The Bible is believed more than it is read. It is read more than it is studied. It is studied more than it is obeyed. This past Sunday I stated this repeatedly in the sermon as we began our series on the book of Hebrews. I got lots of confused looks. I could tell it did not sit well with people. Maybe it was confusing. I’m sure it was confusing. We have been told over and over by preachers in churches and on TV that all you have to do is believe. After all we all can quote John 3:16. So we believe. We believe in God. We believe in the Bible. We believe in the local church, missions and sharing our faith. I could go on with all the things we believe.
Do you believe the Bible? Is it the written word of God? Is it what you use to determine right and wrong? Is it how you define yourself? The Bible tells me I am lost and going to die because of my sin. This is bad news. But it also tells me I can be adopted by God and have my sin and death problem erased. This is good news.
How do you know if you believe something? Action. If you believe in exercise but never exercise, then you do not believe in exercise. That is clear. But what if you exercise a little? You know, once a week or couple times a month or maybe at the beginning of the year. Or only when you feel like it. Or when everybody else is. Does that mean you believe in exercise? No. It may mean you try to exercise, but if you don’t exercise you don’t believe in exercise.
Here is the bottom line. We do what we believe. We support what we believe. We sacrifice for what we believe. When it comes to God we start with believe, but we cannot stay at believe. Unfortunately, we have defined “believe” as a mental exercise and not as a being exercise. We have exchanged the word “know” for the word “believe.” We are to believe. After all, John 3:16 is in the Bible. But so is John 17:3 and oh, John 14:21 is there as well.
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