I was scheduled to teach an adult Sunday School class this morning. This is what I was going to teach:
There have always been people — they existed in Christ’s day and they exist in ours — who say “I’m a follower of Christ — I believe in Jesus,” yet their lives seem to indicate something else.
John 8:30 says there was a significant “revival” (my word) in response to Jesus’ teaching — “many came to believe in Him.” Yet a short time later Jesus would say that the devil is their father (v. 44). What happened?
This interaction begs the questions, “Does just saying you are a follower of Jesus make you a follower of Jesus? Or is there something more?”
In John 8:31-38, Jesus examines their hearts with four statements about what a genuine believer looks like. What Jesus is saying is that salvation is not a point in time, but it is progressive and ongoing. Believe is not something we “did” one time, but something we do each day.
“This section of discourse is addressed to those who believe, and yet do not believe. Clearly they were inclined to think that what Jesus said was true. But they were not prepared to yield Him the far-reaching allegiance that real trust in Him implies. This is a most dangerous spiritual state.” [Morris, John, p. 454.]