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Gospel Reader

I don’t think believing in God is that complicated and that one doesn’t need to be too focused or too invested in it. So long as I keep going to church every week, do my devotions and give alms, and in the normal course of events also attend some activities organized by the church, then this is believing in God and I can be saved. I’d like to ask whether this conception I have is correct or not?

Bible Verses for Reference:

The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force (Mat 11:12).

Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven (Mat 7:21).

Relevant Words of God:

Though many people believe in God, few understand what faith in God means, and what they must do to be after God’s heart. This is because, though people are familiar with the word “God” and phrases such as “the work of God,” they do not know God, much less do they know His work. No wonder, then, that all those who do not know God are possessed of a muddled belief. People do not take belief in God seriously because believing in God is too unfamiliar, too strange for them. In this way, they fall short of the demands of God. In other words, if people do not know God, do not know His work, then they are not fit for God’s use, much less can they fulfill the desire of God. “Belief in God” means believing that there is a God; this is the simplest concept of faith in God. What’s more, believing that there is a God is not the same as truly believing in God; rather, it is a kind of simple faith with strong religious overtones. True faith in God means experiencing the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things. So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God, and shall come to know God. Only through such a journey can you be said to believe in God. Yet people often see belief in God as something very simple and frivolous. The belief of such people is meaningless and shall never gain the approval of God, because they tread the wrong path. Today, there are still those who believe in God in letters, in hollow doctrines. They are unaware that their belief in God has no substance, and that they are unable to gain the approval of God, and they still pray for peace and sufficient grace from God. We should stop and ask ourselves: Could believing in God really be the easiest thing on earth? Does believing in God mean nothing more than receiving much grace from God? Can people who believe in God but do not know Him, and believe in God yet oppose Him, really fulfill the desire of God?

from Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh

Some people always think: “Isn’t believing in God just attending meetings, singing songs, listening to the word of God, praying, doing some duties? Isn’t that what it’s like?” No matter how long you have been believers in God, you still haven’t understood thoroughly the significance of belief in God. In fact, the significance of belief in God is incredibly deep, and people have not thought thoroughly about it. In the end, the things within people that are of Satan, and the things of their nature must change, and must become compatible with the requirements of the truth; only this is truly achieving salvation. If you are like what you were in the religion—just shouting some words of doctrine or shouting some slogans, and then doing some actions and good behaviors, and not committing any sins, not committing any obvious sins—this still does not mean that you have entered onto the right track of believing in God. Just because you can abide by the rules, does that mean you are walking the correct path? Does this mean you have chosen correctly? If the things within your nature have not changed and in the end you are still resisting God and offending God, then this is the largest of problems. If you believe in God but do not resolve this problem, then can you be considered as having been saved? What does it mean, Me saying this? It is to make you all understand in your hearts that a belief in God cannot be separated from God’s words, from God, or from the truth. You must choose your path well, put effort into the truth and put effort into God’s words. Do not just have some half-baked knowledge and then consider yourself done, or just understand them more or less. If you go about things in a slapdash way, you will only hurt yourself. A person should not deviate in their belief in God; if in the end there is no God in their heart, and they merely hold a book glancing at it without having a space for God in their heart, then they are finished.

from “Those Who Have Lost the Work of the Holy Spirit Are Most at Risk” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Since you believe in God, you must eat and drink of His word, experience His word, and live out His word. Only this is belief in God! If you say you believe in God yet cannot speak out any of His words or put them into practice, you are not considered to believe in God. This is “seeking bread to satisfy hunger.” Speaking only of trivial testimony, useless matters, and superficial matters, and not having even the slightest bit of reality do not constitute belief in God. As such,[a] you have not grasped the right way of believing in God.

from “The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Today, what is real belief in God? It is the acceptance of God’s word as the reality of your life and the knowing of God from His word in order to achieve a true love of Him. To be clear: It is the belief in God so that you may obey God, love God, and perform the duty that should be performed by a creature of God. This is the aim of believing in God. You must achieve a knowledge of the loveliness of God, of how worthy God is of reverence, of how, in His creatures, God does the work of salvation and making them perfect—this is the minimum that you should possess in your belief in God. Belief in God is principally the switch from a life in the flesh to a life of loving God, from a life within naturalness to a life within the being of God, it is coming out from under the domain of Satan and living under the care and protection of God, it is being able to achieve obedience to God and not obedience to the flesh, it is allowing God to gain your entire heart, allowing God to make you perfect, and freeing yourself from the corrupt satanic disposition. Belief in God is principally so that the power and glory of God may be manifested in you, so that you may carry out God’s will, and accomplish God’s plan, and be able to bear testimony to God before Satan. Belief in God should not be in order to behold signs and wonders, nor should it be for the sake of your personal flesh. It should be for the pursuit of knowing God, and being able to obey God, and like Peter, obeying Him until death. This is what it is mainly in order to achieve. Eating and drinking the word of God is in order to know God and in order to satisfy God. Eating and drinking the word of God gives you a greater knowledge of God, only after which can you obey God. Only if you know God can you love Him, and the attainment of this aim is the only aim man should have in his belief in God. … In believing in God, man should pursue being made perfect by God, being able to submit to God, and the complete obedience to God. If you can obey God without complaint, be mindful of God’s desires, achieve the stature of Peter, and possess the style of Peter spoken of by God, then that will be when you have achieved success in belief in God, and it will signify that you have been gained by God.

from “All Is Achieved by the Word of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Believing in God is for the sake of satisfying Him and for living out the disposition He requires, so that His actions and glory may be manifested through this group of unworthy people. That is the correct perspective for believing in God, and also the goal you should seek. You should have the right viewpoint of believing in God and seek to obtain God’s words. You need to eat and drink God’s words, and be able to live out the truth, and especially see His practical deeds, see His wonderful deeds throughout the entire universe, as well as the practical work He does in the flesh. Through their actual experiences, people can appreciate just how God does His work on them and what His will is toward them. All of this is to eliminate their corrupt satanic disposition. Rid yourself of the unclean and unrighteous inside of you, strip away your wrong intentions, and you can develop true faith in God. Only by having true faith can you truly love God. You can only genuinely love God on the foundation of your belief in Him. Can you achieve loving God without believing in Him? Since you believe in God, you cannot be muddle-headed about it. … Even though people with religious beliefs have faith in God, they don’t seek dispositional change, don’t pursue knowledge of God, and only seek the interests of their flesh. Many among you have faiths that belong in the category of religious convictions. That is not true faith in God. To believe in God people must possess a heart to suffer for Him and the will to give themselves up. Unless they meet these two conditions it does not count as faith in God, and they will not be able to achieve dispositional change. Only people who genuinely seek the truth, seek knowledge of God, and pursue life are those who truly believe in God.

from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Footnotes:

a. The original text omits “As such.”

 

The Man’s Fellowship:

If you are utterly exhausted from being overworked all day, then reading God’s words will have no effect. Because your heart has not become quiet before God, you are in an abnormal state of mind, you are restrained by worldly matters and cannot get calm, and you cannot become quiet, reading God’s words at times like this will not bring good results. So what should you do at times like this? If you want to eat and drink some of God’s words, don’t first read God’s words, but first contemplate a truth, and through contemplating this truth or contemplating a passage of a hymn of God’s words, sing and read and, after you have read it, you will be able to be quiet before God and have enjoyment. You will then feel, “At this time, eating and drinking God’s words is guaranteed to light my way,” and then eating and drinking God’s words will bring good results. In this way, you will come to gain knowledge of God’s words and will see that they are the expressions of God’s Spirit, that every word is an expression of His Spirit and represents what God has and is; it will be as though, within His words, you see God, you see what God has and is, you see God’s wisdom and omnipotence and you see God’s love. When you have this feeling, you will say: “God’s words are without a doubt the expressions of His Spirit, and only these are His words. They are of such great benefit to man and when they are read the spirit is nourished, and it indeed makes a difference.” Therefore, if you want to know God then you must have the work of the Holy Spirit, so that your reading of God’s words will be effective and you can gain knowledge of God. If you have true experience of the words of the practical God, then you will be able to get a feel for the law of the Holy Spirit’s work, get a feel for the principles of the Holy Spirit’s work and get a feel for how the Spirit of God works in the flesh. When you reach this level, you will then have knowledge of God.

from “Fellowship and Preaching Concerning God’s Words ‘You Should Know That the Practical God Is God Himself’” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (VI)

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