Questions & Answers
How much of the gospel do I have to believe to be saved?
Greetings and hallucinations ... hahahahaha! Just kidding!!! :) Well, maybe some good hallucinations .....
Be confident as you speak of the gospel of Jesus Christ!! Know this: unless God opens the eyes of the person they can not "hear" you.
How well I remember the questions you pose about how much a person must believe in order to receive Christ. How often I have wondered. I have come to realize that the whole argument is bogus. The fact of the matter is that until a person is born of God he knows NOTHING of God. It makes no difference how many things they SAY they believe about Him. Do you realize this? Knowing this reality is such freedom to the mind, bro! :)
The next fact of the matter is that when a person is born of God he KNOWS God. He KNOWS that Jesus is the Christ (the anointed, chosen one who is filled with the Spirit of God). The believer KNOWS that Jesus is from God. We KNOW this from within because we are also born of that same Spirit. One who is born of God may word things differently because of things in their religious backgrounds, but NO ONE is born of God who does not intrinsically know who Jesus is.
Remember what it says in Hebrews?
And without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him Hebrews 11:6
Now, this has been used to say that we need to know these things IN ORDER to come to Him, but it not only does NOT say that, it would be against the gospel of GRACE to say anything of the sort ... for He was found by those who did NOT seek Him, and was NOT found by those who seek Him (from Romans 9, among other places).
But this is the point of Hebrews ... it was through FAITH. "he who comes to God" does not describe what the person had to believe in order to get there, but instead describes those who come to God. WE come to God. No one else does. "he who comes to God" is YOU and ME ... it was not the prerequisite we needed to achieve or to reach BEFORE we found Him (or were found by Him). Following me?
John's whole point in 1 John was how we know that we know God. We know His Son ... and therefore, we know God. We are IN His Son ... and therefore, in God.
There were no "amount" of things you had to know IN ORDER to believe in Him. A miracle happened. The very life of the risen Lord Jesus Christ became our life. As we grow in Him, we begin to be able to put words to many of these things. Many of us knew a lot of the words, but really couldn't have known HIM since that knowledge is spiritual ... can't know it without the Spirit.
I'm glad that what I have been able to say with my mouth doesn't limit whether or not I have the "knowledge of God". It's the other way around. Having the knowledge of God comes out in what I say. Most of the time it is not RECOGNIZED for what it is. This is a good thing. For you have expressed the reality of God in SO MANY WAYS. As one who is also of God, I hear these things. If I'm judging by the flesh then I will not hear that life that is OOZING out of you.
Believe me, I don't question your sincerity in your love of God. I have recognized it from your very first letter. You said things to me in your letters that you DIDN'T ACTUALLY WRITE. I did hear your heart. I know that you know God. I know you know who Jesus really is ... and it's not because you gave me your personal statement of faith. I heard it way before that, bro! I hope this is an encouragement to you, for that is what it is meant to be. I hear GOD in you ... not when you THINK I might be hearing Him in you, but in between many of the things you say. I "hear" it in the fact that you love me, and no one can love if God is not in Him. Oh, people can mimic it ... and play act it ... but that's not the same!! It's also been in your honesty ... in how you have borne your heart and your fears to me. This is the stuff of life. I am glad that we have connected together in this life for I have been blessed by it. Yep ... ME.
Thanks for loving me,