It’s important to know that in every covenant, there are certain terms and conditions detailing how we can experience God’s blessings. Under the old covenant of law, we know that to enjoy God’s blessings, one had to obey perfectly the Ten Commandments.
What about the new covenant? Since it is based entirely on God’s unmerited favor and not our ability to keep the law or what we need to do, what exactly is our part in this covenant? How can we enjoy God’s blessings in the new covenant when it is based on the finished work of the cross of Jesus?
Our part in the new covenant of grace is to simply BELIEVE! But, what should we believe? The answer is simple: we are to believe in Jesus! This answer, though, may not be as straightforward as it seems. If you were to ask people on the streets if they believed in Jesus, you would probably get all kinds of answers. There would be those who believe that Jesus existed as a historical figure, moral philosopher, charismatic leader or prophet. Sadly, the truth is that believing all these things about Jesus will not save them.
What It Means To Believe In Jesus
To believe in Jesus is to believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation and that once you receive Him, you receive the gift of eternal life. Furthermore, to believe in Jesus is to believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that all your sins — past, present and future — were all punished on the cross and that today all your sins and lawless deeds He remembers NO MORE!
Based on the new covenant of grace, God wants you to believe with all your heart that He meant every word when He said, “…I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Hebrews 8:12). There is nothing for you to do but to believe! In God’s eyes today, you are made perfectly righteous by Jesus’ finished work. The emphasis of the new covenant is to know and believe that you are forgiven of all your sins and that God has literally erased them from His memory. If you don’t believe this, it will be impossible for you to depend on and expect God to protect, provide and prosper you. If you don’t believe this, it will rob you of the ability to receive His goodness, His blessings, His unmerited favor and His success in your life.
What Does Imply Believing?
You have to know that God does not measure and judge you based on your performance today. Instead, He looks at Jesus, and as Jesus is, that is how He sees you (1 John 4:17). As new covenant believers, we do not have to fear the day of judgment simply because all our sins have been completely judged at the cross, and as Jesus is, so are we! Notice that it does not say that “as Jesus was on earth, so are we in this world.” That would have been amazing enough because during Jesus’ ministry on earth, healing, blessings and abundance followed Him everywhere He went. Yet, that is not what the Word says. What it says is, “as Jesus is” (the present tense); in other words, as He is right now, so are we in this world.
Just consider where Jesus is today… Jesus is seated at the Father’s right hand today, in a position of power and authority (Ephesians 1:20-23). As Jesus is “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named,” so are we… because the Bible also makes it clear that by God’s unmerited favor, we are seated together with Christ at the Father’s right hand (Ephesians 2:4–7).
To be seated together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus means that today, we are in a position of rest in Jesus’ finished work. To be seated in Christ is to rest, to trust in Him, and to receive everything our Savior has accomplished on our behalf.
Today, you should no longer be asking yourself, “Am I accepted before God?” This question puts the focus back on you and this places you under the law. The correct question to ask is, “Is Christ accepted before God?” because as Christ is, so are you in this world. Don’t ask, “Am I pleasing to God?” Instead, ask, “Is Christ pleasing to God?” Can you see the difference in emphasis? The old covenant of law is all about you, but the new covenant of grace is all about Jesus! The law places the demand on you to perform and makes you self-conscious, whereas grace places the demand on Jesus and makes you Jesus-conscious. Our part today is to turn away from ourselves and to look at Jesus!
In John 6:28, the disciples asked Jesus, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” His answer was simple: “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (v.29). But in verse 40, He said: “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life (gk, zoe life); and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Notice that Jesus tied together seeing with believing (looking unto) on Him. This is very important, because it shows us what believing on Him implies.
For the word ‘see,’ the Vine’s Greek New Testament Dictionary uses 11 verbs to expand its meaning. To see with the bodily eye, the Greek word is blepó. But in John 6:40, the Greek word used is theóreó, which means ‘to view attentively with expectation,’ ‘to partake of,’ ‘to experience.’
The context of John 6 is the feeding of five thousand. At the end of the day, the disciples boarded a ship to cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, and Jesus went up the mountain to pray alone. During the journey on the sea, the disciples were distressed by wind and waves, but in the fourth watch of the night they saw Jesus walking towards them on the sea. Matthew’s account adds that Peter asked Jesus, „Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.„ Jesus told him to do so, and Peter came down out of the ship and walked on the water; but he became afraid of the storm and began to sink (Matthew 14:22-33).
That night, the winds were boisterous, but as long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he did the impossible — he walked on water. Jesus was walking on the water and when Peter looked at Jesus, he became like Jesus and did the supernatural. Observe what happened the moment Peter turned his eyes away from Jesus, and started to look at the wind and the waves around him. In that instance, Peter became natural and he began to sink.
Walking on water is not something anyone can do whether or not the water is calm. The wind and waves actually made no difference to Peter’s ability to walk on the water. The best thing Peter could have done was to keep his eyes on Jesus and not look at the storm.
looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
We see another Greek word with the same meaning. Here it’s used the Greek word aphorao, which means „to look away from one thing so as to see another,” having though the same meaning – ‘to behold expecting something.’
What does it mean to look unto Jesus? We can think of it like this: if you are drowning and somebody walks past you, you do not look at him. You look unto him. When you look unto him, you are turning to him and expecting him to rescue you.
In the same manner, you look unto Jesus expecting Him to save, heal and protect you because you know His mighty power, His sacrificial love for you and His finished work. God’s Word says that we are to keep “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” That is how God wants us to live.
For example, if you have a sickness in your body, keep looking unto Jesus. See Him taking that sickness upon His body on the cross and say, “Lord, I thank You that by Your stripes I am healed” (Isaiah 53:5). As you keep looking unto Jesus, your healer, that sickness will have to bow to His finished work!
But if, after you are looking unto Jesus, the next thing you do is to ask yourself why the pain or sickness is still there, you do not look in the way the Greek word says: to look attentively, to look expecting something. You must see Jesus carrying your sickness. It doesn’t matter how painful it is now in your body; from the moment you see Jesus carrying your sickness and your pain, the pain and the sickness in your body begins to die.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
The Greek word for beholding is katoptrizo, which means to reflect as a mirror. It is one of the verbs for see, as the Vine’s Greek New Testament Dictionary specifies.
When you look in a mirror, you see yourself, of course. But God does not want you to see yourself in the natural. You may be sick, weak, broke and depressed, yet God wants you to see yourself the way He sees you — healed, strong, favored and whole because Christ is in you (Colossians 1:27).
As you are beholding the glory of the Lord, who is the successful One in you, you are being transformed from a failure to a success. And this is not accomplished by any effort of yours to get ahead in life, but by the Spirit of the Lord (Zechariah 4:6)!
As you behold the glory of the Lord, who is the healthy One in your sick body, you are transformed from sickness to health. And this is not accomplished by any effort of yours to keep fit and eat well, but by the Spirit of the Lord!
When you see that Jesus is above the storms of your life, you will effortlessly rise above the storms of your life. No amount of self-effort could have helped Peter walk on water. When he did, it happened simply because he was looking at Jesus.
In the same way, instead of looking at how insurmountable your circumstances and challenges are, turn away from them and keep your eyes on Jesus. When you behold Jesus more and see His love, His forgiveness, His abundant grace, and His gift of righteousness purchased for you with His own blood, you will be transformed supernaturally.
So, seeing/looking to Jesus and believing on Him go together. It is the most powerful thing you can do, that enables you to enjoy the abundant life (zoe life – God’s kind of life) and it will cause you to reign over every storm in your life!
It’s really all about Jesus. When you are conscious of Jesus’ ever- abiding presence and the truth that He has already completed everything concerning us, your faith will manifest what God has already completed. When your focus is on Jesus, that is when you will receive the manifestation of His promises.
Whatever your challenge is today, whether it is physical, emotional, financial or marital, the great I Am (Exod 3:14; John 8:58) declares to you: “I am to you what you need Me to be.” (Hebrew meaning)
- Do you need healing? He says, “I am the Lord who heals you (Exodus 15:26). And as you believe Me, you will see your healing manifest thirty-fold, sixty-fold and a hundred-fold.”
- Are you groping in the dark, not knowing what to do? He says, “I am the light of the world (John 8:12). When you walk in Me, you will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
- Are you looking for a way out of a bad situation? He says, “I am your deliverer. I will reach down from on high, take hold of your hand and draw you out of the deep waters.” (Psalm 18:2, 16)
- Are you wondering if there is more to life than merely existing from day to day? He says, “I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). I came to give you life. And where there is life, there cannot be death. You will have life and life more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
- Are you fearful of what is ahead of you? He says, “I am the good shepherd (John 10:11), who leads you to pastures of tender, green grass and waters of rest. You will not suffer lack.” (Psalm 23:1–3)
- Are you confused by the opinions and reports of man? He says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last (Revelation 1:8, 17). I have the final word in your life. The doctors do not have the final word. The experts do not have the final word. I have the first word and the last word in your situation.”
Be a person who will not depend on your own wisdom, might and riches (in other words, your own merits), but rather, let your boasting (dependence) be in understanding and knowing Jesus. Know that He is gracious and full of unmerited favor toward you. Know that He Himself is righteousness and He clothes you with His robes of righteousness. The more you focus on beholding Jesus in all His loveliness and the less you struggle to earn things by your own merits, the more you become the person who reign over all the life circumstances (Romans 5:17), and enjoy the God-kind of life, in its intimacy.
The great I AM is whatever you need Him to be for you. See Him this way and believe on Him for everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). He is a very present help in times of trouble — always compassionate, always able and always willing.