Lessons Of A Lifetime

The Work Of God Is Believing
To Believe Is A Work Of Faith
Sunday August 2, 2020

Scripture To Consider:
“Then they said to Jesus, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He [the Father] sent.’ Therefore, they said to Him, ‘What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”’”

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’

“Then they said to Him, ‘Lord, give us this bread always.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He [or she] who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he [or she] who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I say to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him [or her] up at the last day.’                                                                                    John 6.28-40

Something To Consider:
The minds of most men, women, and young people in every culture and of every generation are similar to those of whom Jesus was addressing in our text today. He instructed them not to labor or work for that which will perish. And their response was, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”

There is within every human being an innate awareness of God. In time, for most, the early awareness of a power outside themselves is often covered over or buried with the earthly cares of this world or the desire for other things that occupy our thoughts. And, we must admit, that Satan has come to steal, kill, and to destroy any trace of that early awareness of God from our lives!

But Jesus declared, “This is the work of God, that you believe on Him [Jesus] whom He [the Father] has sent.” It sounds so simple! And yet, so many still ask years after coming to Christ, “What is the work and will of God for my life?” The answer is strikingly simple! Just believe in Him, Jesus, whom He, God the Father has sent. The Word of God makes it plain and as easy as possible for us. And yet, we make it so extremely difficult!

And yet, the problem soon arises which causes us to wrestle against our early awareness of God. For as we search the Scriptures, we realize we are sinners in need of forgiveness! And if our search continues, we find we are lost and in need of a Savior of whom the Word of God reveals Jesus Christ, who came in the flesh to redeem humankind from its sinful nature and evil behavior.

But, then our human pride and arrogance begins to rebel against our new found divine authority who has lovingly yielded His life in ransom for us. And the struggle ensues within us! From that point we understand that God has not only recorded the truth concerning Jesus and His plan of redemption, but He has preserved that plan in His written Word. And yet, according to that written Word, the work of God is believing and to believe is a work of faith!

So, what do we do with the divine knowledge we have gained and refuse to believe and therefore we reject? What then do we do with the many conditional commands of Jesus Christ and the Word of God that demand holiness and a changed lifestyle? We do what many religious leaders do in order to fill the pews and to maintain a steady flow of financial giving. We suppress the truth! We alter the truth to attempt to make the message more all-encompassing. How sad!

Something Else To Consider:
The apostle Paul realized the liberating effect of being justified by faith alone and wrote concerning that concept on numerous occasions. In Galatians 2.16, Paul wrote; “A man [woman, and or young person] is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ.” And in Ephesians 2.8-9 Paul announced, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, not of works lest anyone should boast.”

Therefore, Jesus closes our text today by stating, “Everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life.” So, according to Jesus, believing by faith is the work of God. And also, according to Jesus, eternal life is a free gift at least from our standpoint. And yet, eternal life cost God the pain and shame of dying a humiliating and agonizing death upon an old rugged cross. But it was no surprise to God. The plan of redemption was instituted before the foundation of the world, according to the Word of God.

The apostle John wrote in Revelation 12.8, concerning the end time coming of the beast, and end time representative of Satan; “All who dwell on the earth will worship him [the beast], whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” The divine plan of redemption was established before the creation of planet earth.

Something More To Consider:
In 1 Peter chapter 1, we are introduced to this redeeming plan of God and our need to respond by believing, beginning in verse 17. “And if you call on the Father [in true belief with repentance], who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay [life-long journey here on earth] in fear [or in reverence for God].”

Peter continued, “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible [or perishable] things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot. He was indeed foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest [revealed] in these last times [end times] for you.”

A Few Final Words:
And finally, as Peter can only imagine the receiving of this divine revelation of God, that Jesus was and is Savior and Redeemer; he further wrote in 1 Perter 1.21; “Who through Him [Jesus] believe in God, who raised Him [Jesus] from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” Paul simply assumed that under the tremendous weight of the truth of biblical evidence that the average individual would believe the work of redemption and therefore believe in Jesus.

Therefore, the work of God is believing! And to believe is a work of faith we find described within the Word of God. Believing by faith in the true bread of life is well worth more than all the work of every leader in every generation. For the work of God is to believe in Jesus. “Jesus answered and said to them. ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.’

Our Father in heaven, may we believe in the true bread of heaven, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and thank You for offering salvation in Christ by faith. In Him Always, Amen!

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