In another article (226) we made the case that the phrase believe in Jesus Christ is too ambiguous to give us any true grasp of the saving Gospel that is found in the Bible. It wasn't always so. When Jesus walked on this earth, He could say "Believe in Me" and the meaning was pretty clear. But adversaries of the Truth have had almost 2,000 years to confuse the issues since then. And they have done a pretty good job. Confusion reigns. And as long as people are confused, they are not being saved. Faith and confusion are mutually exclusive. And the worst thing is that many of the people who are most confident that they are not confused are the most unbelieving. There is only one sure way to know and believe the Truth: let God speak by His Word.
So, what does the Bible actually say about the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ? First, it says that salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ. But, as we have said, this is too general. It does not carefully identify which Jesus we must believe in. Is He the Catholic Jesus, the Protestant Jesus, the Mormon Jesus, the Jehovah's Witnesses Jesus, the Heaven's Gate Jesus, or the Jesus of any number of other religious groups? Obviously there is only one true Jesus and all of the others are the figment of the imaginations of religionists who promote religion and not a relationship with the Truth.
This means that we must identify Jesus from the Bible. This is no search for the historical Jesus. This is, rather, a search for the biblical Jesus. But the search is not hard. God, in His desire to get people to give Him a hearing, has set forth four pictures of Jesus in the four Gospels known as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The pictures are not the same, but the person they picture is the same. Anyone who really wants to know the biblical Jesus can read through these four Gospels and see the truth in them. And seeing the truth, they can approach the Person whom they see. When Matthew presents Jesus as the King of the Jews, he does so for Jews who wish to know Jesus as their King. When Mark presents Jesus as the Servant of God, he does so for people who wish to serve alongside the Servant. When Luke presents Jesus as the Son of Adam, he does so for people who want to know what it means to be a true son of God and a son of man. When John presents Jesus as the God of Heaven, the Author of Life and Creator of the universe, he does so for people who are interested in living forever in a relationship with the God Who is forever and Who gives life to those who want to relate to Him on the basis of His agenda and not theirs. God has given us four accounts of this Jesus so that we will be able to know Him.
Since Jesus Himself said that eternal life consists in knowing God and His Son Jesus Christ (John 17:3), it should go without saying that those possess eternal life who get to know Him by faith in the records given in the Bible.
So, when was the last time you read through the four Gospels with the prayer in your heart that you might find Jesus there?