Does it really matter if a person believes in Jesus? Can’t someone simply do good, live in peace with others and have a good life? The answer to the second question is, absolutely yes. There are many people who do not profess faith in Jesus Christ that are nice people, helpful people, loving people. If only the self-professing Christians did good deeds, we would have an even darker world on our hands than we do now.
However, the initial question of Jesus does in fact matter. Professing the name of Christ does not guarantee decent and loving character. As there are many loving non-Christians, there are also many inconsiderate and selfish Christians. Sincere and authentic faith in Jesus Christ matters in this world to all people because of security. Regardless of where a person comes from, everyone in this world attempts to find security in something. We all do. We all seek something that allows us to find rest at night. We all seek something that gives us the permission to find confidence in a world that so often leaves us feeling helpless.
All people have the ability to do good and love others because we were designed for righteousness and love. On the contrary, all people seek to find something to hold onto in the storm because all people were created to exist in the presence and care of an almighty God but now find themselves alienated and trying to get back what was lost. The manner in which we pursue security in worldly things gives us a clue about our origins and our Creator. A person who believes and professes faith in Jesus Christ no longer scrambles to find security in this world. A person who takes Jesus Christ at His words no longer fears death and what comes next. Christianity obliterates the fear of death, the fear of failure and the fear of loss. In the loving arms of Jesus Christ we can finally find the peace we’ve longed for. We no longer have to live a life of self-preservation and self-vindication. In Christ we are given the gift that we all seek. We are given the gift of perfect and everlasting love. Does it really matter if a person believes in Jesus? To be a nice person? The answer is, no. To find peace and enjoy in what we have without fear and trembling of eventually losing it? The answer is forever yes.
Worship and Purification. A life devoted to the living God and to following Jesus Christ must be marked by these two words on a daily basis. It is impossible to devote your life to God without worship and it is impossible to follow Jesus without daily purification. To know the living God is to be confronted by the almighty in all that is good. To know the living God is to be daily in the presence of something greater than yourself and more beautiful than we could possibly imagine. It is not enough to know about Him. Knowing about Him is like acting overwhelmed by a painting that you’ve never stood in front of. There is superficiality to this kind of knowing. If we haven’t seen it personally, how could we expect to understand it, share it, rejoice in it? Merely knowing about Him is professing confidence in a King you’ve never allowed to command your steps.
If we haven’t accepted His authority and followed His commands, how we can claim any faith whatsoever in His authority and discernment? Knowing God is to know that HE IS and the implications of that revelation are life-changing. If HE IS then I am who He says I am: a child in desperate need of a good father. Once we know Him as Father we see His beauty and there is little else to do in the presence of His beauty than worship.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ IS purification. You cannot separate the two. They are inseparable and indistinguishable. He is the purifier and we NEED purification. Need AND needed. Jesus came to purify the world of its sin by taking the sins of the world upon Himself, setting the captives free and restoring sight to the blind. To know Jesus and follow Him is to live and breathe purification. Our first breath in the morning should remind us of the life we have in Jesus Christ. The day that follows reveals the continual and ongoing fight with sin within us which requires the daily purification of our hearts by the Gospel of Jesus. The cross purified us by paying the debt we owed, and the resurrection initiated the final chapter of the world that requires ongoing purification as it awaits the final return of the King.
To walk with Christ is to be in the presence of perfection and thus aware of our imperfections. However, although our imperfections become great in His presence, His forgiveness becomes greater. The cycle repeats and we are once again prepared for glorious worship. Amen!