W. Tozer wrote, “Fortunately only a few things are matters of life and death, such as a compass for a sea voyage or a guide for a journey across the desert. To ignore these things is not to gamble or take a chance; it is to commit suicide. Here it is either be right or be dead.”
A person’s relationship with Christ is a matter of eternal life or spiritual death. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. You are saved by faith in Christ alone altogether apart from good deeds or religious works of merit. Many have convinced themselves that just believing in God and believing that Jesus died and was resurrected automatically saves you. James tells us that even the demons believe that there is one God and shudder. (James 2:19) Demons believe, but they will not be in heaven. How does the individual man come into a saving relationship with Christ? That was the anxious question presented to Paul and Silas by their jailer, “…Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
There are at least three ways to describe the only answer for the eternal salvation of any person: 1.) Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ ( Acts 16:31); 2.) Receive Christ as personal Savior (John 1:12); and 3.) Accept Christ. Acts 11:21 tells us that a great number “…believed and turned to the Lord.” To believe in the Greek means to put trust in, to be convinced of, or have no doubt and be certain of. The important grammatical form of the word “believe” is continuous action. In other words, you must believe and keep on believing.
Minds believe doctrines; hearts trust persons. A child will run to his father for help, direction, and provision when he truly believes in his father’s loving care. A patient will go to his physician when there is belief in his doctor’s abilities to help. What good will your so-called belief do you if it has not resulted in your turning wholeheartedly to the Lord? Many profess to believe, but they continue in their sins. Jesus said there are those hypocrites who will “…honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.” (Matt. 15: 8) The person who truly believes in Christ becomes a new creation; his old nature leaves and a new nature, surrendered to Christ, comes. (2 Cor. 5:17) Paul didn’t say, “Believe and be saved,” but “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:31)
A true believer in Christ orbits his life around Jesus like the earth orbits around the sun. Just as the earth needs the sun, believers need the Son of God to perfect holiness within them. “…Without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Heb. 12:14) True believers accept God’s friends as their friends, they reject what He rejects and they adopt the Lord’s lifestyle as their own. Jesus said “Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness…” (John 8:12) meaning not purposely living in sin.
So… you say you believe. Does your belief in Him affect the way you live? To ignore what the Bible says about true belief is not to gamble or take a chance, it is to commit spiritual suicide. The Bible says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus…”