Vol.XIII No.XII Pg.4
February 1977

The Believer

Robert F. Turner

The early Greeks and Romans believed in heavenly powers — some even claim they originally believed in one God. But in later years the concept degenerated. Philosophers gave lip service to the gods, but clearly indicated a lack of faith in them. Drama and poetry depicted ridiculous supermen gods, with passions, unfaithful marriages and buffoonery. God respect became more political than religious, as temples became symbols of national glory rather than marks of genuine respect for deity.

In such a clime a believer was a throw-back to the dark ages. When Paul declared the true God to be Spirit, Creator, Absolute, with power over death; some mocked (Acts 17:). A true Believer faces mockery any ridicule today, for much the same reason.

The Jews believed in God, but had a distorted and materialistic concept of the awaited Messiah. With Solomon and David as their ideals of greatness, they had come to expect wealth and military power of a Savior. Even Nathaniel had asked, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? The officers who were impressed by Jesus words (Jn. 7:45-f) were asked, Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? (Implying, No Big-Shots would accept him.) To further intimidate they added, But this people who knoweth not the law (are not learned theologians), are cursed. A Believer, then and now, is often classed with the ignorant.

But perhaps the hardest obstacle to faith in Jesus Christ was, and is, the denial of self — the admission of sin, and need for salvation. The Jerusalem Jews did not lack evidence (2:22), they lacked the will to believe. Peter offered no compromise. God... hath glorified Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate,.. and desired a murderer and killed the Prince of life. If they were to accept Jesus as the Christ they must acknowledge their awful deeds. In a broader view, since He died for all sins, in accepting Jesus as my redeemer I also acknowledge that I am lost and undone without Him. Pride could keep me from believing.

We must recognize, therefore, that Believer is a noble designation indeed, and should not be carelessly applied. It was used by inspiration to denote the saints of God. All that believed were together, them that believed were of one heart and of one soul, Believers were the more added to the Lord (Acts 2:44; 4:32; 5:14).

Todays believer must live above the ridicule of atheists who regard his faith as superstition of the unlearned. He must not be taken in by the theists who would make God an impersonal power only, without word or authority for final judgment. He stands out sharply against modernists who make God identical with revelation subjectively determined; who therefore make man the source of God. He is no kin of the existentialists and their vague leap of faith in blind despair. His is a confident acceptance of evidence. He is taught, he learns, and he comes to God (Jn. 6:45). He is the most noble example of Gods creatures, made in His image.