TEXT: John 20:30-31 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
INTRO: To many, the most important question that you could ask a person is, "Have you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ." And, that is an important question. I would not dare minimize it.
But, I suggest to you that there is a question that is still more important. That question is, "ARE YOU NOW BELIEVING ON JESUS CHRIST?" Right now, at this moment, as you read this, are you believing on the Lord Jesus Christ?
Wednesday night we had a very good discussion in our study of John 9:35-37. From there, we went to a discussion of the question of whether a person is saved if he cannot recall the exact time he trusted in Jesus Christ.
In Jn. 20:31 the word "believing" is a present participle indicating on-going faith. In I Jn. 5:13 the expression "may believe" is an active present participle which indicates on-going faith. John Gill says that the sense of it is that they may "go on believing in him to the end; and that their faith in him might be increased."
I am going to make a statement that may shock and possibly upset some of you. Faith exercised in the past, in some experience, is worthless if it is not on-going at the present time.
The question, "Have you believed on Jesus Christ?" is not nearly as important as the question, "ARE YOU NOW BELIEVING ON JESUS CHRIST?" True saving faith is a living, continuing faith, not a one time experience.
I. THERE IS A DEFINITE TIME OF REGENERATION AND CONVERSION
A. On more than one occasion, Paul recounted his experience.
1. Before the mob in Jerusalem. Acts 22:1-10
2. Before Agrippa. Acts 26:14-19
3. I suspect that the Philippian jailer could go back and pinpoint his moment of conversion rather clearly. Acts 16:27-34
4. Paul also spoke of his experience and the experience of others in the past tense, indicated there is a time when one first trusts in Christ. Ephesians 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
5. There are errors, however, that result from an over emphasis upon this experience.
a. Some feel that they are saved if they have had some kind of religious experience regardless of their present status.
b. Some are still believing in their experience and trusting the experience for their salvation instead of trusting Jesus Christ.
c. Some have had a mere emotional experience and because of emphasis on the need of such an experience they rest on that instead of resting their hope in Jesus Christ.
d. While I can pinpoint a time and place of my own experience of grace, I do not rest my confidence of eternal life upon that.
(1) I know that I am saved because I am now believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, I am now believing in him much more strongly than I did on August 27, 1951, when I first trusted in him.
II. TRUE AND SAVING FAITH IS A CONTINUOUS AND GROWING FAITH IN THE SON OF GOD, JESUS CHRIST
A. True faith believes that Jesus Christ is the very Son of God. 1 John 5:10-13 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
B. True faith believes that Jesus is the Christ. 1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
C. True faith believes that salvation is in Jesus Christ only.
1. One cannot make it any simpler than did the apostle John. 1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
2. Jesus also made it very obvious that salvation is in the Lord Jesus Christ. John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
3. Peter made it equally as obvious as Paul and Jesus did. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
4. True faith looks to nothing and no one else for salvation. John 6:68-69 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
5. True faith keeps on believing on Jesus Christ. John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. 1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
6. True faith perseveres in discipleship. John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
7. True faith believes that what has been started will be completed. Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
8. True faith relies on Christ for all time, not for just a one time experience. John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 1 Timothy 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
9. True faith believes on the LORD Jesus Christ, not just the Saviour, Jesus Christ. Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
a. Many teach that one can receive Jesus as Saviour and then take him as Lord at a later date.
b. One will not truly believe in Christ as Saviour if he is in rebellion against his Lordship.
III. ONE MAY TRULY EXPERIENCE REGENERATION AND CONVERSION WITHOUT KNOWING FOR CERTAIN THAT HE HAS BEEN ETERNALLY SAVED
A. He may know that a great change has happened but not be certain that it was salvation. 1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. John 9:25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
B. He may be mislead by false information and religious error.
1. If you are truly saved you will get this particular type of feeling and he did not get that particular feeling.
2. He may have been taught that repentance and faith are essential but that salvation is not complete until he has done certain things, such as submit to baptism, etc.
3. He may have been taught that only those who have spoken in tongues or experienced something sensational are truly saved.
4. While such persons know that something has happened in their lives, they may not be able to say with confidence that they are saved because of having been mislead.
C. Others may be misled because they do not believe that anyone is truly saved now, they only have some hope of being saved in the future.
CONC: Now, I return to our original question, the subject of this message. At this moment, today, as you read this, are you believing on the Lord Jesus Christ? Is he your only and all-sufficient Saviour?
Go to Table of Contents
Last modified, Friday, March 04, 2011