But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. John 6:64
If it were up to you to evaluate yourself, how would you classify yourself? Credulous, or incredulous?
Believing is perhaps the greatest difficulty we all have in terms of what we perceive daily, and not because the content of what we receive is so complicated, but rather because unbelief is part of the genetic constitution of so many people.
Not that God formed us in this way, but rather because in the development of nations it was inculcated as an aspect of cultural and social formation.
Believes are a divine attribute; God gives the person the faculty to believe. In the instruction given by God himself to the prophet Isaiah, the reader reads that it is God who gives the man, or takes away, the faculty to believe, to understand and to accept.
And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. Isaiah 6:9,10 (references from this text in Matthew 13:15; Acts 28:27)
This spiritual disability is transmitted genetically, from generation to generation; some cultures are more incredulous than others, depending on the cultural-religious elements with which each one decided to nourish himself. The apostle Paul introduces it as a topic of study in his epistle to the community of faith in Rome,
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: … 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: … 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Romans 1:24-28
Believe, however, is a virtue subject to learning. People are not born believing, but they learn to believe; and that is the purpose of our teaching today. How can people learn to believe?
Believing is the essence of life in Christ, it is the way established by the Father to reconcile human wickedness with divine holiness; that it may be the man himself who confronts himself, and discovers that the ambiguity of his conduct is the result of the egolatry of his Adamic heritage.
The man believed the serpent and accepted the lie as his way of life; the only way to renounce to it is by believing the Word of the Father.
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. John 8:44
In order to believe, it is necessary to recognize that He, Jesus, is God come in the flesh, manifested for the salvation of all.
4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. … 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. … 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? … 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? Romans 10:4-16
Believing begins with the recognition of Jesus as God
Believing begins with the recognition of Jesus as God, not as a rational assent, but as a readiness to surrender and submit to His lordship; that is, to renounce personal identity in order to find it through Him; as the Holy Spirit taught in the Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the community of faith in Galatia,
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
No one who cannot accept Him as Lord and Christ can learn to believe,
But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: John 1:12
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. … 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. … 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:16-36
35And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. … 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. … 47Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. … 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. … 69And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. John 6.35-69
It is not to recognize and accept him on the level of human reasoning; it is to be willing to renounce everything for love of him, to renounce all that seems gain, to die to oneself, to bearing the cross, even to suffer persecution for his sake.
26If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. … 33So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26-33
Believing is doing
Believing is doing. Unlike what the sciences of human wisdom teach, to believe is not to see, it is to do.
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. John 20:29
To believe is necessary to do. You cannot believe if you are not willing to do, and this is the stumbling block for many because many people see no need to do; and it is because the proclamation of the Gospel they have received overemphasizes the spiritual principle that Grace is not by works. Those who so proclaimed forgot that the apostle spoke of the works of the Law.
It is necessary to be willing to do, because it is by faith; because, how can we say that we believe if we are not willing to move according to what we believe?
20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:20-26
It is works of faith, according to the levels of revelation in which each one walks. It is not doing for the sake of doing, it is to do as the Holy Spirit demands of each one of us.
If the reader reviews in detail the passages of the Bible, he will see that many of the teachings and revelations that the men and women of God received were received when they decided to do it even without understanding them;
And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. … 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. … And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. Luke 5:5-10
Many of the conflicts of faith that pious men and women face today are due to lack of action. They have turned faith into knowledge, and they have raised up the cult of human discretion. That is ungodly conduct.
They have so much knowledge, and even advise others, but say and don’t do… they can’t believe… that’s why many of those they advise are ahead of them.
The reason people don’t turn to Jesus is because they don’t see the forcefulness of the actions of those who preach to them.
People are tired of hearing, they want to see…
Do you want to believe? Start doing…