Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ

By John Thiel

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. Those words the whole Christian world tends to cling on to.

Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

These were the words that were uttered by Paul and Silas after they were imprisoned and there was a great earth quake and the jailer waking up to this thought all the prisoners had escaped and was going to take his life when Paul said;

Acts 16:28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

Paul and Silas were singing and the jailer realised they were Christian and asked them what he had to do to be saved and this is where the answer comes.  But that wasn’t all;

Acts 16:32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

This is how this man was converted and his house.  What do these words contain?  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. It doesn’t say believe in but believe ON. Modern Christianity has lingered on these words as the all and be all in its very shallow understanding.  Many people believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and they believe they are going to be saved because they merely believe. How is belief revealed?  The prison warden said what must I do to have eternal life.  When Paul answered him he gave him a do word to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is a doing thing.  Unfortunately Christianity believes that they can be saved merely by a mind belief.  I wonder how many times we fall into the same sort of rut of a magic wand salvation where you believe something and now you are saved.  Is there something more to it?  Indeed there is.

I have stated before them that, from what was shown me, but a small number of those now professing to believe the truth would eventually be saved–not because they could not be saved, but because they would not be saved in God’s own appointed way.  {2T 445.2}

Does God have an appointed way to be saved?  Many people do not follow Gods appointed way. They draw a few statements from the bible and say that’s good enough thank you but God has a way.  What does your mind respond to you when you hear the way.  What does Jesus say?

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.

What does he mean?  There is an appointed way, a path to walk where we are going to be in truth and in harmony with life.  To believe on Jesus means what?  To adopt him.  What must I do?  Take hold of Jesus.  I must take hold of his life.  I must embrace the principles of life which he came and showed us. I must have his character. In other words I have to change, I have to receive the appointed way of God by which he is going to change my life to be like Jesus.  This is what is involved in the words you must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. I must take on his pattern of living.  How do I do that?  How do I adopt Jesus and his way?

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Here lies a very practical teaching of how I’m going to change.  How am I going to change?  I have to adopt Jesus, I have to accept his way of life.  I have to accept his character.  How will that happen?  By beholding.  It is a law of the mind that it gradually adapts itself upon the subject it is trained to dwell.  It is a print of our mental makeup.  If you want to become like someone you must watch them.  This is why children today become like people on television because they behold what they see.  If you want to become saved, look on Jesus.  We must look upon the serpent on the stick.  Jesus drew the attention of Nicodemus to this.  By beholding we will become changed.  By beholding we see his glory and that word glory, if you go back to the Old Testament when Moses said show me thy glory, what did God show him?  His character.  A character is the way a person lives.  As we look at the character of God in Jesus we become changed to the same image from character to character.  If I have a certain character traits now but not the ones I should have, I will gain these by beholding.  When he has his people in that position, when we are opening our hearts to Gods appointed way then we can be saved. We are to look at him.  Now we have a problem, I can’t see him.  It says even as by the spirit of the Lord.  The spirit is going to make it possible for us to behold Jesus.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.

16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show [it] unto you.

Here Jesus is speaking about the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit can do that.  He can take what Jesus was like, when you read the bible you can read what he was like, and as the Holy Spirit was the one who inspired these holy words, he will help you visualise Jesus.  The reading of the bible must go deeper than by just reading words. We must visualise the bible by prayer and meditate on the things written there.  As we do that, the Holy Spirit shows us Jesus and then by constantly looking at Jesus through the illumination we become changed.

Beholding Christ means studying His life as given in His Word. We are to dig for truth as for hidden treasure. We are to fix our eyes upon Christ. When we take Him as our personal Saviour, this gives us boldness to approach the throne of grace. By beholding we become changed, morally assimilated to the One who is perfect in character. By receiving His imputed righteousness, through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, we become like Him. The image of Christ is cherished, and it captivates the whole being.  {AG 96.4}

Do we cherish the image of Christ or do we want to get on with our own life?  How many times we lose sight of Jesus and get so bogged down with the issues of life I’m involved him that Jesus gets left outside where as I’m supposed to be gazing upon him.  I’m to keep on meditating on Jesus.  As I meditate about these things, I see the people in the world around me doing exactly this with their own heroes.  The sports heroes, film actors, they put the pictures on the wall and they cherish those meditations.  If that is what the world can do, then it’s obvious that Christians can do this with Jesus with living characters of him in action.  We will look at one of his character activities by looking and meditating upon, it can affect us. This is in reference to his character.

Christ carried out in His life His own divine teachings. His zeal never led Him to become passionate. {ML 187.2}

Remember the text that says the zeal of the house of the Lord has eaten me up?  Jesus was so zealous and he said take these things hence.  Did he go wild?  His zeal never led him to become passionate.  He is so keen on doing right but in doing right he never became passionate.  As you remain consistent in something and people resist and oppose you, what do you usually do?  Will you become obstinate or pliable but consistent.  Most people in their natural character if they stand for something become very fanatical in communicating what they will be faithful in.  In other words, I will do what I like anyway.  It’s a human trait that Jesus did not exercise.  He was consistent without obstinacy.  He was benevolent without weakness.  What does benevolent mean?  Someone needs money and you’re willing to share it.  Jesus was benevolent without weakness, he shed abroad his blessings but he was not weak.

He manifested consistency without obstinacy, benevolence without weakness, tenderness and sympathy without sentimentalism. {ML 187.2}

He was highly social, yet He possessed a reserved dignity that did not encourage undue familiarity.  {ML 187.2}

To look at someone who is so tender yet not sentimental.   Just straight to the point but not dreamy.  No romanticism.  To be social to communicate with each other but without familiarity and getting too close so that you fall into the trap of emotional familiarity.  Jesus kept that reserve.  A reserved dignity.  Usually when we get close to people we let our barriers down.  Jesus kept a reserved dignity.  Wouldn’t it be lovely to be in his presence?

His temperance never led to bigotry or austerity.  {ML 187.2}

I don’t eat that!  None of that.  He was temperate but not a show off being temperate.  He quietly did what he did quietly.  He didn’t make people feel bad who weren’t doing what he was doing.  As we are contentiously health reformers we are to look to Jesus who was never bigoted.

He was not conformed to this world, yet He was not indifferent to the wants of the least among men. He {ML 187.2}

Jesus would not do what the world does but he was still in the world and reached out in kindness to them.

He was awake to the needs of all.  {ML 187.2}

His zeal in reference to consistency, benevolence, tenderness, social, temperature, and not conforming to this world, all that kind of zeal that he had, was never over balanced into anything passionate of any nature.  Gaze upon it.  Let it affect our lives.  If we are to be like Jesus, we can’t go around saying you had better do this and that, that’s not the equation.  Emulate him.  What I see in Christianity is where people get too close and familiar and get too warm and we need to keep a certain distance.  We need to watch Jesus so we don’t jump on each other and say you shouldn’t be doing that.  As we concentrate on Jesus and keep lifting Jesus up, we will be changed.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

2:12 Teaching us that, denying unGodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and Godly, in this present world;

2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

He wants us to be zealous like he is but in that zeal to be like he is without the passionate reaction that is in our natural nature.  We are called upon to emulate Jesus.

From earliest years to manhood Christ lived a life that was a perfect pattern of humility and industry and obedience. He was always thoughtful and considerate of others, always self-denying. He came bearing the signature of heaven, not to be ministered unto, but to minister. . . .  {ML 187.3}

The unselfish life of Christ is an example to all. His character is a pattern of the characters we may form if we follow on in His footsteps.  {ML 187.4}

Character that we may form.  As we meditate on this, it makes it so much more not stressful anymore.  What must I do to have eternal life, I must believe ON Jesus.  I must look at him and the changes will come because it is a law of the mind that you will adapt yourself to what you behold.

Amen.

Posted on September 1, 2009, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Oh to be like Him.

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