Jesus didn’t suffer infinite pain for you, and experience infinite separation from his Father, because he wanted you to be “saved.” Or because he wanted you to “believe in him.” Or because he wanted you to escape the fires of hell and enjoy the pleasures of paradise.
God in Jesus on the cross, was making a way so that He could be your everything. So that He could lavish his infinite love on you. So that you and He could be intimate lovers. So that you and He could be friends.
This relationship is not experienced by praying the right prayer or believing the right truth and then putting “God” away until next Sunday. It is not experienced by giving the right amount, frequent church attendance or Bible reading and prayer the right number of times per week.
It is experienced when we actually do what God tells us to do. And what God said to do was, love one another as I have loved you. No man has greater love than he lay down his life for his friends. And you are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command. We are to lay down our lives for one another. Whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel will find it. Love God, love people.
What we do for others out of obedience to God reveals how much we love God. (Disclaimer: We do not do for others to get God to accept us, love us or forgive us. Jesus accomplished that for us when He died on the cross. Acceptance, love and forgiveness is a gift He freely gives us).
When the prostitute washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried his feet with her hair she showed much love. Those who are kind to the poor honor God and He will reward them for what they have done. He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Filled with joy are those who give others much mercy for they will receive much mercy. If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and it shall be given back to you, pressed down, shaken together and running over the top. Blessed are you, loved of my Father, for I was hungry and you fed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and in prison and you visited me.
You see, faith is not something you have, like a movie ticket, holding it until you die and then exchanging it for entrance into heaven. Faith is something you use everyday, to discern what God is specifically telling you to do right now and doing it.
That is when you know you are saved, that is when you know you believe in him, because that is when you experience the Love of your Friend.