“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31 – 32)
I often hear that all one needs to do when it comes to salvation is to simply believe. Some take it a step further and use Romans 10:9 which Paul writes, “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”. If one quoted this verse alone as the means of salvation, then it sounds like Paul is saying all one must do is to confess sin, believe Jesus and salvation is bestowed. However the key in this whole thing, Jesus is Lord. This confession was made publicly among other disciples. Then this new convert was disciple into Christian maturity.
When the Apostle Paul was on his way to kill Christians Christ met him on the road to Damascus and “…suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? Did Paul confess Jesus as Lord? yes. Did he believe in his heart?, yes. Did he tremble with conviction of his sin? yes. Jesus confronted him with the Law, the sixth commandment, “thou shall not murder,” for that in fact was what Paul was doing to Christians. After this conversion took place Paul said to Jesus, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do.” Paul seemed to instantly know that he must now be a doer of God’s word and not simply one that hears, believes and confesses Jesus as Lord. Now he would have to live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ from this day forward.
The problem in many churches today is that preaching takes place, the pastor has people close their eyes and repeat a prayer of confession for sin after him. Then many times the person’s life does not change, and many times the person doesn’t return to the church even for a second visit. We call this type of person a false convert, because they have made stake to claims of salvation unto Jesus, but they wanted a Savior but not Lord. However the two cannot be separated, Jesus is Savior and Lord of my life.
In light of this, in the above key Scripture verse, Jesus spoke to the Jews who had believed Him. Therefore belief in Jesus was already present. Jesus then went on to say, “If you hold to my teaching, then you are my disciples indeed.” This is called a conditional statement because it uses “IF” and “THEN”, meaning IF you do this, THEN this will be the result. However IF one does not do this, THEN one will not get the same result. Jesus said one must continue in His word. The Expositors Bible Commentary says, “Receiving his teaching would mark them as genuine disciples and would lead them into a deeper experience of truth.” This learned truth then would liberate from legalism, superstition, and dead works of tradition which had developed over the years. Jesus felt the necessity of making perfectly clear the conditions of discipleship.
Are you reading the Scriptures daily (continuing in His Word)? Are you obeying what you reading and showing Him to be Lord over your life? If you are then you are His disciple, you know the truth and have been set free, therefore REJOICE! If not then repent quickly, today, right now, and make the change that Jesus is calling you to make. If you are lord then He is not, but if He is Lord then you are not. Choose the latter. Until the nets are filled…Blessings, Pastor Phil <><