What does it mean to "Believe in Jesus"?

Hi Steve,
The following was taken from my denomination’s main website under the topic of ABC’s of salvation. I admit it is a little simplistic, but I assume it is meant to explain to a non-Christian. I highlighted the part about believing in Jesus. It involves having a life that is transformed thru Christ, not just a mental acknowledgment that Jesus is the savior of the world.

Most Christians know that salvation is an ongoing process and not just saying “I believe in Jesus”. This includes living for Christ in our daily lives and living a life that is pleasing to God through a life that bears fruit through good works and service to others as well as thru repentance of our sins. In other words, if we were taken to court and accused of being a Christian, there would be enough evidence to convict us.

Believing in Jesus is more than just mental acknowledgement of Jesus as Savior, because the Bible teaches that even demons believe – and they’re not Christian. .

Taken from tpe.ag.org/Salvation.cfm :

To know God and be ready for heaven,
follow these steps:

A. Admit you are a sinner.
“There is no one righteous, not even one … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 3:10,23. (See Romans 5:8; 6:23.)

Ask God’s forgiveness.
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 10:13

**B. Believe in Jesus
(put your trust in Him) as your only hope of salvation.
“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.” John 3:16 (See John 14:6.)

Become a child of God by receiving Christ.
“To all who receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12 (See Revelation 3:20.)**

C. Confess that Jesus is your Lord.
“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 (See verse 10.)

In my case, I believed mentally in Jesus ever since I was kid growing up in the Presbyterian Church, USA. However, I didn’t believe in Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior until I accepted Him into my life while watching a Billy Graham Crusade on TV as a teenager.

In Spanish, there are two words for “know”. One is
‘Saber’, which means head knowledge, like I know things about Jesus".

The other word is “Conocer” which means to know someone. I used to know “about” Jesus, but when I accepted him as Savior I began to personally know him and not just know about him, if that makes any sense.

Those are great verses and used often by those who claim that all that is necessary is to believe.
Notice how Jesus uses almost the same words when speaking of his body and blood:

John 6:54
“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

Is it enough to simply believe, or is more required of us? That is why I ask the question "what does it mean to believe in Jesus? Can we sit on the top of a mountain and just believe, or does it require that do something? I would say first, belief is a must. We cannot go any further unless we start there. My point, however, is that a Christian life cannot end there. We are called to be transformed and to respond accordingly. So while we must certainly start with belief, is it enough?

Thank you for this! :thumbsup:

I think we both know the answer to that one, Steve.

Matthew 7:21
21"Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter."

Sounds very Catholic. :thumbsup:

Thanks, Tommy. This seems pretty typical, in my experience. So let me sum this up, so far. Just believing does not seem to be sufficient. From what I gather from your “ABC’s of salvation” we must:

  1. Admit we are a sinner
  2. Ask for forgiveness.
  3. Believe in Jesus
  4. Become a child of God by receiving Christ.
  5. Confess that Jesus is your Lord.

So it seems that believing in Jesus is just one of the requirements within your faith tradition.

Absolutely. Makes perfect sense. :thumbsup:

Thanks for your input.




Janes 2 even the deamons believe

Curious, I see people saying they believe in Jesus and Jesus is your Lord and Savior and quoting scripture, what does that mean to you? IMO there should be so much more to say about Jesus than that… I mean if you really know Jesus you should be talking about Jesus…Maybe the question should include what does it mean to be saved in your opinion…Or what does it mean to be In Christ?

Hey Steve.

Obviously I am not in the OSAS camp as we have talked about before. I was raised in the SBC and they believe that once you accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, your salvation can never be lost. Even growing up I always had problem with that.

To believe in Jesus Christ is to place your faith in Him. You trust that He is the Son of God, born of virgin, died and resurrected on the 3rd day for the forgiveness of sin so that we may have eternal life. One also believes that He is Lord of our lives. So what else comes with believing? Well if one believes that Jesus is lord of all, we must also obey his commands as well. I will spare you all the verses but you know we are to perform acts of love. That can be many things from feeding the poor to spreading the Gospel and making disciples of men.

Believing is placing our faith in the Lord Jesus. We must also have a living faith. If not then did we really believe to begin with?

Adam there is a difference in knowing who Jesus is and actually placing your life in Him. I believe demons are real, yet I do not follow them.

Believing in Jesus runs much deeper than just saying “I know who He is.” As GI Joes always stated, “knowing is half the battle.” Once you believe Jesus to be Lord and Savior, one must surrender their life to God as a living sacrifice. That alone is a daily struggle sometimes but one that I welcome. I have surrendered my will to God so that I shall know His will for my life.

What does it mean to be saved? By the grace of God, Jesus died and was resurrected for my sins so that I may spend eternity with Him. I could never merit His sacrifice, yet by the Grace of God through faith in Christ I am able to have that gift of salvation. All I have to do is to believe and accept that free gift. Now it doesn’t stop there. Now I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, I am commanded to fulfill certain decrees from Jesus as well. Having faith is the beginning of a personal relationship. One that I must continue to grow with faith and love.

Is Jesus a personal savior? I don’t remember that term used in church. Savior of the world I hear. Is there any difference in the way we live if we use different terms?

But isn’t that what the thief on the cross did? He believed, confessed his belief and Jesus promised him that the thief would be with him in Paradise!

Yes He is the Savior of the world, yet what does that personally do for you if you do not of your own freewill accept that free gift? By the Grace of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus is the only way we have that gift of eternal life. One must personally proclaim such faith.

When you went through confirmation, you personally proclaimed you faith.

And every Sunday when we proclaim the Creed. But it is proclaimed as individual parts of one “body”.

But one has to personally join them self to the Body of Christ. Do you agree?

Hi, Rita.

Well, as I recall, the thief’s options were pretty limited at the time. That is about all he could do. Not so for the rest of us who are not hanging on a cross. Is it enough to just confess our belief in Christ?

It seems to me that Jesus gave many examples of what believing in him would entail. We cannot pass by the man laying in the street. If someone asks for our coat we are to give him our cloak as well. We must feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, give shelter to the homeless and visit those in prison… When we have been invited to the wedding feast we must respond. IOW, believing entails DOING something. It isn’t enough to just sit and believe. Dare I say it? Works seem to be as important to our “believing in Jesus” as is our faith and trust.



The intended usage will vary from one person to another. But in general "believe in " can be one of (or a conflation of more than one) of

*]A proposition or item thought to be true or existent
*]Something that embodies someone’s position on an issue or set of issues
*]Trust, confidence,reliance, or hope
*]Similar to beloved, to have love for

There are people that “believe in” Jesus insofar as they believe there was a man with the name that walked this earth who was the inspiration of stories in the bible, but not necessarily that he was the son of God or had super natural powers. There are also those that “believe in” Jesus in the sense that as a character the traits attributed to him are agreeable, but they don’t necessarily believe that he was a real person.In recognition of this I have a tendency to avoid the phrase all together and replace it with something that is less ambiguous or less easily interpreted to mean one of the other meanings that I might not intend it to mean.

How does Scripture tell us we are joined to the Body of Christ?

John 5:39-40

39** You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life**; and it is they that bear witness to me; 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

John 6

43 Jesus answered them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44** No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him**; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46 Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. 48** I am the bread of life.** 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread[c] which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and** the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh**.”

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples,
and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”** 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the** covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

1 Corinthians

16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation[e] in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation[f] in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the practice of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar?**

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