I talk with many people who have professed faith IN Jesus Christ. Like the Roman guard in the Bible, they asked, “What must I do to be saved?” and were correctly told, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:33) Those were life-changing decisions. At that point they knew they have been forgiven by God and they knew their destination after death is heaven
However, interestingly enough, while becoming a Christian does many incredible things, there are actually many things it does not do. It does not make a person perfect. In fact, it does not even instantly change all the very strong beliefs previously held and embraced. The book of Romans instructs Christians to be transformed by the renewing of their minds, the changing of their belief systems so they can be conformed and molded to the likeness of Jesus. This is actually an on-going process that occurs in this physical life, from the point of salvation until death.
What might some of these old beliefs that need transforming sound like? And what might be some of the belief changing truths Jesus offers?
If I believe in Jesus, life will be peaceful and easy
Jesus says: In this world you will have trouble but take heart, I have overcome the world (John 16:33)
I am weak, not good enough, a failure
Jesus says: My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor 12:9)
I must carry all my burdens alone
Jesus says: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:28-29)
I need money in order to be happy
Jesus says: A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions (Luke 12:15) In fact the Apostle Paul goes on to say: I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength (Phil 4:11-13)
Many Christians are ardent defenders of the faith, proclaimers of Jesus as the only way to salvation and a future in heaven — they believe IN Jesus for the future — but they struggle with believing Jesus in the present — with believing the words of Jesus in day-to-day life.
I recall assisting with the funeral service of a man who believed IN Jesus. Regrettably, because this man fervently held the last belief above about money and happiness to be true, he believed he and his family needed money in order to be happy. Like many of us, he hoped the Lord would turn some financial challenges around and make things better – and do it quickly – and in a big way. The burden to provide happiness for his children by obtaining money became overwhelming when he did not get the answers he expected.
This husband and father loved his family. Regrettably, when he combined his love for his children with his beliefs about happiness, he came to the incorrect and sinful, but powerful conclusion that the best thing he could do to love his children for a lifetime was to provide for them financially in the most immediate way he could – by killing himself so the insurance funds would be available to them.
Jesus did not die for our sins solely for a future time. He cleansed us so we would be fit dwellings for the Holy Spirit who leads and enlightens and strengthens and empowers every single day – if we are available and cooperate. Please continue on the journey of transforming your minds and the things you believe.