We are beginning a new series this Sunday entitled “I'm a Believer”. Are you a believer in Jesus Christ? That's kind of a loaded question, isn't it? Because there's varying degrees of belief, some believe in a superficial way and some have a great depth of belief in Jesus.
I heard a scholarly man talk on YouTube about the question that had been posed to him about his belief in God. This man is an academic, intellectual; he speaks from scholastic and a psychological background. And yet he seems to have some kind of handle on the Word of God.
So, they asked the question as they often do of intellectuals: do you believe in God? And his response was interesting to say the least. He said that you cannot casually say that you are a believer in God, it's not something that brings about a casual response.
Because if you're going to believe that there was an Entity who created all of the universe and is involved in our lives today, then you would have to ask yourself: what effect does that have on my behaviour? Is it just words that you say or is it or does it have an effect on how I live my life?
So, I want to go to the Book of John and spend a few weeks there and examine some stories that deal with “belief.” And find out what it means to believe so that I can grow stronger in my belief and in so doing grow stronger in my faith.
John 1:10 He (Jesus) was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
There are four different aspects of believing that are highlighted here; the first one is Receiving, and then Rights as a child of God, and then Reliance on Him and His name, and then the act of being Reborn.
We often say, mistakenly, that everyone; all people, are children of God. But John clarifies for us exactly who gets to have that right and to be included in God’s family.
God gives us the divine permission to be His child through our repentance and faith. He grants us forgiveness and says,” I'm permitting you to be my child because of your belief in me.” And then He gives the Holy Spirit to indwell us and empowers us to be a child of God. And all of this, gives you the right and the privilege and the honour of being a child of God.
Join us in person on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. or via livestream by going to https://www.firstbaptistsudbury.com and clicking on livestream for “Becoming a Child of God.”