Many Christians call themselves Christians because they believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and God raised Jesus from the dead after He died for the sins of the world. They also believe that as a result of accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they have been given the free gift of Eternal Life. But to be a true believer, even thou the aforementioned is critical, you must believe everything the Word of God says. Too many Christians are living beneath their privileges because of what they do and do not believe. The Church has a vital role to play in what a person believes and consequently the kind of life that person will have. We must never forget that you are what you believe.
Too many of us are like the man who saved a whole year to purchase a cruise ship ticket. When he went on the cruise he brought with him cheese and crackers to eat because he did not have enough money to buy food. The man never knew that the food was included in the price of the ticket, so he would sneak off to a corner every day and night to eat cheese and crackers while everyone else ate lavish meals in the ship’s dining room. Too many Christians are living their lives eating cheese and crackers because they do not know and do not believe what is included with the free gift of eternal life!
The moment you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you were reconciled to your Heavenly Father. That means you are a child of the Most High God and you must accept and believe everything He says about you. And the way to accept and believe everything your Heavenly Father says about you is to study what He says in His Word. God wants you to have a good life because every good thing comes from the Lord. In life you will obviously have some ups and downs but it is your Father who sustains you.
If you are a true believer, you believe and know that no matter how many setbacks, failures or disappointments you have, God still has a great plan for your life. We must always believe, no matter what that we are more than conquerors, we are more than able to succeed, we are the head and not the tail, and we are the victor and not the victim. I have never understood why so many of my Black Christian friends, especially in this current political atmosphere, are constantly seeing themselves as victims of racism, bigotry, unfairness and always never having enough. If you are a true believer, you should know none of those things can stop you from living the life God wants you to live.
God as our heavenly Father does not want any of His children to go through life unhappy, struggling financially, in perpetual pain or suffering in any form or fashion. A true believer believes Ephesians 2:10 when it says, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” That means you should believe, first of all, that you and no one else had anything to do with your salvation and that your salvation is not due to what you do. Everything concerning your salvation was done by God. You were spiritually remade through Christ so you would be able to do the good works God has appointed you to do. That means you are important to God no matter what. You must always believe that so the enemy will not be able to gain a stronghold on you!
A true believer also believes I am not what people say and think about me, but I am only what God says and thinks about me. I am reminded of an obscure incident that happened to me in 2016 when the local pastors of Roseboro and Salemburg got together to hold what they called A Solemn Assembly. This Assembly was designed to bring all the local churches together in one place to worship. In preparation of the Assembly the local pastors, along with myself, met several times to put this program together. It was determined that I would give the Solemn Assembly Sermon.
A few days before the Service, some of the black pastors voiced their displeasure of me preaching the sermon for that particular occasion. Some even threatened that if I preach the sermon, many in the black community would not come because of my past, their disagreements with some of my newspaper articles and other ridiculous reasons. I thought about stepping aside, but then I remembered what I had believed and knew. I believe and knew that the Bible says, in its full context, that God accepts me even if everybody in the world rejects me. And based on that truth, I have always believed to not allow the rejection of others to cause me to reject myself.
God had given me a message for that occasion the moment the idea was first presented to the local pastors. And I believe, like I hope many of you believe. If God be for me who can be against me. I also believe, like you should, that it is God who has begun a good work in me and that work will continue until Jesus comes. And I believe that God is in control of all things and if God did not want me to preach, I certainly would not preach. To make a long story short, that Solemn Assembly took place on August 16, 2016 at Lakewood High School, and it still remains as the largest gathering of believers held in the Roseboro/Salemburg area with the sermon given by me, a true believer.
Like you, I know that I am far from perfect and make mistakes from time to time. But I also know and believe, according to what God says in His word, that He focuses on the things we do right and He only see the best in us. But most importantly, all of us must believe that nothing you do will ever cause God to love you more or less. You can rest assure and believe that His love is a constant and your value in the eyes of God will never change.
Now that you are saved, your primary job is to be a believer of all that God says about you and about all things. You will never become more than what you believe and what you believe impacts you more than what anybody else believes.
Gilbert Owens is a native of Roseboro and a columnist for The Sampson Independent.