Believing in and Knowing Jesus as Our Lord and Savior
Thoughts on Believing in Jesus and Knowing Jesus as our Lord and Savior
I believe the highest, the peak potential of any life and the greatest blessing that can be experienced during our brief time on earth is to believe in and know Jesus as our Lord and Savior; but how can we accomplish or achieve this very highest possible calling of life? The fact is that we can’t accomplish or achieve it. Knowing Jesus as our Lord and Savior is not something to be accomplished or achieved. It is a gift that must be received not through any merit on our part but by the mercy and grace of God and through faith in Jesus alone. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.”
Does a change take place in the hearts and lives of those who receive God’s free gift of salvation through faith in Jesus alone? Oh yes, for the scripture reads that we become “his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works”, and in a great sense knowing Jesus involves becoming more and more like him. “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”
But how do we begin and then grow in the reality of knowing Jesus as our Lord and Savior when it can only be so by God’s grace and through faith in Jesus? I believe that when we receive light that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died upon the Cross to save us from our sins, we must choose by an act of our will to walk in that light by repenting of our sins and trusting in Jesus as our Lord and Savior; “Choose you this day whom ye will serve…if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
We are free to make choices by an act of our will because we are not robots. God created us as free moral beings with the freedom to choose and reap the consequences of either good or evil choices. Now God, out of his love for us, wants us to choose to love and serve him because we want to love and serve him; and when we want Jesus more than we want anything else, God’s grace enables us to willfully turn away from every sin and/or hindrance that separates us from God.
It is primarily through his Word and the Holy Spirit that God leads or draws us to himself, and it is when we ask and trust Jesus to save us and make us whole that God does his redemptive work in us. Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” and he said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…” We can never make ourselves whole by our own good works nor can we be made whole apart from Christ and what he did for us at Calvary. Our faith simply connects us with Jesus, and Jesus makes us whole.
Therefore, when we really want Jesus to save us from our sins – or to sanctify us wholly – or to deal with whatever cares of life we bring to him, the Bible tells us to “…come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” And having come to the Lord, it then becomes our time to thank him for his mercy and grace and for hearing and answering our prayers that are in line with his will. “…Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And did not Jesus say, “According to your faith be it unto you”? And John wrote, “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.”
It seems pretty clear that the Bible way of knowing Jesus as our Lord and Savior is to believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Faith in Jesus submits our weakness to his strength and our need to his abundant provision. Faith in Jesus is the key that opens the door of our heart to the Lord. God alone can do his redemptive work in our heart, but the faith part is necessary in order to connect us with Jesus. For some, faith seems to come almost automatically, and for others it seems to require an intentional decision to take God at his Word and to believe it is so; but the means of and the end result of God working in our heart is always the same, “By grace are ye saved through faith…” True faith is choosing to believe in the true and living God who has revealed himself through his creation and through his Holy Word, and his Word declares that because of who Jesus is and what he did for us at Calvary, we are saved when we turn away from sin and trust in him alone as our Lord and Savior. God is more than willing to apply to our heart and life what he purchased for us at Calvary, but we must want and ask and then believe Him to do it. I believe this to be the Biblical way we come to know and love Jesus, and God never fails to give victory to those who turn away from sin and selfish desires and put their full trust in his Son! “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
Our heavenly Father, Please help us by an act of our will to believe in and follow Jesus because it is the right thing to do. Please help us to commit ourselves each and every day to loving and serving Jesus more than anything else in our lives. And most important of all, please help us to trust in Jesus to make (and keep) us whole that we may indeed be “his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works”. In Jesus’ name, Amen.