Do you BELIEVE in Jesus?

What does it mean to believe in Jesus?

When we use the word believe in English we assume it to mean the English definition.

However the New Testament was written in Greek so we must examine the Greek definition of the word believe.

The English definition for believe according to the Offord dictionary is:

To accept something as true. To hold an opinion about something.

There are many people today attending churches of all kinds of denominations who intellectually believe in Jesus Christ.

Some of them even believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. They may even believe that he is their Savior.

But is that the Biblical protocol for salvation?

I would argue that it is not.

According to the Greek definition of believe, it is more than having an intellectual assent to something.

Pistis is the Greek word for believe or faith.

The word means to trust in the reliability of. This trust occurs through intellectual agreement but carries on to assent or adhering to by trusting in. In other words believe or Pistis has two parts.

Understanding the concept of salvation through Jesus Christ BUT also through receiving Jesus Christ as Savior.

Accepting as true is the first part and receiving as true is the second part.

Some preach only the first part and leave out the second.

There is a difference in the words accept and receive. The English word used in the New Testament KJV is to receive Jesus as your Savior.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe (have faith) on his name. John 1:12

The word accept as a verb means to receive with a consent, with favor, or with approval.

In other words I accept the concept of salvation through Jesus Christ alone as true.

The word receive as a verb means to get, to be given something by some one.

I receive Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.

So as you can see, accepting Jesus Christ as Savior only means to approve of as true. Acknowledging a truth does not mean one has received that truth in a personal way.

I acknowledge the fact that Cheetah’s are the fastest cat on the planet. However, I do not have a Cheetah in my home because I have not received one. (not that I would want one, lol)

Scriptures tell us that it is not enough to believe intellectually in the gospel.

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19

Accepting as true is not enough to constitute salvation.

When one accepts as true ALL concepts of salvation including REPENTANCE then salvation can occur.

However that requires receiving Jesus Christ as Savior.

How do we do that? We actually don’t. Remember that salvation is completely an act of God. Our part is to accept as true then it is God’s part to give. Then we receive the gift of salvation.

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3: 8

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 17: 1-4

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe (have faith) on his name. John 1:12

Let me try to illustrate this by an analogy.

If I believe that the president of the United States exists and that he is my president does that mean that I know him or her personally?

I may read every book written concerning  the president ever written. I may know every written fact about the president there is to know. I may even go to university and get a degree to make me an expert on the president’s life BUT do I know him in a personal way?

Have I had dinner at the president’s house? Shared personal experiences with the president?

Have I had an intimate relationship with the president?

If not then I do not really know the president. I know ABOUT THE PRESIDENT.

Jesus said in his word that having fellowship with him through the Holy Spirit brings us into a relationship with him.

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Romans 8:9

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. John 16:13

What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. John 1:3

God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9

To be born of God is to know God intimately. Like a man knows his wife or a child knows their Father. Its a personal know. Not just an intellectual know.

How do you know if you really belong to God and are not just intellectually convinced that Jesus Christ is Savior?

Scriptures tell us that we know we belong to God if we are being led by his Holy Spirit.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Romans 8:14-19

If we are suffering with him. (persecution)

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:17

If the Holy Spirit bears witness to our spirit.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. Romans 8:16

To bear witness (Martureo) means to give evidence, a good report, bear testimony.

This is done through the fruits of the Holy Spirit being evident in one’s life.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

A person born of God does not live in sin.

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 1 John 3:6

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2:15-17

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:16-20

As you can see, scriptures make it clear that those who belong to God bear Holy Spirit fruit in their lives. They do not act like the world or live like the world.

Having intellectual belief in Jesus Christ but living a life contrary to scriptures means one has a religious ideology but not a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

You must be born of God to inherit eternal life.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3

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