What is the difference between the believing that saves you and the believing that moves mountains? Well there shouldn’t be any difference at all! There is as John says the matter of doing what he says, that if our conscience is clear before him then we can ask what we will and it will be done for us by our Father in heaven. More than this, Jesus said if we don’t doubt, but believe IN OUR HEART that it will be so, then it WILL BE SO.
Rather than moving mountains, what about this faith (which is what believing is) that SAVES us in the first place, what is the difference in the initiation of life eternal, and the demonstration of power within that life?
Jesus is our example. He said that his Father always heard him, because he did always THOSE THINGS THAT PLEASED HIM. John also mentions being heard by God. We know that everything of worth is bound up in love. So to do what always pleases the Father, which seems to be the base for obtaining answers to prayer, must be the key to living the Christian life. It is only then that we can have confidence to ask, believing that we will receive.
If we are not familiar with the kind of faith that sees prayer answered, then we should ask ourselves what it is that we believe, and what is it based on. Because much of our “believing” may be an attitude of mind, rather than an attitude of HEART. The group that Paul (or Peter?) encountered, in answer to the question, said they only knew the baptism of John. Not good enough to have the Spirit involved, because the gospel that captured the heart had not been heard.
Salvation is based on the heart, not on the mind. (initially at least). The mind is where we tend to live as unbelievers, but the mind tends to be habitually flesh based, it is the heart that is Spirit based. We see in Romans 7 where Paul is ensnared within his mind, by the law. It is interesting that there appears a parallel between the mind and the heart, with Galatians where it talks about flesh and Spirit being opposed. I would say that Galatians is saying, ‘don’t shift to the head what has been started by the heart’.
Jesus said unless we become as a child, we will never be able to enter the kingdom. This is calling for a simple heart felt response to the gospel, rather than some thought out process by the mind. Of course the mind has to be correctly involved in the process, but we are given certain criteria to understand how the salvation “process” occurs.
HEARING WITH FAITH is the basic principle. The gospel is heard and the heart responds in faith, believing.
The power of the gospel is based on its simplicity, because it strikes at all those basic fundamental and underlying aspects of man that lead to fear of death, and relieves them. The subject so singularly both defines man’s condition, and relieves him of it at the same time, and it is in this that its power is found. The problem and the solution to it are found instantly in the gospel.
It is from man’s heart that evil springs, and it is the heart that must be involved in its cleansing. So such scripture says “do not say in your heart, who will descend into the deep (to bring Christ up), or who will ascend into heaven, to bring Christ down”. This is not a matter of analysis, or a matter of how the mind will respond, it is a matter of an instant response and cry from the heart as…”But what does it say, the word is in your heart and on your lips, that if you believe in your heart you are justified, and you confess with your mouth, and so are saved…” Or similar.
Man is under a sentence of death, and he must acknowledge that and accept the remedy to this condition. But that acceptance has to be from the heart, far past the defences of the mind with all its rationalisation and worldly involvement.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel…” says Paul. For it is the power of God for salvation…” It also says that it pleased God “By the FOOLISHNESS of what was preached…” (Jews seek a sign, gentiles wisdom) . And, “not many wise, not many intelligent”.
Where is the Spirit? Where there is newness of life.
The parable of the sower shows the results of where the seed has fallen. There may be hard ground, distracting desires, adversaries all around. But from a good and honest heart, the harvest will come.
Doctrinal distractions – There are many arguments about whether or not, and how, Jesus bore our sin, and the literality or symbolism; the allegorical nature of, and even translation errors, that are used to deflect the attention away from the necessary involvement of the heart.
But, you see, Jesus DID bear our sins, he DID become sin for us, he DID die for us, and he DID bear our sins in his body. And those that DO believe will be saved. Where they go is not a problem, it is simply a matter of them being in relationship with Him that is the issue. And it is an issue of the HEART, since his Spirit will bring his love also.
It is only when you have the confidence of knowing Him, of knowing his love for you, that you will be in a position to move mountains. Accept Him and his love into your heart.
[Phil 3-3 “…have no confidence in the flesh”]