Do You Believe?

November 1st, 2006

“And Jesus said unto the blind men, (seeking to be healed) ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ And they said unto Him, ‘Yes Lord, we believe!” (Mt. 9:28b)

Do you believe? Sounds like a trite question to which most Christians would readily respond, “Of course I believe. I believe in God, that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and rose again and that He’s coming again. I believe. I’m saved, what more is there?” While believing in Christ for our salvation is the most important thing anyone can ever believe, it is but the beginning of so much more that God has called us to believe. Everywhere we go, people are hurting and in desperate need for someone to believe with them for a miracle.

Some are engaged in a daily battle with cancer that is literally taking the life out of them. Others are struggling to keep alive a failing marriage that holds little or no hope for restoration. Many are having the greatest financial crisis of their lives, and wake up every morning facing an ever increasing mountain of debt that seems to be hopelessly out of control. In each of these cases, only a miracle will do. There is no hope apart from the impartation of the miraculous. It is the only gateway to restored wholeness, healing and deliverance. But how and through whom will it come? What will release the miraculous in our lives and in the lives of so many hurting, wounded and broken people? As I pondered this question in light of the miracles that Jesus performed in the Gospels, I discovered the power of God’s call to “believe”. When the blind men of Matthew 9 approached the Lord for their healing, Jesus asked them a profound question, “Do you believe I am able to do this?, “Believing” in the unlimited and all powerful ability of God is the key that unlocks the door to salvation, the miraculous and the demonstrative ministry among the body of Christ.

THE FOUNDATION OF OUR SALVATION (Rom. 10:9,10)

Romans 10:9,10 is used as part of “The Sinner’s Prayer” probably more than any other passage in the Bible. In this passage, confessed faith and belief in Christ is the clearly stated foundattion for our salvation. “If you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” What a powerful link is revealed here between believing and confessing. What we believe, we confess, and what we confess, we believe.

Of course, this kind of “believing” that brings salvation to our soul is not the simple academic acknowledgement of the mere existence of God, or even the intellectual admission of the reality of an historical Jesus. No, it is a declaration of complete faith and trust in Christ and His shed blood as our only hope for the forgiveness of sin and a home in heaven. This is why the Bible exhorts us not only to believe “in Christ, but to believe “on” Him as our personal Lord and Savior. (Acts 16:31) The original Greek word used in this passage for the word “believe” is the term “pisteuo”, meaning “to cling to and rely upon” or “to put complete trust in”. It is this kind of “total reliance upon” believing that is the only foundation for our salvation.

THE FOUNATION FOR THE MIRACULOUS (Mt. 9:28b)

While there is no particular formula in the Bible for the working of miracles, one thing that does appear to be present in almost every case is the fact that somebody somewhere “believed”. It was the defining question Jesus asked the blind men before He healed them, “Do you believe…?”.(Mt. 9:28b) When the daughter of Jairus the ruler had died and everyone thought there was no hope, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid, only believe”, and Jesus then called her to rise, and she arose. (Mk. 5:36,41-42a) As we consider our own personal crisis or trouble and the miracle we so desperately need, if we listen we too will hear the Lord say, “Do you believe I am able to do this?” When we do, may we as the blind men of old boldly respond, “Yea Lord, we believe!” (Mt. 9:28b) This confession of faith and belief in Christ as the all sufficient, able. One became the foundation for the miraculous for the blind men, and so it will become the same for us as we too “believe”.

THE FOUNDATION FOR DEMONSTRATIVE MINISTRY (Mk. 16:17, 18b)

Perhaps no Scripture in all of the Bible better describes the demonstrative power of “believing” more than the passage where Jesus said, “These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;… they shall lay hands upon the sick and they shall recover.” (Mk. 16:17, 18b) These were Jesus’ final words to the disciples before his iminent ascension to heaven. They were obviously im- portant words to be uttered at such a point and time. No other words would follow these. They would be the words permanently etched in the minds of the disciples, words that would later become the cornerstones of purpose for the early church. These are the words that would forever define the demonstrative ministry of those who “believe”. The ministries that Jesus describes are as He said, “signs”, signs that will “follow” or “accompany” every believer, not just the overly zealous or those of a Pentecostal persuasion. No, they are the distinguishing earmarks of all who “believe”. Again, what were some of the “signs” that Jesus said would identify “believers” in the early church?

1) They would know and unashamedly use the power of Jesus’ name, as He so instructed them, “In my name you shall…”. (Mk. 16:17a)

2) They would move in deliverance ministry as Jesus so prophesied, casting out demons by the power and authority of His strong name!

3) They would be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues, which would be a “sign” of their authenticity, not to other believers but to unbelievers. (I Co. 14:22)

4) They would, as Jesus so commissioned, “lay their hands upon the sick and they shall recover”. Divine healing would become a natural occurrence, another recurring sign that would “follow them that “believe”. (Mk. 16:17a) May we who call ourselves “believers” bear the marks and signs of “them that believe”.

IN CONCLUSION

It is clear that “believing” is the key message of the entire Bible. It is the core foundation for our salvation, the catalyst for the miraculous and the powerful release of demonstrative ministry among the body of Christ. It is the element of faith that when boldly declared, releases forgiveness for the sinner, healing for the sick and deliv- erance for the bound. All of these and more are readily available if we would but “believe”. The needs are great, and the answer is clear. Perhaps the hymn writer of old said it best when he penned the words, “Only Believe, Only Believe, all things are possible, Only Believe”. “Do you believe?”

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