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I. WHAT IT MEANS TO BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS.

What does it mean to believe on the Lord Jesus? We need to be very careful in our answers to that question, for there are many answers to it that are inaccurate and untrue. There are men who say and think that they believe on the Lord Jesus, and yet they do not. What does it mean to believe on the Lord Jesus? I have given a very careful and thorough study to this subject; I have gone all through my Bible looking up the word “believe,” and all words related to it, and I have found out what I suspected to be the fact when I began, viz., that “believe” means in the Bible just exactly what it means in modern speech. What is it to believe on a man? To believe on a man means to put confidence in him as what he claims to be. To believe on a physician means to put confidence in him as a physician, resulting in your placing your case in his hands. To believe in a teacher is to put your confidence in him as a teacher and accept what he teaches; to believe in a banker means to put your confidence in him as a banker and to put your money in his bank. And to believe on the Lord Jesus means to put your confidence in Him as what he claims to be.

To put confidence in the Lord Jesus as what? As all that He claims to be, and all that He offers Himself to be. What does the Lord Jesus claim to be, and what does He offer Himself to be?

1. In the first place, the Lord Jesus offers Himself to every one of us as a Sin-bearer. In Matthew xx. 28, He says, “The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” He offers Himself as a ransom for all. That thought runs all through the Bible, in the Old Testament as well as in the New. If you want to find it in the Old Testament, turn to Isaiah liii. 6: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him (that is, on the Lord Jesus) the iniquity of us all.” If you want to find it in the New Testament turn to I Peter ii. 24: “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” Christ offers Himself to every man as a Sinbearer, and to believe on the Lord Jesus is to put confidence in Him as your Sin-bearer.

2. In the second place, the Lord Jesus offers Himself to us as a Deliverer from the power of sin. He says in John viii. 34, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” And we all know that is true, for we have all committed sin, and become the bondservants of sin, and no man is able to break away from sin in his own strength. He says, in John viii. 36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” The Lord Jesus offers Himself to each one of us as One who has power to set us free from the power of sin. He says that Satan is the strong man armed, but that Himself is stronger than Satan. To believe on the Lord Jesus is to put confidence in Jesus as One who has power to set you free from sin.

3. In the third place, Christ offers Himself to us as a divinely taught and absolutely infallible Teacher. In John xiv. 10, He says, “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake. The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me. He doeth the works.” He offers Himself to you as the Teacher who speaks to you the words of God, who speaks no words of His own; as the Teacher who dwells in God, and in whom God dwells, a divinely taught and absolutely infallible Teacher; and to believe on Christ is to put confidence in Him as such.

4. In the fourth place, the Lord Jesus offers Himself to us as our Master, who has the right to the entire control of our lives. In John xv. 14, He says, “Ye are my friends if you do whatsoever I command you.” To believe on the Lord Jesus is to put confidence in Jesus as a Master who has the right to have the entire and absolute control of your life.

5. Again, the Lord Jesus Christ offers Himself to us as a light and guide. He says in John viii. 12, “I am the Light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life.” To believe on Jesus is to put confidence in Him as the Light of the world, as the One to follow wherever He leads.

6. And lastly, the Lord Jesus offers himself to us as our Divine Lord. He says in John xiii. 13: “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.” And we read in John xx. 28, 29, that when Thomas saw Jesus Christ after His resurrection, and was convinced at last that He really was raised from the dead, he threw up his hands and said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” And Jesus commended Thomas for this confession, saying to him, “Thomas, because thou hast seen, thou has believed: blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed.” Jesus offers Himself to us as our divine Lord. To believe on Jesus is to put confidence in Him as our divine Lord.

So, to sum it all up, to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is to put confidence in Him as your Sin-bearer, as your Deliverer from the power of sin, as your divinely taught and absolutely infallible Teacher, as your Master, who has the right to the entire control of your life, as your Light and Guide whom you will follow wherever He leads, and as your divine Lord. The moment you thus put your confidence, your absolute confidence in Jesus Christ, that moment you are saved. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”

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