podcast

#754 – Life in His Name (John 20:31)

Pray The Word
John
20
31
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“But these are written, but these are written, so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”
(John 20:31)

Oh, this is kind of the summary verse of the entire Book of John, and it is so encouraging when you think about what John has just said, why he has written this book, and what this means for our lives for life. John just said that I wrote all these things, so that people would believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah, the one who has come to save us from our sins. Believe is a key word all throughout the Gospel of John.

We have been called to experience life in Christ. May God help us to wage war on any temptation to retreat into nominal Christianity. May our lives be dictated by Christ who is our life.

Believe, faith, when you think about John 6:35, “I am the bread of life,” Jesus says. “He who comes to Me will never go hungry. He who believes in Me will never thirst.” This is not just intellectual assent. This is trust in Jesus for satisfaction of your soul.

What we read about in John 4, when it comes to this well in us, springing up to eternal life. This is what Jesus came to give us, and that’s why Jesus says that by believing, I wrote this, so that when you believe you would have life in His name.

Again, not just intellectual belief, not just, I believe Jesus died on a cross and rose from the grave. We know from the rest of Scripture like James 2, “Even the demons believe that.” Like big deal, if you believe Jesus died on a cross and rose from the grave, demons believe that.

There’s something more here than just intellectual assent. This is a trust. This is a looking to Jesus for life. This is an experience of life in Jesus.

Think Philippians Chapter 1, when Paul says, “To live is Christ. Jesus is my life.” This is so important. Because, I look around the culture in which I live, and I see the same in some other cultures in the world, where there is a cultural Christianity, meaning people identify culturally as a Christian, but the reality is, Jesus is not their life.

People go to church. They read the Bible, here or there. They give a tithe, here or there. They pray, here or there. They have a semblance of Christianity. But, they are missing what it means to believe in Jesus, because Jesus is not their life. I just want to remind you, especially if you live in a place where it is possible to be a cultural Christian, not to settle for that. That is not Christianity.

You were created, have been called to so much more. You have been called to experience life in Christ. A life today united with Jesus, believing Him to be the Savior from your sins and the Lord over your life, believing Him to be the One who satisfies your soul, believing Him to be the One who leads you, guides you, calls the shots in your life, whose Word directs your every step. He’s your life. Your life revolves around Him.

This is biblical Christianity. This is biblical belief. This is belief that’s very different from demons. Demons don’t look to Jesus as their life. Demons rebel against Jesus as their life. That’s the danger in cultural Christianity is people can assume they are Christians, while the reality is, they are rebelling against Jesus as their life. May it not be so with you, or me. May we experience life in Jesus.

God, I pray, I pray wondering, believing, maybe even assuming, that there are some who are listening to this right now, who are cultural Christians, who have a semblance of Christianity, but if asked the question, maybe even right now, is Jesus your life? They would not say in the affirmative, “Yes, Jesus is my life.” Their heart were not resound with that response.

I pray, that if that is the case for people listening right now, I pray that by Your grace this would be a defining moment, a forever, eternity defining moment where they say, “I believe in Jesus. I trust Jesus to be my life. I believe that He died on a cross and rose from the dead for my sin. I asked Him to be the Savior of my sin, and I submit to Him today as the Lord of my life. My life belongs to Jesus today. Lead me, guide me, direct me however You desire, through Your Word, for Your glory, for You are my life.

Oh God, I pray that some would say that to You right now. And then, that all who know You, Jesus, as life, that they would experience Your life more and more and more on deeper and deeper and deeper levels through faith, through belief in You. Help us to grow in our faith in our understanding of who You are in our understanding of the satisfaction You desire for us and a continual turning from our sin and trusting in You, as the Lord of our lives.

Jesus be exalted as our life. May it be said of us, “To live is Christ,” and in this, “To die is gain,” because we know that the life we have in You is a life that lasts forever.

Oh God, may it be true of each one of us today. I pray this in my own life, I pray this for the lives of others who are listening right now, may it be true of us that Jesus, You are our life. In Your name, we pray. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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