Episode 4 – Do You Really Believe?

David Britt's "Do You Really Believe"Welcome

Welcome to episode number four of Traditores Higher Frequency! This week we build off our interview with accomplished country musician David Britt last week, where we learned a bit about him, his music, and his faith. During that interview we touched on what might be my favorite song by him, “Do You Really Believe”…and today we are going to consider what it means to really believe in Jesus.

The song has a very creedal chorus. What do I mean by creedal? Creeds are statements of belief. For instance, you may have heard the Apostles’ Creed. It’s starts with:

I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth
And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary
Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell1

Do you see what I mean by creedal? Now compare those snippets to what David sings in the chorus of “Do You Really Believe”:

Do you really believe
That Jesus Christ is the Lord
Do you really believe
That He died on the cross
Do you really believe
That there’s a heaven and a hell
Do you really believe
Look in the mirror, ask yourself2

And, the longer chorus at the end of the song further adds:

Do you really believe
Those nails were driven through His hands
Do you really believe
Those thorns were wrapped around His head
Do you really believe3
He gave His life for all of us

[ These are quick broadcast notes…not cleaned-up…and missing the “extras” that come out in the audio (which is available here). All Scripture quotes are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted. ]

Just as the Apostles’ Creed helped you understand what its authors believed, David’s chorus helps us know where he stands…what he believes…the Person he has faith in.

But the song’s purpose wasn’t to tell the world what David held doctrinally…instead it was to get his listeners to consider whether their behaviors and their actions match what they claim to believe…an important question for all of us. Before we dive a bit into what it means to really believe, let’s listen together to David Britt’s tremendous track.

[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=r1sZQYHQ39M&rel=0&w=512]

Do Your Really Believe?

What do you think? Short of country gospel not being a genre you enjoy, it is a great song isn’t it?

But more important than entertaining and catchy…did it make you think?

Think about whether you really believe?

Believe in What?

Of course, it’s hard to answer that without answering what we are talking about. We cannot spend long on that question because this is only a 15 minute program, but we can quickly answer it by looking at what the Phillipian jailor was told by Paul and Silas in Acts 16:29-30:

And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Do you really believe in what?

Do you really believe in Jesus?

Now, I’m not saying that David’s song limits the question to that…but Jesus is the focus…and…ultimately…for a Christian…belief in Jesus is central.

Do you really believe…in Jesus?

True Belief

As I mentioned, our interest isn’t in whether the song is entertaining or catchy, it is it’s message…and in that way it’s great too in my opinion. Remember, Paul and Silas said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus”…and you heard the focus of David’s chorus is its first verse…”Do really believe, Jesus Christ is the Lord.”

To really believe in Jesus is to also believe that Jesus is Lord. Let’s keep that in mind as we review together a few verses about how real belief will be visible in our lives. Let’s begin with Luke 6:46-49:

46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

True belief…true belief that Jesus is who He says He is…and that Jesus is Lord…will have the attribute of…

Doing what Jesus said.

Isn’t that simple? If you believe that Jesus is Lord…that Jesus is the Son of God…that Jesus is God…

Then of course you’ll do what He tells you, won’t you?

The Apostle John expands ton this theme a bit more in 1 John 2:3-6:

3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

Again…John reminds us if we really believe in Jesus…and that He is Lord…we will do what He tells us. As a matter of fact, if we claim we believe and yet we don’t do what He tells us…

We don’t really believe. Worse. We are liars.

Simple. If we believe, we do what He tells us. If we don’t do what He tells us we don’t really believe.

Do you really believe?

Before we move on to our next Scripture let’s also note how our selection from 1 John wraps up up with “whoever says he abides in [Jesus] ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”

So, not only will true belief manifest itself in doing what Jesus tells us…it’ll cause us to walk the same way Jesus walked…and that is why you’ve heard people suggest we should ask, “What would Jesus do?”

A New Commandment

John used the word “commandments”…well…the Koine Greek word for “commandments”…and we know if we really believe we’ll follow them. That leads us to our next indication that we really believe:

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).

If you really believe…you will do what Jesus tells you…and He tells you to love one another.

That’s how people will know you are His disciple…

That you really believe…

By your love for your fellow believers.

If you really believe you will:

  • Do what Jesus tells you
  • Walk like Jesus did
  • Love each other

Oh, and it’s just not our brothers and sisters in Christ we need to love…remember that in Matthew 22:39 Jesus said, in part, “And a second [commandment] is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”

And how will love be exhibited? Here’s an idea from what Paul wrote the Colossians in 3:12-13:

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Now…understanding that…being that Paul is speaking for Lord Jesus…we could take more commandments from these two verses…clearly the main focus is forgiveness.

If you really believe…if you really love each other…you will forgive each other…as the Lord has forgiven.

And notice it says that “you also must forgive.” We aren’t talking optional here. Not forgive when you feel like it. Not forgive on the first Sunday on a new moon. Not forgive only when the one who wronged you has paid full restitution.

You must forgive.

Which leads us back to the song. It’s second verse begins with:

Forgiveness is a virtue
But how quickly we forget
Do you choose to judge your neighbor
‘Cause God forgave you for your sins4

In part David wrote the song because he scratched his head at how we believers treat each other and our neighbors.

We claim to believe in a God who died on a cross for our sins…yet we do not walk ask He walked and show the same love and compassion for others.

Which can cause others to ask…

And should cause us to ask ourselves…

Do we really believe?

A New Commandment

Time to wrap up again. Fourteen minutes and 30 seconds isn’t a long time, is it? We really have only scratched the surface on what it means to really believe, but we have learned that if you really believe in the Lord Jesus Christ:

  • You will do what Jesus tells you
  • You will walk like Jesus did
  • You will love each other
  • You will forgive one another

If you are a Christian, just because you trip in these areas doesn’t mean you are unsaved. We all make mistakes. We are all human. Confess your sins and Jesus is faithful to forgive you (see 1 John 1:9). But, if you frequently don’t do what Jesus tells you…you generally don’t walk like Jesus did…you don’t love your brothers and sisters in Christ…and you are unforgiving.

Then best to, as David also suggests in the song…

Look in the mirror, ask yourself
Do you really believe.5

If you are not a Christian…yes…we Christians can fail in all kinds of horrible ways…but we don’t believe in ourselves or in other Christians, hypocritical or faithful.

We believe in Jesus.

And He is worth your belief.

Do you really believe?

Thanks for listening to Traditores Higher Frequency…until next week…

Love and grace be with you as we tune into Jesus’ higher frequency.

Footnotes

1Historic Creeds and Confessions. (1997). (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Lexham Press.
2Ibid.
3Ibid.
4Ibid.
5Ibid.


The lyrics of “Do You Really Believe” (included with the permission of David Britt):

Verse 1:
‎Down upon your knees
Hands together eyes are closed
Do you only seek His help
When there’s no other place to go
Do you pray because you were taught to
As a little kid in church
Do you really believe in Jesus
And the wonders of His Work‎

Chorus:
Do you really believe
That Jesus Christ is the Lord
Do you really believe
That He died on the cross
Do you really believe
That there’s a heaven and a hell
Do you really believe
Look in the mirror, ask yourself

Verse 2:
Forgiveness is a virtue
But how quickly we forget
Do you choose to judge your neighbor
‘Cause God forgave you for your sins
How we use Him for convenience
But then we’ll speak His name in vain
Take a good look at yourself
All of us should do the same

Chorus:
Do you really believe
That Jesus Christ is the Lord
Do you really believe
That He died on the cross
Do you really believe
That there’s a heaven and a hell
Do you really believe
Look in the mirror, ask yourself‎
Do you really believe
Look in the mirror, ask yourself

Bridge:
The trees and the sun
A baby in his mother’s arms
A simple hug, a gentle smile
The laughter from a little child
The precious things He gave us
Take a look around and see
The life we get to live
Because He died for you and me

Chorus:
Do you really believe
Jesus Christ is the Lord
Do you really believe
That He died on the cross
Do you really believe
That there’s a heaven and a hell
Do you really believe
Look in the mirror, ask yourself
‎Do you really believe
Those nails were driven through His hands
Do you really believe
Those thorns were wrapped around His head
Do you really believe
He gave His life for all of us
Do you really believe
That Jesus Christ is the Lord
Do you really believe
That Jesus Christ is the Lord
That He died on the cross
Do you really believe
He gave His life for all of us
Do you really believe
That Jesus Christ is the Lord
He’s the Lord
He’s the Lord
Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Lord


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