What’s the difference between a person who is truly saved and someone who just believes all the facts about the gospel? People who teach “easy believism” claim there’s no difference between the two.

I keep a pen in my shirt pocket and sometimes use it to make an illustration in church. I ask, “How many of you believe this is a pen?” Everyone raises their hand. Then I’ll ask, “Was it easy to believe that was a pen?” Everyone usually nods in agreement. Then I tell them, “Now I want you to believe hard that it’s a pen.” Of course, you don’t have to believe hard. The pen is what it is. No amount of faith can change that.

What saves you is not how hard you believe, but what you believe in. It is a proven historical fact that Jesus died on a cross and arose from the dead. But faith in a fact can’t save anyone—it certainly didn’t save me. Only when you believe in Jesus alone as the One who paid all your sin debt, shed His blood, was buried, and rose again on the third day will you be saved. It’s that simple.

It’s not hard to believe the gospel, but it wasn’t easy for Jesus to die and pay for your sins. I hope you’re not just relying upon your knowledge of the facts to get to Heaven. Make the truth personal in your life today.

The only saving faith is that which casts itself on God for life or death. — Martin Luther

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder