(This is 3 in a series of blogs on the names of Christians in the Bible)
Normally we find a product we like and believer in it. Seldom do we put faith in something before we try it out. However, Christians put faith in Jesus first then receive the product – salvation. The Christian label is so diluted it doesn’t describe our relationship with Jesus. “Believer” is more distinctive
Everyone believes in something. All people have a worldview lens through which they view life. When people give up all belief, they become hopeless and despondent. As believers we see the world through the lens of the Bible, the Christian world view. That gives us faith in the present and hope in the future. What we believe is very important.
The best-known verse in the Bible is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Two verbs describe what God did: “loved” and “gave.” One verb describes our response: “believe.”
God’s “love” is the motive behind His action of “giving” His son. He gave His very best for those who did not even know Him. It is love that costs. The gift He gave was His unique, “only” Son. The title “Son of God” was first used for the prophesied Messiah in 2 Samuel 7:14 and is repeated in Psalm 2:7 and many other passages.
He gave His very best so we would “not perish”. This word does not refer to annihilation, but rather exclusion from fellowship with God. Instead, He gives the opposite – “eternal life”: life with unlimited time (John 3:15-17). It is the opposite of perishing (John 3:16; 10:28; 12:225; 17:12).
Our response to this wonderful, merciful, sacrificial act by God is to “believe” by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. “Believe” refers to putting faith in Jesus for salvation. In Greek it is in the aorist tense, referring to a one-time event in the past. The verse doesn’t say we have to keep on believing to earn or keep our salvation. It refers to the one point in time in the past when we came to Him for salvation.
Paul told the Philippian jailer: “believe and be saved” (Acts 16:31). A believer is one who receives faith in Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9). As a result, we are called “sons of God” (John 1:12) and “righteous” (Romans 3:22, 28). We inherit all spiritual possessions (Romans 4:16).
This spiritual transformation results in mental understanding that becomes “belief”. This will result in changed actions (James 2:14-26). Even demons believe the facts about Jesus but do not put their faith in Him (James 2:19). Belief is shown by actions. If I truly believe my house is on fire, I will act on that belief by doing something about it. If I say I believe it is on fire but don’t move, then I don’t really believe. Likewise, if we “believe” in Jesus, we will act on our belief and our lives will show the difference. It’s not just a mental assent, but a life change that comes from believing in Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit.
John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. (see also John 6:40, 47; 3:36)
Acts 16:31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
Are you a believer in Jesus? Does your belief show in your life? Do your actions in life show your belief? Can others see a difference in your life based on your belief in Jesus?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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