Belief is a funny word. “I believe it might rain today.” “I believe in God.” “Just believe!”
“I believe it might rain today.”
“I believe in God.”
All three of these uses of the word ‘believe’ are fairly common among our culture, and yet none of them actually line up with the way Christians ‘believe’ Jesus Christ or ‘believe’ the Gospel, which is the message of Jesus’ person and work.
It might be helpful to understand two important things about belief. 1) belief is powerless by itself, and 2) belief must be genuine to count at all.
Belief itself is powerless. For example, a person may believe a chair is solid, comfortable, and functional, but believing such things does not make them so. The chair may or may not be able to live up to the person’s belief. This helps us understand the powerlessness of belief. If our belief is placed in a powerful object, then it is well-placed, but our belief does not make the object powerful.
Additionally, our belief must be genuine. To put it another way, it must pass from mere affirmation to personal trust. Using the chair analogy again, one may believe and say all kinds of nice things about a chair, but he or she truly believes the chair when he or she sits down on it. That is when belief becomes genuine.
Therefore, genuine belief in a worthy object is what it means to be a Christian.
God became a man in Jesus Christ; He lived the obedient life God requires of all humans and earned the blessings of God. Though Jesus was morally perfect (sinless), He was counted as the worst sinner of all time – taking upon Himself the disobedience, immorality, and sin of all those who would believe in Him. After Jesus died, He was resurrected from the dead, and He forevermore shall be the immortal God/man.
Because Jesus Christ has done all this, and because He is capable of rescuing guilty sinners from the penalty they deserve, then we may believe Him and enter into the peace and rest that this worthy object brings. Place your genuine belief (trust) in this Savior, and He will most assuredly demonstrate Himself to be powerful beyond measure.
“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him” (1 John 5:1).