If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Recently, I traveled to New York City to do some interviews. When my plane landed at LaGuardia, I realized I had lost my voice. I thought, “What am I going to do? I am supposed to talk to millions of people over the next two days, and I can’t say a word.” Now, I knew what I should do. This happens to me about twice a year, and I usually call my doctor, who gives me antibiotics. As soon as I take that first tablet, my voice starts to clear up. But I thought, “I do not want to bother my doctor. I will take care of it myself.” So I called around for some advice for what I was supposed to do. Somebody said, “Gargle some warm salt water.” I tried that, but it did not help. Somebody else said, “Stand in a hot shower and breathe in the steam.” I tried that, but nothing happened. Finally, I was so desperate that I called my doctor, and he ordered antibiotics for me. I walked from the hotel to the pharmacy to pick it up. I had those pills in my hand, but did they heal me? No, I had to depend enough on that medicine to heal me that I was willing to put one of those tablets in my mouth and swallow it. That is what it means to believe in Jesus Christ. Saving faith is believing enough to do something.
To believe in Jesus Christ does not mean to believe certain historical facts about Jesus. You can believe that Jesus is the Son of God. You can believe that He died for the sins of the world. You can believe that He rose from the dead on the third day and still split Hell wide open when you die. How do I know that? Because the demons and Satan also believe all those things about Jesus. They believe that he was the Son of God. When the demons confronted Jesus in Matthew 8:29, they said to Him, “What business do we have with each other, Son of God?” They understood who Jesus was. They believe that He died for the sins of the world. They believe that He rose again from the dead. In fact, they believe those things more than you and I do, because they were there. James 2:19 says, “The demons also believe, and shudder.” They were eyewitnesses to those things, but that kind of belief is not what saves you.
You are saved when you are willing to appropriate that faith in your own life, when you come to that point of desperation, when you believe that Jesus is your only hope of Heaven, when you kneel and say: “God, I know I am ungodly, I know I have sinned, and I know I deserve Your eternal punishment. But I believe that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to die for me to take the punishment on the cross that I deserve from You. And right now, I am trusting in Jesus and Jesus alone to save me from my sins.” The Bible says the instant you say that to God, just like Abraham, God takes your faith, no matter how small it is, and in the great accounting room of Heaven, He exchanges your faith for His forgiveness and righteousness. That is why Romans 4:5 says, “To the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Most Important Verse In The Bible” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.lockman.org)