Testimony of Scripture

The late James Kennedy was the founder of Evangelism Explosion, which has been a very effective approach to evangelism. He asked two questions. First, If you die tonight, do you know where you would spend eternity? Second, If you stood before God and He asked what right do you have to be here, how would you answer the question? It is amazing how many people will answer the second question by telling what they have done. The only right answer is to share what God has done, and that we are saved by grace through faith. In terms of salvation our work doesn’t merit anything, it only demonstrates what we believe.

Faith in God is not just mental assent, it is a demonstrated reliance in the finished work of Christ. That is why it is helpful to know that the words, “faith” and “trust” in English translations of the Bible are the same word (pistis) in the original Greek text. “You believe that God is one; you do well! Even the demons believe — and shudder” (James 2:19)! Demons will mentally attest to the fact of God’s existence, but they demonstrate their allegiance to Satan. I have asked many demonized people if Jesus is their Lord, and they would say, “Jesus is Lord.” To which I responded, “I didn’t ask you that. I asked you if Jesus was your Lord?” Again they would say, “Jesus is Lord,” but not their Lord.

Those who are truly Christian can be assured of their salvation by the witness of Scripture. “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Rom. 10:9,10). Have you confessed with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord? Notice, it didn’t save Savior. It is one thing to acknowledge and even be grateful that Jesus died for your sins. It is quite different to acknowledge Him as the Lord of your life.

Have you made public your decision to trust in God? God knows what you really believe. An honest person who is not self-deceived knows his own heart as well. So why do we need to confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord? The god of this world doesn’t perfectly know your heart, nor does he have to obey your thoughts, which he also doesn’t perfectly know. I have observed the necessity to confess with our mouths numerous times while helping Christians resolve their personal and spiritual conflicts. They can silently read the final prayer and declaration in the Steps to Freedom, and tell me they agree with it, but nothing happens until they verbally pray the prayer and say the declaration. Which is one reason why the early church would immediately baptize new believers as a public profession of faith, and then have them say out loud, “I renounce you Satan, and all your works, and all your ways.” That is still being said in Catholic and Orthodox churches all over the world.

Finally, do you believe in your heart, which is the core of your very being, that God raised Jesus from the dead? If you believe all that, then according to God’s word, which you have chosen to believe, you have experienced salvation, and you are now a child of God. Isn’t that great?

Dr. Neil

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