This Sanctuary Sunday Open Thread, with full respect to those who worship God on the Sabbath, is a place to reaffirm our worship of our Creator, our Father, our King Eternal.
It’s also a place to read, post, and discuss news that is worth knowing and sharing. Please post links to any news stories that you use as sources or quote from.
In the QTree, we’re a friendly and civil lot. We encourage free speech and the open exchange and civil discussion of different ideas. Topics aren’t constrained, and sound logic is highly encouraged, all built on a solid foundation of truth and established facts.
We have a policy of mutual respect, shown by civility. Civility encourages discussions, promotes objectivity and rational thought in discourse, and camaraderie in the participants – characteristics we strive toward in our Q Tree community.
Please show respect and consideration for our fellow QTreepers. Before hitting the “post” button, please proofread your post and make sure you’re addressing the issue only, and not trying to confront the poster. Keep to the topic – avoid “you” and “your”. Here in The Q Tree, personal attacks, name-calling, ridicule, insults, baiting, and other conduct for which a penalty flag would be thrown are VERBOTEN.
In The Q Tree, we’re compatriots, sitting around the campfire, roasting hot dogs, making s’mores, and discussing, agreeing, and disagreeing about whatever interests us. This board will remain a home for those who seek respectful conversations.
Please also consider the Guidelines for posting and discussion printed here: https://www.theqtree.com/2019/01/01/dear-maga-open-topic-20190101/
Believe . . . Trust
King James: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Douay-Rheims: For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.
New Revised Standard: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
“Do you believe in Jesus?” is asking far more than “Do you believe that Jesus Christ existed/exists?” The true meaning of the question is “Do you believe Jesus Christ is who the Bible says He is, and are you trusting Him as your Savior?”
So, do you believe in Jesus?
Do you believe that Jesus is God in human form (John 1:1, 14)? Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins (1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21), for which you deserve eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23)? Do you believe that the sacrifice of Jesus, God incarnate, is the only adequate payment for your sins (1 John 2:2; John 14:6; Acts 4:12)?
Do you believe these things? If so, great, but believing the facts about Jesus is only part of the equation. Biblical faith/belief is far more than believing certain things to be true. Biblical saving faith is also trusting/relying on those facts.
A chair is a good illustration. You can look at a chair and believe it is made of materials strong enough to support your weight, and you can believe that it was assembled correctly. But that is not biblical faith. Biblical faith is sitting in the chair. It is actually relying on the chair to hold your weight off the ground.
Are you trusting that Jesus is your Savior? Are you relying on His death as the full payment for your sin debt? Are you depending on His resurrection as the guarantee that you, too, will be raised to eternal life after death? Not that it could ever happen, but if the “chair” of Jesus Christ were pulled out from beneath you, spiritually speaking, would you hit the ground, or are you also relying on things in addition to the chair?
If you understand and believe what the Bible says about Jesus, and if you are trusting in those truths as the basis for salvation—you are saved! You “believe in Jesus” in the biblical sense.
Trusting . . . A Closer Look.
The expression “trust in Jesus” holds a multi-layered meaning. In one sense, trusting in Jesus means believing in Him for salvation (John 3:16). We believe who He is—God in human form—and put our faith in Him as Savior. And we believe what He has done—that He died for our sins and rose from the dead. Since we cannot save ourselves from sin and death (Romans 3:10–20), we trust in Jesus to save us (John 11:25). We cannot receive eternal life and live forever in the presence of God until we’ve trusted in Jesus as Savior and accepted His forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7).
Subsequent to salvation, trusting in Jesus means committing or dedicating ourselves entirely to Him. When we are born again, we become followers of Jesus Christ. As His followers, we put complete confidence in Him and His Word. To trust in Jesus means to believe everything He said and accept His Word as true: “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8:31–32, ESV). The more we know and abide in the words of Jesus, the more we will obey Him, and the more our confidence in Him will grow as we experience freedom in Christ.
A trustworthy promise Jesus gave us in His Word was to come to Him to find rest: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30). A yoke is a wooden harness used to join the necks of two draft animals. Together, the beasts can more effectively pull a heavy load. In the time when Jesus spoke these words, farmers would often pair a young, inexperienced, but vigorous animal with an older, weaker, but seasoned animal. The younger animal would learn from the more experienced one, and the older would benefit from the younger one’s strength to help carry the load.
Resting in Jesus, another way of expressing trust, is a state of leaning on Jesus for strength and learning from Him. He shares the load as we journey together. When we are tired and overburdened, we can come alongside Jesus and find rest for our souls. In this way, we trust in Jesus, by relying on Him for everything in our lives, especially when we are weary and burdened down. Jesus is the believer’s Sabbath-rest (Hebrews 4:1–11).
Jesus understands our weaknesses and knows we will struggle to trust in Him. That is why Scripture says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7). When we take our anxious hearts to God in prayer, He offers us peace. His presence is peace. The passage does not say He’ll always give us what we’re asking for, but it does promise peace to guard our hearts and minds. To trust in Jesus means to come to Him and believe He has good and trustworthy plans for our lives and our future. We don’t have to fret about tomorrow. When we trust in Jesus, He pours out His peace on us.
Our trust in Jesus grows through experience (2 Corinthians 1:10) as we see God working all things in our lives—both the good and bad—for His purpose (Romans 8:28). Jesus wants us to live by faith in Him (2 Corinthians 5:7; Galatians 2:20), and so the Christian life becomes a testing and training ground in trust: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).
Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14:1). We may know that Jesus loves us and promises always to be with us (Matthew 28:20), but we can’t see Him, and, during times of trouble, doubt and fear can creep in and make it difficult to apply that knowledge. Peter encourages us that we can trust in Jesus even when we cannot see Him: “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:6–8).
Even though we can’t see Jesus with our physical eyes, the Holy Spirit enables us to see Jesus with the eyes of our hearts (Ephesians 1:18–20). Ultimately, our inability to see Jesus physically makes our trust in Him even more secure. That is why Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
The apostle Paul captured what it means for a believer to trust in Jesus: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17–18).
Jesus is teaching us to trust Him in all things at all times with all of our heart (Proverbs 3:5–6) so that our faith becomes unshakable: “Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal” (Isaiah 26:4). As we learn to trust in Jesus more, we identify more with the psalmist’s description of a believer at rest in the arms of God: “I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content” (Psalm 131:2).