Lean Back in the Chair

1/7/2007

speech bubble representing person 3 talkingWe spoke of these things two or three days ago. When you see the word “faith” in the Bible, it shouldn’t be understood in the way that men normally think of the word “faith.” The Greek word for “faith” means something very different from the way we think of it. We think it means, “I believe in God.” We were discussing earlier that the Greek word for “faith” and the Greek word for “believe” are very powerful words. In that conversation, we spoke of leaning or tilting back on a chair with four legs.

When I am sitting on this chair right now leaning backwards on the two legs just a little bit, I’m still very safe. We know we must believe and have faith in Jesus and His Blood in order to be saved. What does that word “belief” mean in the Greek language of that day? What is this word “belief” or “faith” in the Bible, in the language that God chose? It means that we lean back in the chair so far that we can’t stop ourselves from falling anymore. There is no faith if we have not leaned back that far. I do not believe in God if I haven’t leaned back so far that I cannot catch myself.

“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘I believed. I believed. Lord, Lord.’” Many will say, “Lord, Lord.” But He said, “Depart from Me. I never knew you because you didn’t lean back so far that you couldn’t catch yourself anymore.” To people who said they believed in Him when they were still safe in the chair, Jesus said, “The road is broad that leads to destruction.” They weren’t leaning back so far that they couldn’t catch themselves.

That is very much the problem in the religious world today. The problem is not about denominations or no denominations. It’s that most people who claim to be followers of Jesus will not lean back so far that they can’t catch themselves any longer.

According to the Bible, those men and women who will not lean back all the way are not saved.

So that is what the word “faith” means and that is what the word “belief” means when you see them in the Bible. It’s leaning back so far that we let go and can’t catch ourselves. Now we understand a little bit better what Peter said when the man asked, “What must we do to be saved?” He said, “Repent, every one of you.” Change your mind about what’s good and what’s evil. Absolutely let go of your opinions about what is good and what is evil. Let go of your habits and opinions of what you love and what you hate. Change your mind about what’s important to you and what’s not important to you. If you want to be saved, you must let go of all your opinions and everything that you love and let God decide from this day forward.

When Jesus spoke of becoming a Christian, a disciple, He said, “If you want to be My follower, if you want to be saved, you must take up your cross.” What is a cross? A person hanging on a cross has no decisions to make. There are no more decisions for a man who’s on a cross. What he likes and doesn’t like doesn’t make any difference any more. “If any man would be my follower—would become a Christian—he must take up his cross and follow me.” He must forsake his life and fall backwards until he can’t catch himself. There is no difference between what Jesus taught and what Peter taught. We must go to the cross with all of our dreams, all of our plans, everything we like, and everything we hate. That is faith. That is repentance. That is baptism. Does that help, brother?

 

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