Robert Morris — Believe in Jesus
So, I'm beginning a new series called "Created to Be". "Created to Be", and I want to emphasize the word be, that God created us to be, no do. Now, it doesn't mean that we don't do anything, but it means that we do out of who we are and that our doing doesn't make us who we are, but who we are produces our doing. Let me say it another way. We are not human doings. We are human beings, but much of he time we focus on the doing, and we get upset when we don't do, and we think we should do more, and we can't sleep sometimes at night because of what we have to do or what we didn't do, but I'm telling you, God created you to be, not to do, and when we catch that, it helps us.
And years ago, I was asking the Lord with some of the executive pastors and talking about, you know, Gateway Church is so large. Does a person ever have the question what does the church expect of me? And we came up with four words, and I'll take one week on each of these words, and then we just put a couple of words behind them to help understand, but these are the words. So, it's believe in Jesus, belong to family, become a follower, and build the kingdom or build God's kingdom. So, the words are believe, belong, become, and build. I want you to just try to remember those. I really think because they all start with B — remember, I'm really good at that — you can remember them. What does God want? What does God expect of me? He wants you to believe. He wants you to belong. He wants you to become, and He wants you to build.
So, this week we're going to talk about believe in Jesus. All right? So, here's point number one: God created us with a purpose. God created us with a purpose, and we're talking about believing in Jesus, and it's going to shock you. I'm going to show you. There's a verse. I call it the one-verse creation. It's creation in one verse. In Genesis 1, God tells us about creating mankind, and I'll show you that in a moment, but it says God created man. Let me let you know, though, this is not male. This is mankind 'cause if you read the next verse, it says male and female. He created them, and the word here in Hebrews is mankind. So, Genesis 1 gives us when God created mankind, it gives us just in one verse, and I'll show you that verse. Genesis 2 then goes into detail about how He created the male and how He created the female. All right? But let me show you this one verse, and I think these four words are in this verse.
Genesis 1:26, the concepts, "Then God said, let us make man". Now, that's the word believe to me because He made us to have a relationship with Him, and we know we have a relationship with Him through faith. We believe, and I'm going to unpack that throughout the message. Let us make man or mankind, believe, in our image. In other words, so that mankind will belong to us and to each other 'cause He made male and female. So, He wants us to belong in our image. Watch this, according to our likeness. He wants us to become like Him. In our likeness, He wants us to become, and let them have dominion, that's build. Let them have dominion over the earth.
So, there are the four B's right there in Genesis 1:26. So, God created us, but He created us first to believe. To believe in Him, to belong to Him, to become like Him, and to build His kingdom. It's right there, but you need to know that God created us to believe in Him. We start out by believing, and I'm going to go deeper into this, but what happens when you stop believing? Now, stay with me because you don't fall in and out of salvation. That's crazy and nowhere Scripture would support that at all that you're saved one day, lost the next, saved one day, lost the next. That's foolishness to actually try to support something like that through Scripture.
So, I'm not saying that, but even as believers, we go through seasons where we don't believe. Now, I'm not saying we don't believe in God, but we don't believe in that area of our life. If we do what the word says, it will produce this result. I can give you lots of examples, but marriage we don't believe that if we forgive her it's going to change the situation. We don't believe God's word in this area. We don't believe. So, what happens?
So, a friend of mine a while back showed me this picture, and I just thought it was great to show God's nature when we don't believe. It's a picture. It's either called "Peter's View" or "Peter's Perspective", and think about Peter had to believe to get out of the boat, but when he saw the wind and the waves, he quit believing. So, I just want you to just see this picture and just see. This is where Jesus is when you stop believing and you start sinking. This is still where Jesus is. Look at this picture. You see Jesus standing on the water, and what I like about this is Peter is completely under the water, and I've been there before.
So, here's my point. God created you with a purpose. That purpose is to believe, but His faithfulness is not based on your belief. You can't believe how good that is, actually. Even when you don't believe, He's still faithful. He's still God. So, God created us with a purpose. Here's number two. God created us to believe Him first. God created us to believe Him first.
Now, if you're in Genesis 1, you can look at Genesis 2 there, Verse 15, "Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend it and keep it, and the Lord God commanded the man saying, of every tree of the garden, you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil, you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die". Now, I want us to look at this a little differently than maybe the way you've looked at it before. Don't look at this as God giving rules or dos and don'ts. Look at this way. He was giving a warning. He was trying to let Adam know, listen, there are some trees and there's one tree that if you eat of that tree, you're going to die. I don't want you to die. I'm trying to let you know about this so that you don't do it. Okay.
So, I'm telling you, God created us to believe Him first. Here was God's desire. God's desire was that Adam and Eve simply believed Him. That was His desire. His desire was when He said if you eat of this tree, you'll die. He wanted them to believe. This is every parent's desire. You want your children to believe you. Think about it, and there's an old saying, and I don't like the old saying, and I actually don't think it's the best saying, according to Scripture, but the saying is experience is the best teacher. No, it's not the best teacher. It's a cruel teacher. It's a horrible teacher. You know what the best teacher is? Faith. That's the best teacher.
That when your parents say don't do that, you believe them. Every parent here, you don't want your children to learn by experience. When you say don't drive fast, you want them to believe you. You don't want them to be in a car wreck and learn. Right? You don't want them to get hurt. God didn't want them to get hurt. He never wanted Adam and Eve to eat of the tree. He just wanted them to believe. God created you to believe. This is the primary fact. God created you for a relationship, and that relationship is by faith. He wanted you to believe.
There's kind of a family story about Debbie when she was a little girl. I've told you before, my wife Debbie, you know, she hardly did anything wrong growing up. So, when we find out that she did do something, then I like to talk about it publicly and on television. So, but her dad had a soldering gun. You remember what a soldering gun is? Okay. So, we don't use them much anymore. It would be like a glue gun, but dangerous, ladies. So, hot. Real hot. So, he's soldering, and she's there, and he said don't touch this. Don't touch this. This is hot. It will burn you. Don't touch it. Anybody know the next part of the story? Sure. She touched it. Right? And it burned her, and she started crying, and he said I told you not to touch it. This is what she said. She said, "You shouldn't have left it there. You know how I am".
Now listen, sometimes we think this way about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Stay with me. We think you shouldn't have left it there, God. You know how we are. The point is, it was there. He didn't want us to eat from it. Debbie's dad didn't want her to touch it. He just wanted her to believe. Are you following me? God has always wanted us to believe.
Let me read you some verses. I love to support what I'm saying with Scripture here. Numbers 14:11, "Then the Lord said to Moses, how long will these people reject me and how long will they not believe me with all the signs which I performed among them"? Deuteronomy 1:32, "Yet, for all that, you did not believe the Lord your God". Deuteronomy 9:23, "Likewise, when the Lord sent you from Kadesh Barnea," that's the boundary of the Promised Land, the border of the Promised Land, "saying go up and possess the land which I've given you. Then you rebelled against the commandment of the Lord, your God, and you did not believe Him nor obey His voice".
By the way, the reason we don't obey is we don't believe. It's very simple. Same Chronicles 20:20, "So they rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said hear me, oh Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established. Believe His prophets, and you shall prosper". And then in John 3, if you put a marker there or you want to be there, here's Jesus Himself telling how important belief is. John 3:12, "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things. No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven that is the Son of Man who is in heaven, and as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life".
You may be familiar with the next verse, "for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son to the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned, but He who does not believe in Him is condemned already because He has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God". And then down at Verse 36, "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life. He who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on Him". And one other, John 6. Watch this. We're talking about doing or being. Verse 28, "Then they said to Him, what shall we do that we may work the works of God? Jesus answered and said to them, this is the singular work of God that you believe in Him whom He sent". Believe. He wants us to believe Him.
When all of our kids were ten and 13 we would take them on an overnight trip, talk to them about the facts of life, about covenant, about purity, about teenage years, puberty, things like that, and I did the boys. Debbie took Elaine, and we did it when they were ten and we did it when they were 13, and when they were 13, we made a covenant with them. We gave them a covenant ring, and when I was with Josh, I felt like I was supposed to share something with him, and I felt like I was supposed to share some of my past with him. He was 13, and I didn't go into horrible details, obviously, but all of you know I didn't get saved until later and had a bad past, but I shared with him some of it because I wanted to say something to him.
I said my greatest concern, my greatest prayer for you is that you will believe me when I tell you how bad sin is, and you won't ever try it yourself to find out if I'm right. That's my greatest prayer for you; that you'll just believe me that it's bad, and I remember my 13-year-old son said, daddy, I'm going to believe you, and he's about to turn 35 and has never walked away from the Lord. That's what I wanted him to do. I wanted him to believe his dad.
So, God created us to believe in Him first. Here's point number three, God created us to believe Him last. He created us to believe Him last. Look at John 20:31, "These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name". 1 John 5:13, "These things I've written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know," this is a certainty, by the way, "that you have eternal life and that you may continue to believe".
So, here's what I want to help you with. We believe and that's how we get saved. Again, you can't add works to salvation. You have to against Ephesians 2. You have to go against Colossians 3. You have to go against — John. Well, you have to go against Romans. You have to go against the New Testament. You have to go against the Old Testament. You have to go against the Bible. You just can't do it. Okay? It's grace, not works. So, you believe. Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace, you have been saved". "For by grace, you have been saved, not of yourselves. It's not of works. It's a gift of God lest anyone should, lest anyone should boast". So, it's grace.
So, why do we need to continue to believe? Please hear this, please hear this. You believe for eternal life. You continue to believe for abundant life. Let me say it another way. There are believers who are not experiencing the abundant life in some, one, or two, or just a few areas of your life because in those areas, you don't believe. You follow what I'm saying? In other words, you believe in Jesus. You're saved. He's your Lord and Savior, but let me just give some examples. But in finances, you don't really believe that 90% with God's blessing would go farther than 100% without. So, you don't tithe. You don't believe it, and don't tell me you believe it if you don't do it. That's crazy.
I just had a guy say that to me one time. He said I believe in tithing. I just don't do it. So, to kind of use his rationale, I said to him, I believe in bathing. I just don't do it. It's not true. If you believe in it, you do it. Please hear me. Listen to me. If you don't tithe, you don' believe it. It's all there is to it. You don't believe it. I've been preaching 35 years now. The hardest two areas, two areas — this might shock you. Most warfare, these areas. Well actually, the primary area is salvation. You experience a lot of warfare when you preach on salvation, but the other two areas, the hardest areas to get people to believe, two areas: finances and marriage. Those are the two hardest areas for me to disciple people. To say if you'll do the right thing, God can bless you in this area. God can do it. God can take care of it.
I'm telling you that believing in Jesus is not something you did one time 20 years ago. It's something you do every day. Every time you read the word you decide do I believe that or not? Am I going to walk in this truth? Am I going to allow God to put this in my life? I said believe Him first and believe Him last. Let me just say it another way. Who has the last word in your life? I want you to think about that. Who has the last word when it comes to your marriage? Now, don't say, well, she does 'cause you won't to get to watch the game. Okay? Who has the last word about how you treat your spouse? Who has the last word? Is it this Book, is it Jesus, or do you? Who has the last word about whether you hang in there or not? Who has the last word about your finances? Here's one: who has the last word about whether you're going to look at something on the internet that you shouldn't look at? Who has the last word? See, that's who you believe.
You've got to remember there were two people wanting to be believed in the Garden. There was God who said if you'll eat that, you'll die, and then the enemy came along and said the exact opposite. No, no, no, you won't die. You'll be like God. That's exactly what's happening today. So, who has the last word? I'm going to say it another way. Who has the latest word in your life?
See, if God is speaking something to me right now and I'm not doing it in that area of my life, I'm not experiencing abundant life. It doesn't mean that I'm not saved. It means I'm not experiencing abundant life in that area. So, we're talking about believing in Jesus. God created us with a purpose. That purpose, obviously, is to have a relationship with Him, but that relationship is through your faith. So, God created for me to believe in Him. That's how I get saved first, but He also created me to continue to believe Him and continue to grow in Him.
So, a while back, I as on this airplane, and I was coming back from an overseas mission trip. So, I'm on a different time zone. I'm tired. I've spoken multiple times a day helping pastors and leaders. I'm tired, and everyone, I think, just about everyone was asleep on the plane, and I was working on a message, and I mean, the enemy just — it was like he just thought I'm just going to get him right now, and he just started bombarding me with my past. Just like — surely, you've had this happen to you. It was just like a flood, and then he said this to me, I'm preparing a message to speak to you, and here's what he said, you shouldn't even be speaking in front of people. Just like that.
Now, I'm going to tell you what I said. Blame it on the jet lag. I don't know, but it just happened. All of a sudden, Satan said to me you shouldn't even be speaking in front of people, and I just said you should go to hell. I'm sorry. That is scriptural. It does line up with the word. Here's what I was doing I that moment. I was saying to him, you know what? I choose to believe this. I choose to believe that I'm born again by the word of God and kept by the power of God and I've been sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption. I choose to believe that I'm more than a conqueror in Christ, and greater is He who is in me. I choose to believe what this word says about me and not what you say about me. I choose to believe in Jesus and what He did for me.
Isn't amazing what God's word says about us? I want to encourage you to choose to believe. As I said in this message, God created us with a purpose, and He created us to believe in Him, to believe His word first and to believe His word last, and everywhere in between. Hey, I'm so excited about this new series, "Created to Be", and I'm going to be in this series for the next few sessions. So, I want to encourage you to watch and listen to what God has created you to be. See you next time.