Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 28, 1963

Do You Really Believe In Christ?

Jack L. Holt

This searching question is very important. Have you ever really, really considered it? Jesus taught, "except ye believe I am he ye shall die in your sins....and if ye die in your sins where I am ye cannot come." (John 8:21, 24) To believe in Christ is to believe what He says. In Luke 6:46, we read the cutting question of Jesus: "Why call ye me Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?" If we do not believe in Him, and do the things He has commanded, we cannot be saved, hence the importance of the question, "Do you really believe in Christ?"

Many who read this are no doubt convinced in their own minds that they really believe in Christ, and yet by their actions they demonstrate that they do not. We demonstrate our faith by our works. Moses believed in the being of God, he believed that "God is." But when he failed to obey God and speak to the rock, God called it unbelief. (Num. 20:8-12) We may claim to believe in Christ but as long as we disobey we are guilty of unbelief. This is where so many deceive themselves. They think one can believe in Christ and yet refuse or neglect to do what Christ has commanded. Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16) Do we believe this? Men say, "He that believeth and is NOT baptized shall be saved." Do we believe men or Christ? How can we believe Christ without believing what He said?

In Acts 2:37, sinners, convicted by the preaching of the Word, asked, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Of course this question had to do with the subject of salvation. The idea is what shall we do to be forgiven of our sins or to be saved? What answer was given? Whatever answer was given then is the answer that was needed then and that is needed now. "And Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38) Here is heaven's answer to the question, "What must we do?" How often do you hear sinners told this today? Does your preacher give this answer? or does he tell the sinner to do something different? All too often modern preachers tell sinners that all they need to do to be saved is "only believe." By this they mean merely assent to the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. But this will not save unless one obeys God's Son.

There is a great difference between "only believe," and in really believing in Christ. One can't really believe in Christ without believing what Christ said. Through Peter Jesus said: "Repent and be baptized every one of you.... for the remission of sins." Do we believe this or do we believe something else? If we believe something else, do we believe Christ? Where did Christ ever teach that one can be saved by "only believing"? If belief only will save, why command men to repent? Do we really believe in Christ and obey His teaching, or do we believe men?

In 1 Peter 3:21, we read: "The like figure whereunto baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." In this passage the Holy Spirit plainly states that baptism saves. Men say that it has nothing to do wih salvation. That one can be saved without it as well as with it is their claim. Do we believe men or God? Do we put our faith in the hands of men and look to them for salvation or do we trust in God? We can trust in God only when we follow His word. God said, "....baptism doth also now save us." Do we believe God or man? Remember Jesus said, "except ye believe I am he (and thus obey him) ye shall die in your sins....and if ye die in your sins, where I am there ye cannot come." Do we want to be where Jesus is? If so we must believe Him. If we believe Him, we will believe what he says. Do we really believe in Christ? It is your responsibility to decide.

— Dallas, Texas