There is a vast difference between believing in Christ and believing upon Christ. Anyone can believe in Christ, that is, that the historical Christ actually existed and was a great teacher. However, the flaw with this particular school of belief is that it doesn’t necessarily include the truth which is Christ’s inherent divinity, nor does it include the perfect love that was manifest upon the cross. This approach to Christ is held by many, including one of America’s founders, Thomas Jefferson whose “Jefferson Bible” points to Christ’s wisdom, but forgoes His divine nature and the grace offered by His sacrifice. This is a belief in Christ, but not on Christ. It is tragic, but many “Christians” also can be classified as believing in Christ rather than on Him.

To believe on Christ we must have a relationship with Him. Not some figure in the past whose mere teachings we love or agree with, but rather a still living, resurrected, ever present Lord whom we love, admonish, and worship. It is in a relationship such as this that obedience to the Lord’s teachings become manifest. To worship Christ’s teaching without a relationship with Him, is much like worshipping the Law which only condemns us. Christ’s teachings, like the Law, can show us how we fall short and our strong need for grace.

It is by Christ’s true Godly nature, His death and resurrection, that we receive forgiveness for our trespasses. Without this relationship, one cannot come into the forgiveness that is offered through love and grace. Though men may try to follow the Law, or teachings of Christ alone, there is no forgiveness offered, only condemnation. Yet, to have a relationship on Christ, based in love and in which forgiveness is offered, obedience becomes apparent and we do it not to free ourselves of the Lord’s statutes, but to please Him.

Finally, by and through this relationship, the Holy Spirit is giving unto us. It is by God’s love and grace that we receive the Spirit, who according to Ephesians 1:13 is, “a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are in God’s possession.” Thus, if we are granted the Holy Spirit by our love of Christ and the Lord’s love for us, we can have complete confidence in our salvation, which is necessary for us to fully participate in Christ’s great commission (Matthew 28:18-20).

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