Text: Romans 3:21-22
Date: August 21, 2016
I. Thesis: Belief is necessary for salvation:
1."Everyone believes something, and even the rejection of belief is belief" Greg Koukl
2."For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16 KJV
3. " Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." John 3:18 NIV
4. " I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins." John 8:24 NIV
5. " Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26 NIV
6. "Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:30-31 NIV
7. " If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."
Romans 10:9-10 NIV
II. Belief is greater than knowledge:
1. Knowledge is knowing facts, information, and skills learned through experience or education.
2. Belief is trust or faith, in someone or something.
3. In a legal case we have the evidence which we can know and the verdict which is the belief the jury has of the truth.
4. I know many people, but I trust in (believe in) few.
5. I can know that flying is safe (education, statistics), and still not believe it by refusing to fly.
III. Many think they believe in Jesus, when in fact they just know Him.
1. Discipleship (teaching) is what the Church is commanded to do by Jesus in the Great Commission.
2. Discipleship is necessary for belief, but is not evidence of belief (faith). "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" Romans 10:14 NIV. This is why we are called to "make disciples" by evangelizing (bringing the Good News to) the Lost.
3. We can know Jesus and agree that what the Bible says about Jesus is true and still not "believe." This is the state of many in the Church in all ages.
IV. True Belief (Saving Faith) is known to be true by evidence and action.
1. The Bible story of the "Rich Young Ruler" (Matthew 10) is an example of someone who knew Jesus, but did not believe in Him.
2. The story of the Prodigal Son is an example of someone who initially knew the "Father" but later when he "came to his right mind" he believed the Father and conformed his life to the will of the Father.
3. True belief is known by the outcome, "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith (belief) but has no deeds?" James 2:14 NIV.
4. The evidence of the unregenerate (unsaved) is that, "They claim to know (all they have attained to) God, but by their actions they deny Him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good" Titus 1:16 NIV.
V. The Takeaway!
1. We are commanded and should desire to share the Good News to those who do not know.
2. We don't want to be deceived by believing we believe in Jesus, when we only know Him. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Cor. 5:17 KJV
3. "I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again"
4. "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves"
2 Cor. 13:5 NIV.
P. S. Eternity is closer than you think.