Praying through the Psalms

Praying through the Psalms

Thursday, April 20, 2017

How Do Living and Believing Relate to Each Other?

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

I am curious about what Jesus says in this translation when he says, "whoever lives by believing in me."  Other translations says, "whoever lives and believes in me."  The bottom line is that Jesus in some way equates our believing with our living, which relates to the nature of eternal life. 

So what might we make of this?  First of all, I think that this is saying that believing is not all about just an assent to a set of intellectual assertions. Meaning belief is not just agreeing to a set of propositons.  In our Western intellectual mindset, I think we sometimes overly focus on the intellectual aspects of faith.  I am not saying we not be mindful of what we believe, or that thoughtful inquiry into what we believe is not needed.  But what I am trying to point out that is that belief is inextricably related to our lives as well as our thoughts.  

It seems as though Jesus is saying in John, "to believe in me is live in me." Meaning we don't bifurcate belief from everyday life.  This creates problems when "belief in Christ" is separated from our life "in Christ".  Paul uses in the phrase "In Christ" 27 times alone in the book of Ephesians, and 81 in all his letters. 

What might this mean for us? I think this points to relational nature of our faith and our relationship with the object of our faith, Jesus. Faith is trusting in something. In Christianity it is trusting in Christ who is a person.  When Jesus called his disciples he did not say, "Believe in these aspects of who I am!" He said believe and live in me for, "I am the resurrection and the life". Finally, he said "follow me", which was a whole life proposition to his disciples.  Jesus did not separate out belief or faith in him, for a life in him.   

A Question for You To Consider? Does what you believe dictate how you live? What would it mean for you to "live in Christ"? Or if Christ were living in you, how would that change how you live each day? Since this is what I believe Jesus is saying, I think it is important for us to consider.  To believe in Jesus is to follow him. 

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