By Pastor Paul Millermon

The word "saved" sometimes turns people off. It turned me off when I first heard a person tell me that I needed to be saved. It made me feel that someone expected me to undergo some weird religious experience. Yet I have found since then that the word "saved" has a very firm Bible origin and that personal salvation is a very important issue. God has a desire that everyone be saved from the eternal consequences and control of their sin. The local jailer in Acts 16 asked this question of Paul and Silas when God, by means of an earthquake, caused them to be freed from their cell in his jail. He asked them, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30) Their answer was simple. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household" (Acts 16:31). The way of salvation remains the same for us today.

But what does it mean to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? First, let us consider the object of the belief and then the belief or the faith itself.

  1. THE OBJECT OF BELIEF - "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ."
    Who is the Lord Jesus Christ that we are to believe in and what has He done to save us?
    1. Who is Jesus?
      He is the Son of God who was sent to earth by God the Father so that He could provide salvation for us all. The following two verses express this truth.
      1. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
      2. 1 John 4:14 "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Savior of the world." When we celebrate Christmas we are remembering the time when Jesus came to earth. He came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). When Jesus came to earth God had come in human form.
    2. What did Jesus do to save us?
      Jesus lived a perfect life and then died for our sins on the cross. The Bible says "Christ died for our sins according to the scripture" (1Cor. 15:3). When Christ died on the cross He was dying there for us. His death was what was necessary for our salvation. The work that Jesus did in dying for us on the cross satisfied the just and holy demands of God in regard to our sin. When we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we believe that He is God the Son who came in human form and that He died for our sins on the cross.
  2. THE MEANING OF BELIEF - "BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ."
    1. It is not intellectual knowledge.
      This belief is not just an intellectual acceptance of the facts about Christ. Many people believe Jesus to be God and even believe that He died on the cross and rose again. That is not a belief that saves our soul. Satan and his demons believe this but they are not saved. James 2:19 states "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." They only have intellectual belief.
    2. It is personal trust.
      The belief that will save our souls is a personal trust in Christ. It is trusting in Him because of who He is and what He did for us. When we understand that Jesus is truly God and that He died for our sin on the cross, then we can put our trust in Him for our salvation.
    3. Illustration of trust.
      When we come to a bridge over a deep canyon we may express intellectual belief in its ability to provide safe passage over the canyon, but this is not faith. It is not until we are willing to step on to the bridge and go across have we trusted in it. Intellectual faith in Christ may come with words but not until we are willing to trust Christ and His sacrifice for us on the cross are we really trusting or believing on Him. Some trust their good deeds or good character to save them. They are trusting in themselves. Some trust in their religious service or some religious rite to save them. But the Bible says: "Believe (trust) on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved." You may need to transfer your trust from yourself or something else to Jesus Christ.
    1. Call on the Lord!
      In Romans 10:13 the Bible says: "For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
    2. Trust in the Lord!
      When we understand who Jesus is and that He died on the cross for us sinners then we are ready to call on the name of the Lord for salvation. When we understand that we need to trust in Jesus and His work for us on the cross and that alone, we are ready to call on the name of the Lord for salvation. .
    3. Express your faith in the Lord!
      We can express our belief by getting on our knees and telling Him of our trust. Admit that you are a sinner. Tell Him that you believe in His Son Jesus Christ and that you believe that He died for your sins on the cross. Tell Him that you believe in and trust Christ as your Savior. Then you will have called on the name of the Lord for salvation. It is then that we can expect Him to save us.

I encourage you now to make this decision to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." Then begin to follow Him. When we truly trust Christ, He gives us a desire to learn more of Him and follow Him. Please e-mail me and let me know of your decision. It will be your first testimony of your faith in Christ. Write me at pastor at biblecenteronline dot com.

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