May 19, 2021 – Wednesday
1 John 5:10 NIV
10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about His Son.
When I first read the above, I was reminded of something I have heard and read from various sources. Here it is most succinctly from C.S. Lewis, Jesus Christ was either a liar, a lunatic, or He was who He said He was. The apostle John goes further and says if one does not believe, then that person is not only making Jesus out to be a liar, but His Father as well. I’m sure many of you have heard someone or a number of folks say, “Yes, Jesus was a sage, full of wisdom, but he was not God in the flesh.” But of course, if that was true, then Jesus would either be a liar or a lunatic for He also said He was the Son of God and one with the Father. Not to mention His miracles of healing that would have to be denied as well.
We, however, do not believe He was a liar or a lunatic, but believe He is who He said He was. Further, when we believe, the Holy Spirit confirms our belief internally and seals us as children of God. Paul put it this way in Romans 8:16, The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. What about those who refuse to believe? They in reality, knowingly or unknowingly, are calling God a liar with their unbelief, their refusal to believe in spite of all the evidence before them. The Pharisees who refused to believe were called out by Jesus when He said Matthew 23:33, You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?
Strong words but addressed to those who knew the scriptures and how they spoke of the Messiah, yet they refused to believe the evidence in front of them. Many had witnessed miracles by Jesus, but instead of believing Him they said He was in league with the devil. After Jesus had driven a demon out of a man who had made him mute and blind, the Pharisees in Matthew 12:24 said, It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons. Jesus’ reply to them showed the absurdity of their accusation when He said Matthew 12:25-28, Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
Guzik provides the following quotes from Spurgeon. First on the terrible sin of unbelief, The great sin of not believing in the Lord Jesus Christ is often spoken of very lightly and in a very trifling spirit, as though it were scarcely any sin at all; yet, according to my text, and, indeed, according to the whole tenor of the Scriptures, unbelief is the giving of God the lie, and what can be worse? Then to the unbeliever who says I want to believe, but I cannot, Hearken, O unbeliever, you have said, ‘I cannot believe,’ but it would be more honest if you had said, ‘I will not believe.’ The mischief lies there. Your unbelief is your fault, not your misfortune. It is a disease, but it is also a crime: it is a terrible source of misery to you, but it is justly so, for it is an atrocious offense against the God of truth.
And finally, Spurgeon has his harshest reply for those who say, “I’m trying to believe, and I’ll keep on trying.” Did I not hear some one say, ‘Ah, sir, I have been trying to believe for years.’ Terrible words! They make the case still worse. Imagine that after I had made a statement, a man should declare that he did not believe me, in fact, he could not believe me though he would like to do so. I should feel aggrieved certainly; but it would make matters worse if he added, ‘In fact I have been for years trying to believe you, and I cannot do it.’ What does he mean by that? What can he mean but that I am so incorrigibly false, and such a confirmed liar, that though he would like to give me some credit, he really cannot do it? With all the effort he can make in my favour, he finds it quite beyond his power to believe me? Now, a man who says, ‘I have been trying to believe in God,’ in reality says just that with regard to the Most High… The talk about trying to believe is a mere pretence. But whether pretence or no, let me remind you that there is no text in the Bible which says, ‘Try and believe,’ but it says ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.’ He is the Son of God, He has proved it by his miracles, He died to save sinners, therefore trust Him; He deserves implicit trust and child-like confidence. Will you refuse Him these? Then you have maligned His character and given Him the lie. The truth of these words is without question.
Prayer: Dear Father in Heaven, I believe and I believe with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind. Please help me to never doubt as the truth is obvious to me. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.