Today will be my last post until Aug. 11 as I am planning on taking some time off to head to the mountains of Colorado. This is a yearly trek and I always look forward to getting time to reflect and fuel the soul.
Take time and read the John's gospel, all of it! It was written to the church and the purpose is stated in John 20:30-31, to increase our faith in Jesus which brings one to life, His life. But here's the interesting part about this word "believing". It is a present tense, active participle meaning a faith that is produced, continues and increases. It is not a one time act for salvation as many have tried to teach. It is on-going, ever increasing. The same word "believe" used in John 3:16 that so many use as a salvation verse is the same tense and meaning there also. John uses the term "believe" in some form some 99 times.
When one looks at this word "believe", there are three elements that happen in the heart to produce a faith that continues to increase: (1) It is a conviction! A conviction is a confidence so that you will stand firmly. (2) It is a trust! When there is a believing trust it means there is a complete reliance upon Jesus. There should be. Jesus our Lord is the visible image of God, the exact representation of God Himself, so we can trust Him to show us God and bring us to God. He and the Father are one. (3) It is obedience! To believe and continue for faith to grow there must be obedience. People who claim that believing in the Lord as your personal Savior and never respond to His word are not believers! There must be an active obedience. Read Hebrews 11 that many call the faith chapter and there you will find every faithful man and woman, when God called, they obeyed! It takes all three of these elements together for a faith that brings one into the life of Jesus.
One way of seeing these three elements of faith is seen in John 2 where Jesus does His first miracle. In verse 5, notice Mary's faith: "Whatever He says to you, do it." Within that statement to others we see a conviction, trust and obedience called upon. You find that throughout this gospel account.
Grow in your faith in Jesus. Grow in your trust. Respond to His word when He speaks because He speaks about the Father. He knew the Father and His life was in loving communion with the Father. We need to know both the Lord Jesus and the Father better. The door is open for you to progress. It's time to take our walk more seriously. Jesus did!