For some, church feels like a bunch of people with inside jokes, words, and a language that you don’t understand. We use the word “believe” in a lot of different ways—but what does the word really mean? One definition says that to believe is “to have confidence in the truth.” For some of us, when we say we follow Jesus, it’s because we believe in a set of facts. If that’s what belief is, that’s a pretty big requirement.
The original meaning of belief had more to do with a relationship with a person rather than a statement of facts. If the facts involve a person, someone you actually know, it’s a lot easier to figure out what you’ll believe and what you won’t believe about them. This is what made the early Christians’ belief so powerful. When Jesus was arrested and put on trial, the council and they asked who He was. This is what Jesus said back: “If I tell you, you will not believe me…” (Luke 22:67 NIV).
Facts about God won’t change your behavior. But a relationship with God will. Ask yourself: “What would it look like to acknowledge and invite God into my life this week?” Just like we celebrate Christ’s resurrection today, we come to life when we’re in a relationship with the living person of Jesus, not facts.
Base your belief on a relationship
At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.” Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, -Luke22:66-67 NIV
Questions for Conversation
- How do you think most people would define the word "believe"?
- Why do you think our beliefs don't always affect the way we behave?
- What's the difference between knowing someone and knowing about someone?
- If you approached your belief as a relationship with a Person instead of a set of facts, what would you do differently?