Sermon – October 21, 2018
We live in a time where belief is an easy thing. It’s not that there are not challenges to our belief, but that our belief costs us very little. We are told by many that all we need is to confess once, to pray once, and that we are sealed forever in the grace of Christ. But is this true? Can there be a faith in Christ that doesn’t save? John apparently thinks so. In our passage today, we are told that many believed in Jesus’ name, but Jesus apparently didn’t believe in their beliefs! Let us, then, think through what we must have to have true belief; a trust in Christ that is mirrored by his entrusting himself to us.
1. How we believe
Like the folks who saw Jesus perform miracles at the Passover festival, we too believe in the signs that we see. We believe in the signs that have been written down for us, we believe in the signs we see in God’s work through the history of the church, we believe in the signs we see in the sinners transformed next to us. We believe because the resurrection happened, affirming everything that Jesus said, everything that Jesus claimed, and everything that Jesus did. We have seen these things, so we believe.
2. How Jesus believes
But, it is clear that not all belief is made of the same stuff. Jesus doesn’t believe in these folks’ belief. He doesn’t entrust himself to them. How do we know if he has entrusted himself to us? Where we really get to see this is in the later portions of John, where Jesus speaks at length to his disciples the night before his death. There we see that when Jesus entrusts himself to you, he cleanses you (John 13), abides in you (John 14), nourishes you (John 15), tethers you (John 16), and protects you (John 17). Friends, look to see if these things are true of you! You can fool yourself, but you can’t fool Jesus. Test yourself and see if you are in the faith; look at much of your life and see if Jesus has entrusted himself to you.