Friday, September 11, 2015

Belief Takes Some Effort

Jesus said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3.14-16) When most Christians hear this promise of our Lord, we are comforted that “all we need to do is believe” and we will be saved. But what does it mean to believe?

Belief requires some sort of action if it is going to have any meaning in our life. We believe penicillin will cure certain ailments, but if we refuse the treatment, that simple belief is no good to us. If the Jews “believed” that the serpent of Moses would be strong enough for them not to die, but they did not keep their eyes on the serpent, they would have died. Mere belief is never enough. It takes effort.

What are we doing with our belief in Jesus? He said our belief would keep us from dying, but unless we put that belief into action, we will die. When the doctor gives us a prescription for penicillin, it comes with instructions, and if we want to be healed, we follow the instructions. Jesus gave us a prescription He called the Church, and it also comes with instructions. The time has come for us to follow the instructions that came with the cure, so that we can truly live in Christ, and never die. What are the instructions? The God-inspired life of the Orthodox Christian Church IS the instruction manual that comes with the cure, and IF we believe in Christ, we will follow His instructions. After all....belief takes some effort. 

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