Embracing Jesus Himself as our personal Redeemer!
(William Bacon Stevens, "The Almost Christian!")
"King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do!" Acts 26:27
Alas! Belief of the truths of Scripture, and practice of its precepts — are too often disjoined!
Alas! An intellectual or theoretical assent to Christianity — is often coupled with the most practical disregard of its duties!
It is indeed strange, that truths so momentous in themselves, and so vital to the interests of the soul, if believed at all — should not be followed by a practice conformable to that belief! Such conduct is contrary to all known principles of human conduct in worldly matters. Let a man be convinced of the truth of anything, or the propriety of any course of conduct which promises him temporal advantage — and how quickly does he carry his mind's beliefs into active practice!
Yet there are multitudes of people who believe the Bible to be God's Word — who do not receive it into their lives as a matter of living faith. Like Agrippa, they believe the prophets — and yet will not do what the prophets require!
If religion were a matter of the intellect only — then such men would be saved. But salvation reaches us, not so much through the faculties of the mind — as through the affections of the heart. For the mind, by its clear power of reason, may be forced to accept as true — that which the heart dislikes, and refuses to acknowledge, or obey.
We are saved, not by believing Christianity as a system — but by embracing Jesus Himself as our personal Redeemer!
This differentiates the Christian religion from all other religions and all other philosophies: they are all based on dogmas and beliefs — but the Christian religion is based on relationship with a Person!