Why Do We Believe?
The vast majority of the readers of this article are believers in both God and Jesus as His son, the Christ. But do you know why you believe? We can believe in God through the evidences of the world about us. David, the king of ancient Israel, phrased it this way: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.” (Psalms 19: 1). We only need to quietly and seriously examine the works of “nature” about us, to be made to realize that there must be a master craftsman, to fit and establish the natural works of the universe.
Why do you believe in Jesus as the Christ? Not by the works of nature, nor by the records of secular historians. History may strengthen our faith, but will not produce faith in Jesus as the son of God. Where must we go for such faith? The apostle John is of help to us, listen to him: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written. that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John 20:30-31) The signs and evidences recorded in the gospel of John, in addition to the testimony of the three other gospel records, is the foundation of belief.
What signs do we have recorded? Luke 8:40-55, recounts to us of the healing of a woman badly afflicted with a hemorrhage, and the raising from the dead of Jairus daughter. Each of the gospel writers tell of the feeding of a great multitude with only a “handful” of fishes and bread. (John 6:1-14; Matthew 14:13-21 etc) These miracles were for the purpose of establishing the fact that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God. That he showed compassion is readily granted, but that was not the primary purpose. (How different from “faith-healers” of today.)
Not the least of the signs of Jesus is the raising from the dead of Lazarus, who had been dead four days. (John 11) Who, but the most warped of individuals, could have failed to acknowledge that God truly had in Jesus a man of great power, and accept the word of that man, that he was the son of God.
As we read the sermon on the mount. – (Matthew 5, 6, and 7) we are made to realize that here is the essence of peace, harmony and tranquility in this world. If only men would sincerely accept the truths and wisdom of this record, we could dwell peacefully in this world. The teachings of Jesus are “signs” unto us that he is the son of God.
As concluding evidence the biographers of Jesus, tell of his resurrection. Let me ask you to read again the writings of John, chapters 20 and 21. Note the discovery of the resurrection by Mary Magdalene (20: 1). The thorough examination of the tomb by Peter and “the other disciple” (John). (20:3-10) Consider carefully the appearance of Jesus to the Apostle Thomas, his doubt and acceptance. Note the promise of Jesus as he speaks to Thomas (v. 29), “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen. and yet believed.”
“These are written that ye might believe.” This is our source of faith in Christ as our Saviour. Do you lack faith in Him? Read the gospel accounts. Are you weak in your service to Him? Read these writings. Are your doubtings hindering your acceptance of his terms of obedience? Read the biographies of Jesus. Listen to Marks’ record of the final commission of Jesus to his apostles: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:15-16) The gospel is the story of Jesus, and to believe is to accept Him as God’s son.
~ Wilford Landes