Monday, September 14, 2009

Our Savior’s Hard Demands for “Proving” Your Faith

John 8 describes one of the most public and yet one of the sternest scenes in the life of our ministry of our Lord in his contact with the Jewish leaders of the day. He spoke in John 8:12-29 about being the “Light of the World” (v.12) and how all will “die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (v.24). Obviously, John notes that “as He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him (v.30).

Jesus, the master teacher and preacher, gives a great lesson on responding to so-called “belief.” How would we respond when people claim to believe in Jesus? Isn’t it often the case that we’re so quick to affirm people’s salvation after they’ve prayed a prayer, raised a hand, walked an aisle, confessed to “know” Jesus, or whatever? Note the very next topic Jesus launches after many claim to believe in Him.

John 8:31-34 31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." 33 They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You will become free '?" 34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

Many claimed to believe in Him (v.30), so he then preaches to “those who ‘believed’ in Him” saying: if you continue in my word, then you are truly disciples of mine (v.31). Jesus continues later: the Jews who claimed to “believe” in Him are not understanding Jesus’ words because “they cannot hear [His] Word” (v.43). They who “believed” in Him are from their father—the devil. Jesus continues: “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God” (v.47). Again, Jesus is preaching to those who claimed to put their faith in Him!

Finally, his sermon led those who claimed to believe in Him to “pick up stones to throw at Him.” But wait—I thought that they believed in Him earlier in v.30? They said they believed in him; but theirs was a false faith; a temporal faith; a fake faith; a hypocritical faith! Let us “examine ourselves” (2 Cor 13:5) and make sure that we are not those who have the same faith as these Jews in John 8. Does your life show that you are continuing in God’s Word? Does your character and your speech and your actions show that you are truly disciples of Christ? Do the heart work. Search and find the truth. What does the fruit prove?


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