Monday, October 13, 2014

"Do you believe?" | Turning an empty belief to a genuine belief in the Gospel

"Do you believe?" - This is a phrase that most of us use when we explain our beliefs. In this case, I am talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So, my question with how we use this "Do you believe?" phrase is this. What are the next words that comes after the phrase? Is it "Do you believe [me]?" or "Do you believe [in the Gospel of Jesus Christ]?"


When we witness, or present the gospel to another person, usually we want them to know the truth. We want to share the free gift of salvation, and this is good. But then, we must be reminded of the way we ask this question, "Do you believe?" because, like I said, we want them to know and also receive the gospel. Why is this a dangerous question? 

"Do you believe [me]?"

Most of the time, we will talk with people, or church members, and witness to them and they will say "I believe" to signify that they now know the gospel or maybe to end the conversation. When we ask "Do you believe?" sometimes, the conversation steers in an agreement of the things that you have said. It then now turns to the "Do you believe [me]" part that I am talking about. They will say that they believe in you. In what you have said. I agree with what you have said. I believe that you believe what you are saying.

"Do you believe [in the Gospel of Jesus Christ]?"

Now, if we ask them the question "Do you believe [in the Gospel of Jesus Christ]", we must point the beliefs of the person that we are witnessing to, to believing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and not into what we are saying or teaching. This is kind of tricky, isn't it? Let's see the difference.
In the first point, the believe in me part, it talks about the belief of the person to what you have said. In other words, it is an agreement. Compared to the 2nd point, there is a deeper sense of understanding about the Gospel.

The first point is not entirely wrong. We just need to be reminded that we should present and lead them to believe the Gospel, and not just agree. It will take time for them to understand the Gospel. You will probably sacrifice your time and efforts to explain, teach and lead new believers into understanding the Gospel.

You will probably face tough questions with them, and sacrifice is essential to explaining to them answers that is arguably hard to take in. Don't go back and use the "Do you believe [me]" approach where you just want them to "believe" what you said, without question, without critical thinking, and without them testing their own faith. It is dangerous. It is actually ok to say "I don't know [let's discuss that another time.]" 

You might probably have arguments with your student, and again, don't go back and use the "Do you believe [me]" approach, where you want to win the argument. You will win the battle but you will lose the war. The faith of your student will not be refined. He might be lost, he might have doubts, he might not believe anymore.

Having students is hard. It takes sacrifice, time and effort. But, after all those hardships, when you see your student believing the Gospel, having a refined faith, and serving God joyfully, it is all worth it. It is worth it when they answer a hearty YES to the question "Do you believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tell me your opinions xD