The Evangelical Universalist Forum

What does it mean to believe in Jesus?

a simple question:
What does it exactly mean to believe in Jesus?

To follow Him?
To let Him take control?
To love all people and do good deeds towards them?

Thanks and God bless you
Shalom and Love

Hi Dani
That’s a good question. As for me, when I read ‘believe’ in most translations (knowing that the term ‘believe’ has many different connotations and meanings) I actually read the word ‘trust’ in my mind as I understand that that is what the Greek word means.
“Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved”
Even the devils believe but they do not trust.
If we trust Jesus, then the rest should follow ie we will want to follow, let Him have control, and love all people.

God bless


Yes John trust about sums it up! Good KISS principle approach. I’sa like dis! :smiley:

This question plagued me for a very long time. I agree believing is trusting, and I take this to primarily mean trusting Jesus’ testimony about Himself - who He is, what He came to do, and what He will do in the future. In other words, believing or trusting hangs primarily on Jesus’ identity. I think that once this basic trust is established, i.e, that one belives that Jesus IS who He claimed to be, then, the fruit of believing in Him, will actually incorporate all three of the things you listed (You would obviously have to trust someone to follow them, let them take control, or carry out their commands to love all people).

So, for example, Jesus said things like “Whoever sees me, has seen the Father.” In this context, I think believing means trusting the testimony of Jesus, that He is, (to borrow from the writer of Hebrews,) “the radiance of the Glory of God, and the exact representation/imprint of the nature of the Father.” Therefore, if we trust this testimony, we can then have confidence that Jesus reveals the intent and character of God the Father, and that His words are absolutely trustworthy.

Words such as:

  1. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” or

  2. “…Whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life” or

  3. “…Whoever does not *bear his own cross *and come after me cannot be my disciple”

As such, we follow Him; we obey Him. But, of course, such trust in Jesus wouldn’t only lead to obedience, but dependency on His promises. If one believes or trusts that Jesus is who He said He is, then, one can also depend on promises such as:

  • Provision for food, drink, and clothing (Matthew 6:30-33)
  • Forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:47)
  • And etc

In addition, Jesus even helped others understand what believing is, by using metaphors? such as “drinking, eating, coming, receiving” as seen in John 6. Jesus says, if you’re hungry, come to me for true bread. If you’re thirsty, come to be for true drink. Feed on me. Those are helpful, too, since for some people, believing in Jesus simply means trusting Him to satisfy the hunger and thirsts of their souls.

Dunno, if this is helpful. :question:

Thank you very much.
God bless you.
Shalom and Love

I do that, too, John. In fact, I usually read it as “entrust”. To “believe into Christ” is to entrust oneself to Him.
Indeed, the very same Greek word is rendered as “entrust” in John 2:24 by the ESV translators:

But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people (John 2:24 ESV)

Yes. Thank you Paidion. I’ve not really been able to get my head around ‘entrust’ in those contexts but your ‘believe into’ is very helpful so perhaps now I can.

Whilst on this topic, I have heard (more than once) the criticism that post-mortem salvation is impossible because, having then SEEN Jesus face-to-face the sinner could not employ ‘belief’ (or ‘pistis’ faith) anymore because Jesus is clearly a fact, and therefore the unrepentant sinner’s time is past. To me, this again exemplifies the problem with the word ‘belief’ (also ‘faith’). If the critic would use the word ‘trust’ or ‘entrust’, then it is still very possible, post-mortem, to choose to do this (or to be given this by God). The problem disappears.

Thanks Pilgrim you got me thinking. Before the ascension Jesus visited with his followers who saw him. Did he rob them of the opportunity to believe? Remember they were all amazed to see him. Think of his words to Thomas- now their was a guy with a belief problem - and how Jesus dealt with it. I think this gives us a clue as to how the Judge of All will deal with people about belief (or trust) when we meet him. It does not look like a good smiting is likely to be the outcome does it? And look what effect it had on Thomas. in the end I believe that is how Jesus will affect us all when we meet him face to face. Chris

If trust and believe is the same word could 1.Timothy 4:10 be translated the following way?
“That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. (NIV)” instead of THOSE WHO BELIEVE: THOSE WHO TRUST?

The Bible is rather confusing when it comes to Jesus. It says things a few different ways…

“Believe in Jesus”

“Believe Jesus was the son of God”

“Believe Jesus was the one whom God sent”

My thoughts are scattered on this, but basically some places indicate faith is needed in the “person of Jesus Christ” and some places indicate faith is needed in “What Christ Accomplished”

This is an absolutely insightful paragraph. This, in my mind, completely destroys the notion that there is no post mortem salvation because “Of course it will be obvious when Jesus reveals himself to you”… Wow, I am amazed at how much I learn as time goes on. How silly arguments are diffused so easily with scripture.

“It is too late to repent once you die and Jesus reveals himself to you, because that doesn’t require faith”

Thomas: I refuse to believe that Jesus rose from the dead unless I can touch and see him. Thomas received his request, and while chastised indirectly when Jesus said “Blessed are those who do not see, yet believe” still was loved by the savior and granted his request.

Agnostic: I refuse to believe in this Jesus until I have proof (see it with my eyes, touch him, etc…) Sounds an awful lot like Thomas to me. That is where, I think, the majority of humanity is, agnostic - meaning, not really sure. They are ‘skeptical’, just like Thomas.

I think this is so encouraging and I wish I would have seen this before.

I liked that, Gabe :slight_smile:
Also to me, belief is really a lifelong trusting in Christ…not to say that a lapse of trust will damn you, but it sure makes life easier if you trust. As if my problems are even close to those truly suffering in the world, and i’d hate to tell them something that sounds so pat and cliché, however there are numerous stories of people getting through horrible times with their trust in Christ strengthening and enabling them.
it does shame me to think of the times i’ve lost trust, only to have things be ok anyway…i can picture God chuckling indulgently and saying “oh ye of little faith”.

George MacDonald wrote:

Let a man trust in [Christ’s] atonement to absolute assurance, if he does not do the things He tells him—the very things He said—he does not believe in Him.

—What’s Mine’s Mine, Chapter XV, Page 103

Sixteen Commandments of Jesus

  1. Do not get angry. (Matt 5:22)

  2. Do not commit adultery. (Matt 5:28)

  3. Do not separate from your spouse. (Matt 5:32)

  4. Do not take an oath (Matt 5: 34)

  5. Do not resist an evil person (Matt 5:39)

  6. Give to the one who asks you for something. (Matt 5:42)

  7. Love your enemies, pray for them, and do good to them. (Matt 5:44)

  8. Do not give alms, pray, or fast in order to receive praise from people.(Matt 6:1,5,16)

  9. Pardon others for their blunders. (Matt 6: 14)

  10. Do not hoard goods or be a slave to money. (Matt 6: 19,24)

  11. Do not be anxious about your physical needs. (Matt 6:31,34)

  12. Do not condemn people. (Matt 7:1)

  13. Do not give holy things to those who cannot appreciate them. (Matt 7:6)

  14. Ask for what you need, and you will be given it. (Matt 7:7)

  15. Whatever you want people to do for you, do for them (Matt 7:12)

  16. Beware of false prophets. (Matt7:15)

Do you do those things all the time, Don?

I think it is irrelevant whether I or anyone else does them all the time. What is relevant, if GMD is correct, is that a person does not do what Jesus said, he does not believe in Him.

Many people do righteous acts sometimes—even atheists. But to be consistently righteous, one needs the enabling grace of God:

For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all people, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and to live sensible, righteous, and devout lives in the present age, expecting the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; encourage and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you. (Titus 2:11-15)

I totally agree with you. I made a post on your George’s Gems today that said the very thing!

I have you to thank for bringing me around to this understanding, and of course GMAC.

I appreciate these ‘commandments’ but fail to see how GMD has any more leverage than any other theologian. Though I do realize and respect the founders of this forum.

You said “What is relevant, if GMD is correct, is that a person does not do what Jesus said, he does not believe in Him.”

So Don , what is the fate of someone who doesn’t do what Jesus said, as you say, does not believe in him?

You also said…“Many people do righteous acts sometimes—even atheists. But to be consistently righteous, one needs the enabling grace of God:”

So wait a minute, how the hell does one get this grace if by doing the righteous acts, as atheists sometimes do, they somehow don’t get the grace, even though they did the righteous acts?

What the flim flam is this? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

This grace is obtained through faith—faith that God will provide it.

Yes, atheists sometimes do righteous things through self-effort. Even Christians sometimes do such through self-effort. But to be consistent in righteous living requires one to appropriate the enabling grace of God through faith. Doing so does not entail that they will never again do anything wrong. For they may sometimes fail to appropriate that enabling grace which is able to “train them to live sensible, righteous, and devout lives,” and to be purified as Christian people “who are zealous for good works.” (Titus 2)

To learn about the dynamics of how faith works through love I recommend, “Future Grace” by John Piper:

Another good book dealing with the foundational promise of all other promises:

It’s about trusting God or having faith and depending on Him to meet our needs. This secures the future and gives one hope. The grace comes from God and therefore we are grateful as we find our joy in glorifying Him. All the praise and glory goes to God. Here’s how it works:

Fear and anxiety and worry are about the future. When I’m worried about the future I’m in my mind or ego. In the past this fear of being harmed or plotted against by others has caused me to drink and do drugs. Alcohol released my fears where I could communicate and talk with others but the next day I would feel more fear and shame. Shyness turned into social phobia and social phobia turned into megalomania paranoia. I have found that this fear is uprooted by having faith in God. Such a faith secures the future and gives one hope. Hope pushes the desires that lead to sin out of the heart as one relies on God like Christ did. It’s by the joy set before us. Not only does it push desires out of the heart but it brings strong desires to the heart as one is thrown into the current of love. It’s faith - hope - love. It’s faith working itself out through love. The joy of faith. In the Bible faith produces obedience. The power to love is the confidence that God will take care of my future. It’s the obedience of faith as one trusts and relies on God like Jesus did. It’s faith working itself out through love. Christ’s atoning death secures the future with his blood bought promises. Example:

God says, Vengeance is Mine I will Repay

When my faith is in God the desires for sin is pushed out of the heart. I let go and let God handle it. Rather I love the enemy just like Christ did. Another example:

God works all things together for good for those that love Him.

I place my faith in God and Christ as it gives me hope. God promises to work all my frustrating circumstances together for my good. This secures the future getting rid of impatience and depression as it gives me hope.

Dealing with shame:

If we confess our sins He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

My faith is in God. Indeed. when facing shame that comes from the rejection, and ridicule of others I trust God when He promises to one day vindicate His children. Oh the glory that awaits those who are despised and rejected by others misplaced shaming. It’s faith working itself out through love. When my future is in the hands of an all powerful and loving God who promises to work out all my circumstances (past, present and future) for good, anxiety and shame is broken as the heart opens up to love. The desires that lead to sin are pushed out of my heart as God infuses me and covers me with His righteousness. I therefore have intrinsic eternal worth in Christ.The past is covered in His blood and the future is secure. I’m fee to live in the present moment.

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Biggest bunch of malarkey I’ve ever heard.

You are a judgemental twit. :laughing:

Many don’t believe what you believe. When anyone does something good be them atheist’s or otherwise, we should give them praise. Doing good is doing good.