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Head Faith Vs. Heart Faith

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What are the benefits of really believing in Jesus Christ? What does it actually mean to really believe in Jesus? I could give you fifty benefits, but let me just give you four. These four will cover the major areas.

FOUR BENEFITS OF BELIEVING IN JESUS

1. EVERYTHING I’VE EVER DONE WRONG IS FORGIVEN.

Everything I’ve ever done wrong is forgiven. Because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross in dying for your sins and mine God forgives you freely, completely, instantly and repeatedly.

2. I LEARN GOD’S PURPOSE FOR MY LIFE

That’s the second big benefit. I learn the purpose of my life, God’s purpose.  If we don’t know our purpose (and most people don’t know the purpose of their life) we end up drifting through life. We get bounced around. Life controls us rather than us controlling life.

3. I GET A GOD’S STRENGTH FOR DAILY LIVING

I get God’s strength for daily living. I used to think this wasn’t a big deal. But I’ve realized this is the number one problem most people have today. For most people the number one problem isn’t worry, or fear, or guilt or boredom or bitterness. Their number one problem is weariness. They are tired.

4. I AM GUARANTEED ETERNAL LIFE.

The most famous verse in the Bible talks about this:  

John 3:16 (NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The Bible says this is what God wants you to do. He wants you to believe in the one that he sent. So what does it mean to really believe in Jesus?  

A lot of people THINK they believe, but really they don’t. They are going to miss heaven by eighteen inches because they got it here in the head but NOT here in the heart. They have head knowledge about God but they don’t have a heart commitment to God. So they’re going to miss heaven because they don’t understand the full meaning of the word “believe.”

I was talking about faith and believing to a guy over coffee one time. I said, “Let me ask you:  How do you know you’re going to heaven? How do you know?” He goes, “Because I believe in God.” I go, “Good for you! Any other reason why you think you might be going to heaven?”  He said, “Because I believe in Jesus. I believe Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world.”

I said, “That’s great. Would it surprise you if I told you that believing there is a God and believing that Jesus died on the cross is NOT enough to get into heaven?” He said, “Are you kidding me?” I said, “Let me ask you this: Do you believe in the devil?” He goes, “Oh yeah.  Evil is obvious in the world. There’s a lot of evil. I believe in the devil.” I said, “Do you think the devil is going to be in heaven?” He goes, “Of course not!” I said, “The devil believes in God and the devil believes in Jesus. The devil knows Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That’s why he put him on the cross. He wanted to kill him. He wanted to destroy the Messiah. Do you think Satan is going to be in heaven?” “No!” “So obviously believing in God and believing in Jesus as the Son of God is not enough to get you into heaven because even the devil believes that.” He goes, “Where is that in the Bible?”  And I showed him this verse:

James 2:19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.

But you’re not going to find them in heaven. Why? Because it’s more than just a head knowledge. We’ve got to go back to what the word “believe” actually means. In the Greek the word “belief” actually means more than just knowing ABOUT something. It means to trust in, to cling to, to rely on, to adhere to, or to commit to. Big difference. It’s a heart commitment.

We all know that there are various levels of knowledge. For instance there’s real shallow knowledge. We all know about celebrities. I know about Jonny Depp. I don’t know Jonny Depp personally, but I know who he is. I believe he exists. But I’ve never given my life to Jonny Depp. I just believe he exists. And a lot of people believe that Jesus exists. They’ve just never given their life to him.

If you’re married, you know your husband or wife. That’s the kind of knowledge and intimacy. When I say, “I believe in my wife,” it’s more than just I believe that she exists. It’s I trust in her. I’m committed to her. I rely on her.  And I love her with all my heart.

That’s the kind of meaning believe means in Scripture. It means to trust in, cling to, rely on, adhere to.

Application Questions:

  1. How does what Jesus did on the cross impact your daily life?

  2. What’s the difference between believing God exists and commiting your life to him?

  3. How can you actively commit, trust and grow in relationship with God this week?

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