THE ESSENCE OF OUR FAITH
What is the purpose of Christ’s works? It is to bring man to believe that He is the Son of God. In John 9 Christ gave sight to one who was born blind. The Pharisees started another argument about this. They summoned the one who was healed and asked him all kinds of questions. After getting nothing out of his answers, they drove him out. Later the Lord met him. He asked the healed person only one question: "Do you believe into the Son of God?" (v. 35). He answered, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe into Him?" (v. 36). "Jesus said to him, You have both seen Him, and He is the One speaking with you. And he said, Lord, I believe; and he worshipped Him" (vv. 37-38). Nothing is clearer than this. This is the work of the Lord Jesus. His work is just to bring men to realize who He is. He never let go of the fact that He is the Son of God. This is the essence of our faith. It declares that Jesus is the Son of God.
ONLY THIS ONE POINT
If we read the Gospel of John through, we will find that every passage concerns this one point: Jesus is the Christ. In John 10 the Jews surrounded Him and said, "How long will you hold our soul in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly" (v. 24). The question still hung on this one point.
How did Jesus answer? He said, "I told you, and you do not believe...You do not believe, because you are not of My sheep" (vv. 25-26). All who do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He is God incarnated as a man, are not Christians. Those who do not recognize Him as the Son of God do not have the life of Christ in them; they are not His sheep. Upon this issue stands the whole basis of the Christian faith.
In John 11 Jesus said again, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes into Me, even if he should die, shall live" (v. 25). Can a common mortal utter such words?
GOD HINGES ON HIM
In John 12 Jesus cried out aloud, "He who believes into Me does not believe into Me, but into Him who sent Me; and he who beholds Me beholds Him who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world, that every one who believes into Me would not remain in darkness" (vv. 44-46). You can see that the One who sent Him hinges on Him. To believe into Him is to believe into the One who sent Him. To see Him is to see the One who sent Him. The light also hinges on Him. To be in the light is to believe into Him. Everything hinges on Him.
Then in John 14 the Lord said, "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe into God, believe also into Me" (v. 1). He wants us to believe into Him in the same way that we believe into God. The one thing He always insists upon is the demand to believe in Him.
John 15 speaks of some who hate the Lord. He said, "He who hates Me hates My Father also" (v. 23). Once again He reveals that He and the Father are one.
NOT BELIEVING IN HIM IS A SERIOUS SIN
In John 16, the Lord said that one day the Holy Spirit would come and convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment. Why concerning sin? The explanation is in verse 9: "Concerning sin, because they do not believe into Me," because they do not believe that He is the Son of God. This is a sin, a very serious sin. When the Holy Spirit comes, He will convict men, and they will realize how serious a sin it is not to believe in Jesus being the Son of God.
One further passage in the Gospel of John will suffice. 17:3: "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Him whom You have sent, Jesus Christ." Here we are shown what eternal life is. The Lord’s definition of eternal life is to know God. Believing in the eternal God and believing in His sent One—Jesus Christ—is eternal life. Eternal life hinges upon this person.
I hope that we would all realize who Jesus of Nazareth is. Our faith does not have any empty doctrines. It is based on the fact that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. To receive Jesus Christ is to receive God.
(The Normal Christian Faith, Chapter 5, by Watchman Nee)