How to believe “into” Jesus Christ

For many, believing “into Christ” might sound strange to the ear. You might be saying to yourself, don’t you mean “believe Christ’s words” or maybe “believe in Christ?” Or, you may be considering, is there really any difference between believing Him and believing into Him?”

It may sound strange, especially if you’re accustomed to reading from one of the more popular English Bible versions. Most of the familiar versions I’ve checked say either “believe in” or “believe on” Him. However,  believe “into” is actually according to the literal Greek word (eis).

Believing Christ is to acknowledge that He is true and real.

Believing Christ is to believe that He is true and real. In John 6:30, the religionists of His day said to Jesus, “What sign will You do that we may see and believe You? What work will You do?”

They were challenging Jesus to do some miracle—like sending bread down from heaven—in order to prove to them that He was God’s sent one. With them it was a matter of whether or not they would believe that something was true or genuine. It was simply a matter of whether they would acknowledge a fact.

This is similar to Albert Einstein’s biographical statement that he believed in an historical Jesus. Einstein could not deny the vibrant account of Jesus in the gospels, that confirmed to him that Jesus was a real human being. But this did not mean that Einstein ever believed “into” Christ.

Believing into Christ is to receive Him and be united with Him as one.

However, when Jesus spoke the famous words of John 3:16 to Nicodemus, telling him how to be born again, He did not tell him to “believe Him.”  Rather He said,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.”

This is what God is calling all men to do today. He does not merely want us to believe that Jesus is a real historical figure, even one that did miraculous works of power. Rather God invites us to believe into His Son, Jesus Christ, so that we may enter into a spiritual union with Him by faith.

How can we “believe into” Jesus Christ?

We can only “believe into” Jesus Christ because God has made Him “enterable.” For Christ to be enterable for our union with Him, He first had to become a man among men. John 1:14 says, “The Word [Jesus Christ] became flesh and tabernacled among us…” Then 1 Corinthians 15:45 points out that after passing through His crucifixion and entering into resurrection, Christ “became a life-giving Spirit.” By these two “becomings,” Christ has become enterable. He is now as available to us as the air that we breathe. We can easily enter into Him by believing into His name.

First Corinthians 12:3b says, “No one can say, Jesus is Lord! except in the Holy Spirit.

By simply declaring with your mouth from deep within, “Jesus is Lord! Lord Jesus, I believe into You!”—you enter into Him and receive Him into you as the life-giving Spirit. You’re in His Spirit, and He is in your spirit. You are joined to Him in an eternal union of life in which you’re born of God to become a child of God.

“Lord Jesus, thank you for willingly becoming a lowly man to die on the cross for my sins. Praise you, that after three days You rose victoriously from the grave and became the available life-giving Spirit. Praise you, that now as the Spirit, You’re like the air—both enterable and receivable.  Lord Jesus, I believe into You and I receive You as my Savior and life. Thank you that now I’m in You and You’re in me. I’m born of God to be a child of God.”

This post was inspired by John 3:16, footnote 2 in the Holy Bible, Recovery Version.

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Who is Jesus of Nazareth?

This is the question of questions.

Jesus asked this question of His disciples and the religious men of His day in Matthew 16:13-15 and 22:42, and in the 2,000 years since He walked on the earth, this question has remained a mystery for all men to consider. Our personal answer has the most profound impact on our life.

 Who is He?

Is He just a carpenter’s son?

The Galilean countrymen from the region where Jesus grew up were blinded by their personal knowledge of the man Jesus. They said, “Is not this the carpenter’s son?” (Matt. 13:55a). They knew Him according to His physical life, and they only knew Him as “the carpenter’s son.”

But who is He really?

Is He just the greatest among the prophets?

When Jesus took His disciples away to teach them privately, He asked them, “Who do men say that the Son of Man is?” They responded, “Some, John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets” (Matt. 16:13-14).

Apart from God’s revelation, men thought Jesus was a great religious leader, or even the greatest of the prophets.

But isn’t He more than this?

Yes, He’s the Christ, the Son of the Living God! Continue reading

Have you applied the blood of the Lamb? Are you drinking the water of life?

“But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.” (John 19:34)

God does not just want to save you from hell by Christ’s redeeming blood. His purpose is much higher than that. In saying this, I am by no means depreciating the value of the precious blood of Christ for this blood satisfies all the righteousness claims of God upon fallen sinners such as us. But even if we were as sinless as Adam and Eve before the fall, God’s original purpose to dispense His life into man would still need to be fulfilled.

The Bible introduces the tree of life and the river in Genesis 2:9-10 and ends with the promise to eat of the tree of life and a call to drink the water of life in Revelation 22:14 and 17. So in this post, I’ll present the good news not only of “the blood,” but also of “the water.” I hope you’ll be encouraged to appreciate and enjoy both.

“Blood and Water” reveal two sides of God’s complete salvation.

God’s salvation has two sides or aspects—the side of procedure and the side of purpose, the judicial side and the organic side. So let me ask you, “Are you saved? If so, is your salvation one-sided or two-sided? That is, are you saved by the blood of Jesus? Or are you also being saved in the life of Christ? If your salvation is only by the blood, then it’s only one-sided. You’re only saved judicially by the blood. Yes, you’re redeemed. You’re forgiven. You’re reconciled to God. Your problems with God are solved and you won’t perish for eternity. We must thank Him for that.

But, what about the other side? Is God’s eternal purpose being carried out in you organically? That is, are you being saved in the life of Christ. Romans 5:10 says “For if we, being enemies, were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more we will be saved in His life, having been reconciled.Continue reading

Have You Received the “Double Cure”?

Christ“The Rock of Ages”

Rock of Ages” the famous hymn by Augustus Toplady (1740-1778), speaks of a “double cure,” saving us for our two-fold problem with God.

Have you received such a “double cure”?

Before you answer the question, let’s consider this hymn and what it’s referring to.

The first stanza of the original hymn says,

Rock of Ages, cleft for me
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save me from its guilt and power.

The expressions “the water and the blood” and “save me from its guilt and power,” speak of a salvation in two aspects–solving two problems by means of two provisions.

Man’s Two-fold Problem with God—“Sin’s Guilt” and “Sin’s Power”

“Sin’s Guilt”—Due to “Sins,” Our Many Transgressions

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23)

As fallen human beings, our first problem with God is our “sins.” The  words of this hymn, refer to this as “sin’s guilt.”

Sins” in the plural, refer to the many trespasses we have against God’s righteousness—our transgressions are not only against God’s moral law in the Old Testament (Exodus 20), but against the higher law of the kingdom of the heavens in the New Testament (Matthew 5-7). Such a kingdom standard is far beyond what any fallen man can fulfill by himself. (Not only is murder condemned but even our anger can bring us under God’s judgment.) Such failures bring us under much guilt.

However, 1 Peter 2:24 speaking of Christ says, “Who Himself bore up our sins in His body on the tree, in order that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness; by whose bruise you were healed.” What good news! In this verse, our “sins” in plural—our many acts of sinning against God and man—were borne by Christ upon the tree, the cross.

By His death for us, all our sins were nailed to that cross and judged there in Christ’s body. Now through His death, we have died to sins.

“Sin’s Power”—Due to Sin, Our Sinful Nature

However, we have an even greater problem than “sins”—“Sin,” that is our sinful nature that we received through the fall. We are a “sin tree” that by nature produces “sin fruits”—“sins.” This refers to sin’s “power.”

The Apostle Paul referring to His experience outside of Christ confessed, “But if what I do not will , this I do, it is no longer I that work it out but sin that dwells in me.” (Rom. 7:20)

In Romans 7, “Sin” is personified, it’s not merely some wrong doings but an indwelling power that prevented Paul from doing the good that he willed to do. Don’t we all have this same experience?

So, concerning God’s righteous law—we men of flesh just can’t keep it. That’s not an excuse, that’s just the fact. But, that’s not all…Also, notice, Paul doesn’t say “sins” but “sin.” Christ not only died for our sins, but He condemned sin in the flesh (Rom. 8:3). That is, on the cross He condemned that sinful nature in man. He judged sin in the flesh—not just the record of “sins” but “sin”—the sinful nature itself.

Continue reading

Heaven or the New Jerusalem—Is there a Difference?

“And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Rev. 21:2)

 Fundamentally Different, Not Just a Matter of Semantics

Many people unintentionally, mistake the New Jerusalem for heaven. When I was a child, I remember singing a song that says:

“I’ve got a mansion just over the hill top
 in that bright land where we’ll never grow old
and some day yonder, we’ll never more wander,
but walk those streets that are paved with gold.”

 I may have gotten a few words wrong, but the gist of the song is pretty clear.  That is, that we’re going to heaven—“to that bright land where we’ll never grow old” and “walk those streets that are paved with gold.” However, in aspiring to heaven,  the writer was, in referring to golden streets,  addressing an attribute of the holy city, New Jerusalem.

In the many years since my childhood days of singing that song, I’ve never once read in the Bible where it says that heaven has golden streets. However,  Revelation  21:21, in speaking of the New Jerusalem, does say “the  street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” You can see from this illustration, the thought of heaven having golden streets,  is just one example of the confusion of heaven and the New Jerusalem.

Well, someone may say, “Aren’t they one and the same—heaven and the New Jerusalem? I say heaven. You say New Jerusalem. It’s all about the same.” However, the opening verse I referenced points to a distinction. In Revelation 21:2 it says that the holy city, New Jerusalem is coming down out of heaven. This verse directly indicates a difference, for the New Jerusalem to come down out of heaven indicates that the two expressions are not synonymous.

Then what is the distinction?

Heaven, God’s dwelling (1 Kings 8:50), the place of His throne (Isa. 66:1), and the place where Christ ascended physically after His resurrection (Acts 1:9-11)  is no doubt a physical place. However, the New Jerusalem is not a physical place “to which we go” but the greatest sign in the entire Bible (see Rev. 1:1) signifying, God’s spiritual, eternal building of divinity and humanity.  It is the eternal, consummation of all God’s work in humanity throughout the ages, a mingling of God and man to be the mutual dwelling place for both God and all His redeemed people for eternity. Continue reading

Come and Drink the Living Waters!

Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters!

This cry in Isaiah 55:1 expresses the high gospel, revealing God’s heart’s desire toward man, that is, that God Himself is the living waters for man to drink, and be filled with in order to express God in His rich, overflowing life.

“And a river went forth from Eden to water the garden, and from there it was divided into four branches.” (Gen. 2:10)

“And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.” (Rev. 22:1)

God’s Intention—Concerning the River of Water
of Life Revealed from Genesis to Revelation

The Bible reveals that the God of the universe is a flowing God. He desires to flow out as the water of life to reach man, enter into man, and fill man with Himself so that man might express Him, the God who is life. We can see this divine flow beginning in Genesis 2 (v. 10) and continuing throughout the entire Bible until it reaches its consummation in the river of water of life flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb in the New Jerusalem in Revelation 22 (v.1).

Man’s Fall—By Forsaking God
as the Fountain of Living Waters

However, God’s eternal intention to be life to man was frustrated by Satan, through the serpent’s deceiving man in Genesis 3. Thus man, created by God to express Him, became fallen, sinful, corrupted and deadened. What was the unique factor of man’s fall? It was that man forsook God Himself, the unique fountain of living waters (Jer. 2:13). Leaving God as His unique source of life, man became independent from God, choosing knowledge rather life. Hence, man lost God as his enjoyment and resorted to many vain replacements for God, “broken cisterns,” which could never satisfy man.

“For My people have committed two evils: / They have forsaken Me, / The fountain of living waters / To hew out for themselves cisterns, / Broken cisterns, / Which hold no water. (Jer. 2:13)

God’s Salvation—By Drinking of the Living Waters:
God in Christ as the Spirit

Yet, God’s intention could not be deterred. God in His wisdom flowed into humanity in the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ. In Christ, the living waters reached man. In John 4, Jesus told an immoral Samaritan woman,

“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal life.” (John 4:14)

Then, through Christ’s death, not only was sinful man redeemed, but the water of life embodied in Christ, flowed out. On the cross, Christ’s side was pierced and immediately there flowed out two substances—“blood” and “water”—“blood” for redemption and “water” for life-imparting (John 19:34). His was not only a redeeming death, but also a life-releasing death. Through Christ’s death, this divine flow was released. Christ was the reality of the rock, smitten for us (Exo. 17:6), that the living water might flow out to become our spiritual drink (1 Cor. 10:4).

But it was not until Christ entered into His resurrection, becoming “a life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45) that He became truly “drinkable.” For before His death the Lord Jesus cried out saying,

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. But this He said concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed into Him were about to receive for the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.” (John 7:37b-39) Continue reading