Step two in detail – believe

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From “How to become a Christian”: Chapter 15 – Step two in detail – believe

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)

“…….. for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he”

John 8:24 (b) (RSV)

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

John 20:31 (NIV)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

John 5:24 (NASB)

28Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

John 6:28-29 (RSV)

For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 6:40 (RSV)

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.

John 6:47 (RSV)

9that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11For the Scripture says, “whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.

Romans 10:9-11 (NASB)

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

1 John 5:13 (NASB)

“Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

Acts 10:43 (NASB)

38“Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you,  39and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses. 

Acts 13:38-39 (NASB)

29And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Acts 16:29-30 (NASB)

For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 6:40 (RSV)

48And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Luke 7:48-50 (ESV)

25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:25-26 (RSV)

We have just spent a whole chapter looking at passages in the Bible which emphasise repentance. Now, we shall look at verses which focus on believing. These passages assume that you have already repented.  In this chapter, we are going to examine what believing in Jesus Christ is all about and exactly what the Bible means when it requires us to “believe” in or “have faith” in or to “trust” in Jesus Christ. In one sense these are simple, everyday words, but in the Bible they have very specific meanings. Therefore, there is a danger of misunderstanding, or underestimating, what is involved.

The Bible tells us that it is only by believing in Jesus Christ that we can ever be forgiven and saved. There is no other way.  It is a vital requirement.  Therefore, given that so much depends on us “believing” in Jesus Christ, we need to make sure that we clearly understand what believing or faith involves and remove all vagueness. We need a really clear grasp of exactly what we have to know, understand, believe and do before we can truly say we believe or have faith in the full biblical sense.

So, in this chapter, I will seek to set out and briefly explain all the basic essentials that we need to know, understand and believe. But these things are not just about having intellectual “head knowledge”.  Real faith will always be accompanied by action as we seek to put what we believe into practice.

Real faith is not defined in terms of good works, i.e. “fruit” or “actions”.  It is about trust, which is an attitude of the heart. However, real faith always leads on to us producing fruit and taking action. That is why God always looks for fruit (or good works) afterwards as the only way of telling whether our faith was real or not.

We have to believe in Jesus in the sense of knowing who and what He is, but also trusting in Him alone to save us.  We also need to “confess” that belief, which means to speak it out openly.  To confess means to “say the same as”. That means you need to say the same about Jesus as God the Father says about Him. In basic terms, that means to admit and declare that He is Lord, Saviour and King and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and then rose from the dead.

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