The American Worldview Inventory 2020 (AWVI) is an annual survey that estimates how many adults have a biblical worldview. (AWVI 2020 was undertaken in January 2020 among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults.)
In the latest findings from the American Worldview Inventory 2020 is that a majority of people who describe themselves as Christian (52%) accept a “works-oriented” means to God’s acceptance.
This salvation-can-be-earned perspective fits well with other widely held views identified in the American Worldview Inventory 2020 that are at odds with biblical teaching. That includes the popular beliefs that:American Worldview Inventory 2020
• there is no absolute moral truth (58%);
• basis of truth are factors or sources other than God (58%);
• right and wrong is determined by factors other than the Bible (77%);
• the Bible is not the authoritative and true word of God (59%);
• people are basically good (69%);
• and the personal definition of success is not based on consistent obedience to God (79%
John the Baptist said the following about Jesus…
For He is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. The Father loves His Son and has put everything into His hands. And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”John 3:34–36
And Jesus said…
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.John 14:6
When I compare the above statistics and beliefs with the words of Scripture my heart aches.
And it prompts me to ask life’s most critical question…
Do I, do you, do we really believe that Jesus is the one and only source of God’s saving grace and mercy?
Do we really believe that He is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God?
Do we really believe He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life?
Because . . . if we really believe, why would we add, change, or doubt any word of Scripture?
Why would we ever think that we need – Jesus plus:
- Good Works
- Church Attendance
Or Jesus plus:
- Historical Criticism
I’m not trying to point judgmental fingers here. I’m guilty too. I understand that rules seem clearer and good works righteousness makes sense to people who want self-control and the success of personal achievement.
We also want popularity and approval, so we have many teachers of faith who are validating worldly views rather than expressing the truths of God’s Word.
And even that is understandable as we all have a desire to fit in, to please the people around us. But God called us to “be holy” or set apart for Him.
Now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.1 Peter 1:15
He calls us to KNOW, LOVE, TRUST and OBEY HIM.
I grew up in church and Sunday school. I learned early about the problem we all have with sin and I knew Jesus was and is the only answer.
And yet, when life was hard and worries kept me up at night . . . I would sit quietly in prayer and Bible Study looking for all the things I needed to do . . . things that needed to change. When morning arrived, I would greet my family with a list of ways we needed to adjust our lives to become more obedient and fix what was lacking.
In reality, what I was saying was – Jesus plus me, plus doing it right, plus fixing my family would fix our problems. (I’ve since apologized to Rev and our children.) Because the truth the Lord has finally shown me is that I can surrender my flaws and failures at the foot of the cross of Christ Jesus and trust that He is faithful to forgive me.
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in our hearts.1 John 1:8–10
That’s pretty clear, isn’t it?
And then there are the verses that affirm that salvation is through Christ Jesus alone, by grace alone and faith alone.
CHRIST JESUS ALONE
Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but He died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but He was raised to life in the Spirit.1 Peter 3:18
God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.Ephesians 2:8–9
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law [or doing good works]; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.Philippians 3:8–9
Why You Need to Know What You Really Believe
So, let’s ask the question again…
Do you really believe Jesus is enough?
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.Romans 5:1
Every page of the Bible points to one central truth.
God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.Romans 5:8
From Genesis through Revelation—from the promise God made in the Garden of Eden, accomplished on the cross and the resurrection, and that He will ultimately culminate when Jesus returns to take us home to celebrate for all eternity . . . JESUS ALONE IS GOD’S ANSWER FOR SIN. JESUS IS GOD’S GIFT TO A SINFUL WORLD.
That’s the message of the Bible. And if we throw away one little thing, if we deny one small part of its truth, how can we trust any of it. How can we know where to start and where to stop.
Either Jesus is the Way to the Father or He’s not. He is either the Truth spoken of throughout Scripture or He’s not. He is either the source of life or He’s not.
I believe Christ alone is the Way to joy, peace, contentment, and true happiness . . . because He has been that and more in my life.
Because of Jesus, I’ve received a life that:
Loves when it would hate.
Forgives when it would condemn.
Gives when it would keep.
Shares when it would withhold.
Prays when it would fear.
Trusts when it would doubt.
Worships when it would dishonor.
Praises when it would be prideful.
Surrenders when it would fix.
______ when it would ________.
Not Jesus plus good works, church, charity, or anything else. Those are just the things that are the natural outpouring of a life changed by His grace, mercy, and love. They are not the way to God’s saving grace; they are the result of His saving grace.
Will you pray with me?
Lord, forgive us. We have made You too small in our hearts and minds. We have worshipped the idol of self. We’ve fallen for the lie that we are good enough and that we can “earn” a place in heaven. Forgive us. We are sinful. No matter how hard we try we cannot free ourselves of sin. We need Your grace and mercy. We need Your forgiveness.
Please help us. Turn our hearts and minds to the truth of Your Word. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit. Grant us wisdom and discernment to not only know but apply Your will to our lives.
And by Your grace, overwhelm us with the love of Christ Jesus. Increase our faith. Help us love You with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength . . . and help us love each other in ways that give You glory. Lord, we believe . . . please help us overcome our unbelief. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.
May you and I and the whole world that our Father loves come to really believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
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