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Faith means not only that we believe intellectually in the truth of some proposition, but we believe it to the extent that we're willing to place our trust in that truth and act on it. Faith involves commitment, based on our belief that certain things are true. But, as Christians, exactly what is it that we must believe?
In Jn. 8:24, Jesus said, "I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." We must believe that Jesus is who He claimed to be: the very Son of God and the Savior of the world. Saving faith is faith in Jesus Christ.
It is our faith in this great truth that breaks the grip of sin upon us. "And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (Jn. 8:32). All of the horrible consequences of sin are the result of our having been deceived by the untruth of the devil. If we are to be saved from these consequences and enjoy once again the life that God intends, we must turn to God in real trust and place our faith in His Son. We must commit ourselves to the truth that He can save us from our sins.
When we do that, all kinds of good things are made possible for us. Jesus Christ can satisfy our deepest needs and longings. He can be all that we truly need. He can save us from death and give us life. To the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well, Jesus said, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water . . . Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (Jn. 4:10,13,14).
With such abundant life available in Jesus Christ, the pity is that we allow Him to do so little for us. He waits to bless us with the "living water" of true life, but we often content ourselves with merely dabbling in discipleship. We are content to have no more than the least of His blessings. Surely we should desire more than we have yet received.
But to receive what He has for us, of course, we must truly believe in Him. Faith is the key to real life in Christ. So this week, let's work on our faith!
Monday: John 4:10-14
Key Idea: Jesus Christ can satisfy our deepest needs and longings.
Questions for Family Growth: What do you think the "living water" is that Jesus spoke of? What did Jesus mean when He said, "Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again" (v.13)? How does this make Jesus superior to any other religious teacher?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 12:11.
Tuesday: John 4:23,24
Key Idea: Through Jesus Christ we can worship God in spirit and truth.
Questions for Family Growth: According to Jesus, how would "true worshipers" worship God? What does it mean that "God is spirit"? What are some ways we might worship God falsely? What must we do to avoid the problem of false worship?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 12:12-14.
Wednesday: John 4:39-42
Key Idea: We believe in Jesus Christ on the basis of credible testimony.
Questions for Family Growth: Why did the woman at the well believe in Jesus? According to v.39, why did the villagers believe in Him? Was this a reasonable and responsible thing for them to do? After they heard Jesus personally, what did they say in v.42?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 12:15,16.
Thursday: John 4:25,26
Key Idea: Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Messiah.
Questions for Family Growth: What did Jesus mean in v.26 when he said to the woman, "I who speak to you am he"? Is it absolutely essential that we believe all that Jesus claimed about Himself? Consider Jn. 8:24,31,32.
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 12:17-22.
Friday: John 3:16,17
Key Idea: Believing in Jesus Christ, we can have everlasting life.
Questions for Family Growth: Why did God give His Son for us? What is meant by "everlasting life" (NKJV)? According to Paul in Rom. 5: 8, why did God give His Son's life for us? What is it that we need to be "saved" from?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 12:23.