by Dr. Charles Stanley
Believing in Jesus
Anyone who studies world history can claim to believe in George Washington or Alexander the Great. Those men existed and their lives are well documented. But unfortunately, for far too many men and women, "belief" in Jesus is no different than their intellectual acknowledgement of Washington or Alexander. Such people may have read the Scriptures and realized Christ is the Son of God, yet they are still lost in sin. True faith in Jesus Christ is a process of knowledge followed by conviction and sealed through trust.
Faith begins at the place so many people choose as their endpoint — knowledge. Salvation requires acknowledgement of four biblical truths: 1) Jesus is God; 2) I am a sinner separated from the heavenly Father; 3) Jesus Christ paid my sin-debt on the cross; and 4) Jesus was resurrected from the dead and now sits at the Father's right hand.
Through the work of the Holy Spirit, biblical knowledge develops into conviction; in other words, a person becomes fully persuaded that Scripture regarding Jesus is true. The result of such conviction is a heart pierced with desire for divine intimacy. For some, this yearning becomes a lifelong pursuit; others die, still refusing to give in to the certainty that Jesus alone saves. A person must trust God with his life in order to enter into true faith.
Believing in Jesus is easy. However, faith that transforms us into His image requires more. Knowing about His work is not enough; we must also develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord.