Shepherd’s Heart – Saturday, August 11, 2018

From Co-Laborers-in-Christ Around the World

The following post is an article written by Dr. John Temple, Senior Pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church in Meridian, Mississippi, United States of America. It is posted here with permission.

Bro. John was one of my seminary professors at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Bro. Chris

Shepherd’s Heart – Saturday, August 11, 2018

From the Shepherd’s Heart

“And rising early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” Mark 1:35

How do you begin the day? Are your first conscious moments a focus on shutting off the alarm and pulling up the covers to avoid the agenda of the day? Maybe you are so rushed, you finish dressing and eating breakfast as you drive to the first appointment of the day.

Who sets the agenda of those first waking moments each day? Are you responsible for your world, or, is your world responsible for what you think, how you act, or what you say? Jesus set an example on how to control your day. Notice how Jesus remained in control of every day He lived.

First, Jesus focused on fellowship with His Father in Heaven. Jesus focused on His purpose instead of His circumstances. While His disciples focused on the demands of the crowds, Jesus focused on the source of power, and wisdom needed to meet each day. The time to communicate with the Heavenly Father prepared Jesus to meet the demands that come.

Second, Jesus made that fellowship with the Heavenly Father, priority. Jesus’ consistency in prayer provided consistency in doing and saying the right things when He met life. The greater the demand, the quicker He resorted to prayer. The more popular He became with successful ministry, the more He felt the need to stay aligned with the Father’s will. The closer Jesus came to life-threatening events, the longer He communed with the Father above. Instead of allowing life to crowd out prayer, Jesus allowed prayer to prioritize life.

Third, Jesus used prayer as a time of renewal and preparation. For Jesus, this was a time to recharge His batteries. The greater the drain on life, the greater the power needed to come. That power would not be found in the opinions of man. It will only be found in the authoritative advice of God. The same will be true for us. Opinions are cheap. Wisdom is priceless, and it only comes from above.

If you want to be more like Jesus, add time to the beginning of your day to have fellowship with Him. It is much more rewarding to commit your day to the Lord at its beginning, than to apologize for your mismanagement of the day at its end. Try beginning your day with the priority of prayer and see if life becomes easier to face.

Bro. John

Source: Dr. John A. Temple (2018)

Reprinted with permission.

Temple, J. A. (2018, August 11). Shepherd's Heart - Saturday, August 11, 2018 Message August 11, 2018, posted to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.temple.98

Note: Unless otherwise indicated, permissions granted by Guest Authors to post or reprint their posts on Saved by Grace Ministries' website does not constitute any formal partnership, business relationship, or endorsement between, of, or by, the Guest Author and/or their organization(s) and Rev. Christopher M. Fulgham or Saved by Grace Ministries.

Shepherd’s Heart – Saturday, August 4, 2018

From Co-Laborers-in-Christ Around the World

The following post is an article written by Dr. John Temple, Senior Pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church in Meridian, Mississippi, United States of America. It is posted here with permission.

Bro. John was one of my seminary professors at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Bro. Chris

Shepherd’s Heart – Saturday, August 4, 2018

From the Shepherd’s Heart

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalms 19:14

Usually, discussions about the Lord’s approval revolve around our actions. Most rules people cite refer to what we can “do,” and what we can’t “do.” For example, we think it doesn’t matter how much we hate someone if we don’t harm them. Jesus broadened the standard when He said to hate someone is as bad as to kill someone. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

The Psalmist wrote, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Within this phrase is the awareness that God sees within the person as well as outward actions. Notice the impact of this simple admonition.

Realize that our desire to be acceptable by the Lord is the motive for the rest of the admonition. “Acceptable” is a priestly term that indicates a sacrifice is suitable to be given unto the Lord. If the sacrifice is acceptable, the worshipper is acceptable. If the sacrifice is unacceptable, the worshipper is unacceptable. Both the worshipper and what he offers to the Lord must be right with God. Both thoughts and actions must be suitable for God to see us acceptable before Him.

Secondly, notice that acceptance is in the eye of the Lord, not the worshipper. Therefore, it is important to yield to God’s standards of acceptability. His word of “good” or “bad” is final in that decision.

Thirdly, know that God knows our heart and the heart must be on godly thoughts and values if we are to be pleasing to God. It is when we are consistent with His Word that we are pleasing to Him. Therefore, we should weigh every thought against the guidance we find in scripture. Scripture should guide our thoughts and control our actions.

Fourth, realize that what we say is a product of who we are on the inside. Clean lives produce clean conversations. Corrupt lives produce unholy conversations. Regardless of situations, the Lord expects His people to reflect His character, not that of the world.

Finally, we come with the sacrifice of our hearts and lives to the Lord because of what He means to us. The psalmist calls the Lord, “my Rock and my Redeemer.” As Redeemer He has paid the price to set us free from the dirt of the world. As our Rock He is the safe place to stand in the midst of the storm.

Every breath should be expressed as an act of worship to a Lord who has made life worth living. When lived with constant celebration of His grace, we will find He is pleased.

Bro. John

Source: Dr. John A. Temple (2018)

Reprinted with permission.

Temple, J. A. (2018, August 4). Shepherd's Heart - Saturday, August 4, 2018 Message August 4, 2018, posted to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.temple.98

Note: Unless otherwise indicated, permissions granted by Guest Authors to post or reprint their posts on Saved by Grace Ministries' website does not constitute any formal partnership, business relationship, or endorsement between, of, or by, the Guest Author and/or their organization(s) and Rev. Christopher M. Fulgham or Saved by Grace Ministries.

Shepherd’s Heart – Saturday, July 14, 2018

From Co-Laborers-in-Christ Around the World

The following post is an article written by Dr. John Temple, Senior Pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church in Meridian, Mississippi, United States of America. It is posted here with permission.

Bro. John was one of my seminary professors at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Bro. Chris

Shepherd’s Heart – Saturday, July 14, 2018

Acts 14:22b (NASB)
22  … “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”

Expectations about life determine our reaction to the dynamics of life. Some believe life should be an ongoing party. They think that really living is enjoying food, fun, and fellowship. They measure life by the number of laughs they have in a day. Assumed is that life should be light and frivolous.

Others believe life is ongoing conflict. They think that really living is anticipating the next attack and defending against enemies and villains. They measure life by the number of victories they have in a day. Assumed is that life should be dark and threatening.

Today’s scripture is an interesting quote, “Through many tribulations, we must enter the kingdom of God.” The context is Paul and Barnabas returning to churches they had begun. Their intent was to encourage the young believers assuming that they were facing oppositions and difficulties. As a statement of encouragement, this quote was their message. Notice what we learn.

First, we must accept the life of faith is a life facing tribulations. A Tribulation is a burden or pressure that causes distress or opposition to a desired purpose or plan. Tribulations load life with trouble or resistance so accomplishing our purpose is threatened. Tribulations are trouble. Tribulations are roadblocks in our way. Tribulations are resistance.

Second, we must acknowledge why tribulations occur. Tribulations are the battlefield of the kingdom of light against the kingdom of darkness. It is Satan who resists our efforts to be what the Lord wants us to be. It is Satan who wants to “rain on our parade.” It is Satan who wants us to fail. It is Satan who wants us to resign from our assignment.

Thirdly, we must know that God allows tribulations to come. His reason is not that we have deserved it. God, in allowing the two kingdoms to continue to exist and compete is a way for Him to give us options, but to prove our choice that He is the Master of our life. Like faithful love, the Christian life is proven by endurance in good times and bad.

Fourth, it should be expected that we must go through these times to enter God’s kingdom. If we never felt threat or pressure, we would never realize our need of Christ and our urgency to trust in His power instead of ours. The tribulations of life help us turn from the darkness around us and stay on the straight and narrow aimed at the light.

Finally, we should celebrate what we learn in tribulations. More than identifying the threats, tribulations identify our purpose. The degree we suffer for the cause of Christ is the degree we share in His glory. Luke, the writer of the book of “Acts” is reminding us what he has learned; the way of spiritual heroes has always been the way of the cross.

It has been said that an expectation is a premeditated resentment. Make your expectation today be that you need the Lord in your life and you know where to find Him.

Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.” Today will have tribulations, but the Lord is the answer. Fellowship with Him in the shadow of the cross. There is where you find your victory.

Bro. John

Source: Dr. John A. Temple (2018)

Reprinted with permission.

Temple, J. A. (2018, July 14). Shepherd's Heart - Saturday, July 14, 2018 Message July 14, 2018, posted to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.temple.98

Note: Unless otherwise indicated, permissions granted by Guest Authors to post or reprint their posts on Saved by Grace Ministries' website does not constitute any formal partnership, business relationship, or endorsement between, of, or by, the Guest Author and/or their organization(s) and Rev. Christopher M. Fulgham or Saved by Grace Ministries.

2018 and You: What Is Your Personal Vision?

From Co-Laborers-in-Christ Around the World

The following post is an article written by Rev. Rodney Francis, Founder and Director of The Gospel Faith Messenger, based in Paraparaumu, New Zealand. It was originally published in January 2015, and recently republished July 2018. It is posted here with permission.

Bro. Rodney’s article inspired me. I pray it inspires you.

Bro. Chris

2018 and You: What Is Your Personal Vision?

As we enter a whole new year, it is important that we Christians have a vision and purpose as to where we are heading this year in order to fulfill the purposes of God for our lives. Christianity is far more than simply attending Christian meetings. They should be a means to an end so that we are equipped to accomplish greater things in 2018 than we ever have before. It is all about progressing on in the calling of God that is on our lives. Every Christian is called of God to fulfill a vision ~ His vision and purpose as to why we are here on this earth right now. Jesus Christ has saved us to be part of the Answer to a needy and troubled world. Christians are “witnesses unto Jesus” (Acts 1:8) so the world will know that Jesus loves them and died to save them ~ and that He has risen from the dead to demonstrate that the power of God and the Gospel is very different to every other belief system. To be effective witnesses of Jesus we have to have a personal relationship with Him and know His voice and what He has chosen us for. We cannot afford to function “by habit” but to be awake and alive in Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit to make a positive difference in a negative world. People of the world do not read their Bible ~ they read us the Christians! When we are inspired and motivated by a personal up-to-date vision of what we are called to be doing today, then they see that we are very different to most other people they meet. They will want to know why we are different. And your personal vision, inspired by the Holy Spirit, will lift you up out of negativity, despair and depression (of which far too many Christians seem to trapped in these days). Jesus comes into our lives to make a positive difference. At this time of the year it is good for us to do some self-evaluation/appraisal and ask ourselves some real questions:

  • What will your focus be this year?
  • Will it be more clearly defined than last year? Remember, it is God’s will that you live life to the full through Jesus Christ Who lives in you. With Him in your life you can be an overcomer every day.
  • What changes do you think are needed in order for you to accomplish your destiny in God in 2018 and beyond?
  • Do you need to have a heart-to-heart talk with another committed-to-the-will-of-God Christian so that you can be more clear in your thinking as to what your specific calling and giftings are?
  • You can achieve what He created you to achieve! “You can do all things through Christ Who strengthens you!” (Philippians 4:13)
  • Remember, there is no room for excuses when it comes to doing the will of God.

We all need to be encouraged, exhorted, inspired, challenged, even provoked at times to rise up more into that which God has purposed for us. The world situation is such that unless they hear, see and know a demonstration of the Living Jesus Christ, then they will continue to slide into a hopeless and lost eternity.

  • Jesus Christ has saved us to make a positive difference.
  • He has filled us with His Holy Spirit to make us effective witnesses of Him.

If the world does not see Jesus in us, then they don’t see Him at all! Be inspired to know who you are as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ! My heart for you is that 2018 (and beyond) will be the greatest and grandest times yet in your walk with God and in your service for Jesus Christ the Lord. To do this you will need to have a right and positive confession ~ based on the Word of God ~ that will cause you to rise above every obstacle, and to enable you to triumph in every situation. I pray that your life will not be hindered by the frustration of wanting to serve God and yet not knowing where you fit. So many Christians are disillusioned and frustrated because they are not being trained, equipped and released into their God-ordained calling.

  • Right now our generation needs every born-again, Holy Spirit-filled Christian believer to be living and occupied in the very centre of God’s will.
  • His heart for us is that we not only know God’s will for our life, but that we prove God’s will for our life by our living and walking in it (Romans 12:1-2)! Jesus said: “The labourers are few!” (see Matthew 9:35-38).
  • Does this not concern us?
  • We DO reap what we sow! (see Galatians 6:1-10).
  • We ARE the products of our believing, or our not believing!

The Holy Spirit, Who lives inside of every born-again, Holy Spirit-filled believer, is power for service (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8). Service, not simply an added blessing! We cannot experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit ~ which is power for service ~ and then simply sit in church or meetings as passive hearers only. That frustrates the Holy Spirit within us! And if He is frustrated within us, you can guarantee we will be frustrated more! Be where you are able to function in your giftings! So…

  • What obstacles are there in the way?
  • What decisions need to be made?
  • What excuses need to be deleted?
  • What is stopping you?
  • What changes need to be made?
  • What challenges need to be faced up to?
  • The call and will of God does not just “fall into our laps” ~ we have to pursue it with all our heart.

The fact is that unless we do something about desiring change, then nothing changes! To change means making some definite decisions that show God you are serious about wanting to change for the better. Whatever the time, date and year, YOU CAN cultivate YOUR faith in the Promises of God NOW and be the man or woman He says you can be, and what He has called you to be. It is not too late!

  • Say what God says about you today ~ it really does do wonders, increases your vision, opens up new dimensions to you, and gives opportunity to be a powerful witness for Jesus Christ.
  • Does your faith move mountains ~ or do mountains move your faith?

Be a mountain mover in 2018 and beyond! Be a mountain mover on the authority of God’s Word given to you through Jesus Christ and the revelation of the Holy Spirit! He will not fail you. Right now the doors of opportunity are open for those who will hear God’s voice, listen to what He says and are prepared to demonstrate to God by our faith actions that we do believe Him. Faith is an action that is inspired by vision. Faith is demonstrated by what we do with what God says. He is speaking today to His people.

“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, ‘Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them’” (Mark 11:23-24, NKJV).

Other helpful Scriptures to consider: Isaiah 6 and 54; Acts 2; Hebrews 11

Rev. Rodney W. Francis
“The Gospel Faith Messenger” Ministry
PO Box 57, Paraparaumu 5254, New Zealand
Email gfm@gospel.org.nz

Source: Rev. Rodney W. Francis (2015)

Reprinted with permission.

Francis, R. W. (2015, January). 2015 and You: What Is Your Personal Vision? Message January 9, 2015, posted to The Gospel Faith Messenger: http://Gospel.org.nz

Note: Unless otherwise indicated, permissions granted by Guest Authors to post or reprint their posts on Saved by Grace Ministries' website does not constitute any formal partnership, business relationship, or endorsement between, of, or by, the Guest Author and/or their organization(s) and Rev. Christopher M. Fulgham or Saved by Grace Ministries.

Shepherd’s Heart – Saturday, August 13, 2016

From Co-Laborers-in-Christ Around the World

The following post is an article written by Dr. John Temple, Senior Pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church in Meridian, Mississippi, United States of America. It is posted here with permission. I should also note that Bro. John was one of my seminary professors at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Bro. John’s article caused me to pause and reflect on my own life, taking an assessment of my focus and values. I pray you have a meaningful experience as well.

Bro. Chris

Shepherd’s Heart – Saturday, August 13, 2016

Romans 12:2 (NASB)
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

I have been searching for the word that describes our society. The word is “lasciviousness.” This is a big word, often used in the New Testament (nine times) yet rarely understood. Let me describe “lasciviousness” for you, and ask yourself if this doesn’t describe your culture.

Lasciviousness is an inclusive term for any form of excess. It describes a lack of boundaries. There is no concept of right and wrong. There is no distinction of proper and improper. There is no remorse or shame when actions are considered unacceptable.

Lasciviousness expresses itself with insensitivity to others. It does not care about the impact on other people. The desire to please self supersedes the collateral damage caused. Statements reflect this concept: “Rights” override “responsibilities.” “If it feels good, do it.” “If you think it, say it.” “If you like it, take it.” “The end justifies the means.” Public decency is behind the times. Being over the top is to be popular and accepted.

Lasciviousness is reckless. There is no reference point to consequences. Many believe there should be no consequences. Such a person is outraged that someone calls their hand. They consider anyone who opposes their excess to be hateful and intolerant. Without reference to the future, living in the moment is all that matters.

Lasciviousness is a life without feeling. Such people become calloused. Nothing shocks them anymore. Bored with the latest excess, the next act must be even more outrageous. They search for fulfillment little realizing that the direction they travel will never completely satisfy.

Because lasciviousness is so prevalent in our society, Christians are tempted to join in the excess. Christians entertain themselves with the excesses of the world and consider it normal without realizing that such things are not the kingdom of God. Like the world, Christians, dress provocatively, speak crudely, think perverse thoughts, laugh at dirty jokes, and generally wallow in the excesses of a society that has turned from God. All the while, the Christians fail to see that their world is out of God’s purpose and so are they if they live like the misguided around them.

The wise believer will strive to not be conformed to the world. Their fulfillment will be realized by pleasing the Lord. Their desire is to walk worthy of their calling. Their mission is to live a life that encourages others to join in, being a compassionate neighbor and a considerate citizen. As we consider the future of our land, let us look for true character and merit.

Bro. John

Source: Dr. John A. Temple (2016)

Reprinted with permission.

Temple, J. A. (2016, August 13). Shepherd's Heart - Saturday, August 13, 2016 Message August 13, 2016, posted to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.temple.98

Note: Unless otherwise indicated, permissions granted by Guest Authors to post or reprint their posts on Saved by Grace Ministries' website does not constitute any formal partnership, business relationship, or endorsement between, of, or by, the Guest Author and/or their organization(s) and Rev. Christopher M. Fulgham or Saved by Grace Ministries.

Now That I’m a Christian, What Next?

If you have just prayed to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, praise the Lord! Please let us know! Please participate in our poll located at the top left column of the page and/or Contact Us.

Share with others what Jesus has done for you.

Romans 10:13-15 (NASB)
13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”

Begin to live for God.

Romans 12:1-2,9-18 (NASB)
1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. … 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

Publicly profess your faith by being baptized.

Luke 3:21 (NASB)
21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened,

Romans 6:4 (NASB)
4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

Join a local Bible-believing, Bible-preaching church and get to know God better through prayer, Bible study, and fellowship with other Christians.

Romans 15:4-6 (NASB)
4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

How To Become a Christian

Admit your sinful ways and desire to turn from them and be delivered from the judgment they bring.

Romans 3:10,23 (NASB)
10 as it is written, “There is none righteous , not even one; … 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19 “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Acknowledge what Christ did for sinners on the cross, which was confirmed by His resurrection from the dead.

Romans 5:8 (NASB)
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

John 11:25 (NASB)
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,

Receive Him as the only means of eternal life.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

John 1:12 (NASB)
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

John 6:40 (NASB)
40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

Appropriate His rightful claim as Lord of your life.

Romans 10:9 (NASB)
9 that 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;

Philippians 2:10-11 (NASB)
10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Pray the Sinner’s Prayer.

Holy God, be merciful to me: a sinner. Please forgive me. I want Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. I believe He lived a sinless life, died upon the cross in payment of my sins, and conquered death so that I could have eternal life. Help me to live for You from this day forward. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Jesus Is the Judge

All who reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior will one day face Him as their Judge: “God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 says, “The Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”

Jesus Is Lord

Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. However, the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him.

The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything. “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” (John 1:3). Therefore, He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

Romans 10:9 says, “that 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.” Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly submitting to His authority.

Philippians 2:10-11 (NASB)
10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Believing that God has raised Him from the dead involves trusting in the historical fact of His resurrection – the Pinnacle of Christian faith and the way the Father affirmed the deity and authority of the Son.

Romans 1:4 (NASB)
4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Acts 17:30-31 (NASB)
30 “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is more than simply being sorry for sin. It is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue holiness (Isaiah 55:7). Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15) and “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31).

It is not enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they do not love and obey Him. Their faith is not genuine. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).

Jesus is the sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are acknowledging His lordship and submitting to His authority. That does not mean your obedience will always be perfect, but that is your goal. There is no area of your life that you withhold from Him.

Jesus Is the Only Acceptable Object of Saving Faith

Some people think it does not matter what you believe as long as you are sincere. However, without a valid object your faith is useless.

If you take poison – thinking it is medicine – all the faith in the world will not restore your life. Similarly, if Jesus is the only source of salvation, and you are trusting in anyone or anything else for your salvation, your faith is useless.

Many people assume there are many paths to God and that each religion represents an aspect of truth. But Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). He did not claim to be one of many equally legitimate paths to God, or the way to God for His day only. He claimed to be the only way to God – then and forever.