Repent and Believe


Over the last few videos we’ve discussed several reasons that Jesus is the only way to salvation. But the question must be asked, how do we actually receive the salvation that he offers.

Going back to Genesis 3, do you remember our first sin? What was it actually?

Yes Adam and Eve ate fruit, but they did it because they did not trust God. They didn’t want to depend on him and they wanted to do things their own way.

And so, in order to receive salvation, we really just need to reverse that first sin. Jesus calls us to repent and believe.

To repent means to turn – stop running from God, stop doing things your way, and turn to Him. The curtain has been torn, Jesus has made a way for us to get back to God.

Not only do we repent, we also need to believe He has done the work for us.

Again, this is a reverse of our original sin. Stop trying to earn glory your own way, and start trusting in the work of Jesus. Let God be your God. Depend on Him and Him alone, and you will be restored.

We toss the word belief around a lot these days. But I have a little story that I think will help you understand what Jesus means when He calls us to believe in Him.

I went bungee jumping quite a few years ago, but I still remember it well. As I was getting strapped into the bungee cord, my friend Amy was about to jump. She was the person going before me so she was already strapped in and standing on the edge of the bridge. She turned to the employee working there and said, “Is this actually safe?”

And while I sat on the sidelines, I kind of rolled my eyes. “Of course it’s safe Amy. They wouldn’t be in business if people were always dying when they tried to bungee jump.”

So, at that moment, would you say that I believed the bungee would hold me? Most people would say, yes.

But after a few minutes, it’s my turn. I boldly approach the ledge and look down.

Suddenly, I’m not so sure that this bungee cord is going to hold me. Amy doesn’t seem so crazy anymore. The ground seems to be going up and down and the canyon is going waoh-woah. But eventually, I reassure myself, and take that leap of faith.

Now as I’m falling – was there anything I could do to save myself? Flap my arms? Think happy thoughts? No. I was 100% dependent on that bungee cord to save me.

So, did I really believe in that bungee cord while sitting on the sidelines? Or did I actually believe in it when I made the jump?

Belief in Christ as our savior isn’t just a rational thing. It is a belief that calls us to go all-in. It is an active belief. We depend on him for everything, because there truly is nothing we can do to save ourselves. We honor Him as Lord, because without Him we are doomed.

If you want to be saved, then stop flapping your arms, stop wishing happy thoughts. In other words, stop trying to earn glory or righteousness in your own way, and instead put your trust in Him and the work He has already done. Repent and believe the good news.

It’s that simple. When you trust in Him completely, He takes care of everything.

We have been discussing the term Chekhov’s gun in this lesson. When a story sets something up and then has a satisfying payoff, it shows you something. It shows that you are listening to a good storyteller, one who genuinely cares about the story they’re telling.

How is it possible to have stories about Abraham and Moses and Isaiah all set-up a story that Jesus would ultimately pay off? After all, each story had hundreds of years in between them.

It’s possible because we are hearing from the best storyteller of all time. The use of Chekov’s gun in the Bible shows us that we are in good hands. Someone is telling the story. This is God’s Word, and in it, we find the path to life, and life to the full.

Good stories tend to have an impact on our lives, and the best stories can even change us. In the next lesson, we’re going to talk about the rest of God’s story and what it means for how we live today.