteous, not even one. (Romans3:10-12)” Let me repeat that – “Not even one.”
Everything, every thought, action, and decision, has consequences. Wages are something that we deserve based on something that we have done. When a company hires you, you become an employee of the company and agree to perform service for an agreed-upon wage. Our wages are the monetary payments we receive for the work we do. If you do not execute the duties implicit in the job, your employer can terminate your employment.
At conception, you become a member of the human race according to the purpose and plan of a holy God. Failure to live by the principles that He has given us renders us subject to termination.
Scripture teaches that “… the wages of sin are death. (Romans 6:23)”
We all, every one of us, deserve death because of sin. We deserve to live and die eternally separated from God and all that is good and right in His creation. We deserve eternal torment and suffering in hell.
But God is merciful. He knew the direction mankind would take and the inevitable defilement of the human heart before He created the world or anything or anyone in it, that all of His creation would turn against him.
But being compassionate and not wanting anyone to die, He planned to include the means of salvation in Jesus Christ. Jesus, God Incarnate, fully-God and fully-man, entered the human race. He is the only one who could fulfill the law of God in its entirety.
He lived a life free of sin and paid the ultimate sacrifice for the world’s redemption.
Because Jesus died in our place, we can live in Him.
But it is not enough to know that Jesus died and rose again. You must believe it. If you genuinely believe, the evidence will reveal your true character.
Scripture teaches that those who believe have become a new creation.
God saves us by faith alone, but works accompany true faith, actions that reveal to the world that we are His children, forgiven by the blood of Jesus and adopted into His family.
It was not until after Jesus rose from the dead that He called His disciples brothers. His death and resurrection made forgiveness of sin possible and finalized their adoption into His family, the family of God. This adoption was not exclusively theirs, however. It is available for all who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and savior.
Whether or not you know that Jesus died and rose again is irrelevant. Do you believe that He died for you and that your only hope of salvation is placing your faith and trust solely in the finished work of Jesus on the cross?
Saving faith will change your life. If the knowledge and understanding of Jesus’ sacrifice do not affect the way you live, chances are good that your faith is not real, and that you are clinging to false hope.
Obedience to God’s commands is evidence of our love for God and His children. Scripture teaches that when faith is real, obedience to God’s commands is not burdensome. Genuine faith enables us to live to please God, to enjoy Him, and to seek His glory.
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. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.-1 John 5:2-4 ESV
Spend time in God’s word and allow God to work to transform you into increasing Christ-likeness, to reflect His character and demonstrate to the world that He is living in and through you.
Above all, seek His honor and glory in all that you say and do as His representatives in the world.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by
permission. All rights reserved.