For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17 NRSV
What does it mean to believe in Jesus Christ? More specifically, what makes a believer? Do you believe that Christ will save you? Do you believe that Christ is the savior? Do you believe that Christ is God's son? Or is it that (like Thomas the Twin) you proclaim that Jesus is "My Lord and My God!"
Certainly, belief is more than just saying someone existed or someone had a few good words to say. I know that Muhammad existed but I don't believe in his teachings or what his followers hold to be true about him. Buddha had some very wise sayings and there are many Buddhist practices that are beneficial. That doesn't mean I believe in him.
I think that belief goes beyond agreement. Belief is also respecting, following, and living as Jesus would have me live - at least to the best of my ability. Now there are quite a few Christians who say that belief means agreeing with a litany of rules and life-style choices. Many of them have very different rules and life-style choices from each other. So which ones are the "right" ones for true belief?
I don't have the answers. However, I keep coming back to Thomas proclaiming Jesus as Lord - making Jesus the number one priority in my life - fits into the answer here somewhere.
God, sometimes I don't know all the answers about being a believer. Please let everyone who reads this be willing to join in the discussion! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims