What Does It Mean to Believe in Jesus?

Lynn

Well-Known Member
You are very welcome, Donna. I'm just so glad you are here at Rapture Forums.
If you do decide to try BSF, if you get registered, and go one time to do this, then you can print the questions off on your computer at home. I would love to go myself, but we drive almost an hour from home to attend church, and the nearest BSF class is an hour away also. I did it two years, but all the driving is a lot. Blessings to you. I will be praying for you. It would help to read gospel of John again. That helps me.
 

donna1951

Well-Known Member
You are very welcome, Donna. I'm just so glad you are here at Rapture Forums.
If you do decide to try BSF, if you get registered, and go one time to do this, then you can print the questions off on your computer at home. I would love to go myself, but we drive almost an hour from home to attend church, and the nearest BSF class is an hour away also. I did it two years, but all the driving is a lot. Blessings to you. I will be praying for you. It would help to read gospel of John again. That helps me.
Thank you so very much Lynn for your kindness.
 

ldonjohn

Well-Known Member
Thank you so much Lynn for the encouragement.
My problem is that I believe all his promises and his word, but I just need to know its for me
too. I know God doesen't lie,but I get scared that maybe I am not believing the right way,
I know it is faith alone. It's just so very hard to explain.
donna, before the Holy Spirit showed me the true meaning of "believing" I believed enough in Jesus to know that I was a sinner who needed a savior. I would try to work up some sense of strong "faith" and then say the sinners' prayer. Doing that would give me some relief from the doubts & fear for awhile but soon I would start to think that maybe I didn't have enough faith for Jesus to accept my prayer.

Donna, can you see that I was looking at "my" ability to do enough, to have enough faith, to believe enough, etc. to get Jesus to accept me? My problem was that even though I believed in Jesus, I didn't believe Him. IOW, I didn't trust Him to do what He said He would do in John 6:37 "All the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will not turn away or reject." I was focused on myself instead of being focused on Jesus and on His "finished" work on the cross. When the Holy Spirit showed me John 6:37, and convinced me that Jesus means what He said there, then my trust transferred from me to Jesus. IOW, I was convinced that Jesus accepted me when I called out to Him. So, faith in Jesus or "believing" in Jesus is not only believing that He is God who became a man and died on the cross to pay for our sins, but it is also believing that He will do what He says He will do, I'm trying to explain the "faith" that God gave me that night as I was reading the Gospel of John, and the only way I can explain it is that the Holy Spirit actually made a believer out of me because by the time I had read through John chapter 6, I was totally convinced that Jesus was waiting for me to come to Him. That moment I found myself talking to Jesus as though He was right there in my kitchen with me, and I wasn't thinking of how much faith I had. I just wanted to thank Him for dying on the cross for me, and I told him I wanted Him to change me His way. Can you see that my faith was focused on Jesus and not on myself. IOW, my faith transferred from me to Jesus. Immediately an enormous burden of fear was taken from me and for the first time in my life I had peace. That was about 40 years ago, and today I still have that peace.

Donna, you said that you aren't sure salvation is for you; well Jesus said He came to save sinners. If you are a sinner then He came to save YOU. Do you believe what He said? Get your mind off of yourself and on Jesus. It's about Him, it's about what He did not about what you can do. Jesus is God & He cannot lie. He said if you will come to Him that He will not turn you way. Do you believe what He said? Do you believe Him?

Don
 
Last edited:

Hol

Worships Him
Donna, we are each so unique, yet the same in many ways. As I was unsure of my salvation and because I can be pretty dopey, the Lord kept reminding me of that the fact that He kept teaching me His Word. Doubts would come and I would realize He was still bringing me to Scripture! Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God. Romans 10:17.

Your love for the soteriology messages shows a natural love for God's Word! Ask the Lord to show you how unique you are!
 

ldonjohn

Well-Known Member
"Believe," biblically was not simply acknowledgement of His existence. As James reminds us, even the demons get that far. Biblically, to believe in Jesus is to put your entire trust in Him, and therefore your life.
That is the point of the article which is basically my testimony of how I became a "real" believer. Before I wrote & published this article I thought I was probably the only person who struggled with the meaning of "believe in Jesus;" therefore I was reluctant to post the article on the RR & RF websites. To my surprise the day after the article was posted on the RR main page I received many emails from readers who thanked me for writing the article & who also expressed their own struggle with "believing."
 

Len

Well-Known Member
Believe," biblically was not simply acknowledgement of His existence. As James reminds us, even the demons get that far. Biblically, to believe in Jesus is to put your entire trust in Him, and therefore your life.
Even to know it as the demons do.......yes I fear that is where I am ...... and that is the problem for quite a few people, we know the truth but it has not set us free, on the contrary it has made our lives even more complex, depressing dare I say joyless for no matter what verse or chapter we read our hearts condem us at every turn of the page, tormented that our hearts are not right before God because we do not "know" Jesus as our saviour and Lord but only as Judge..... I have always believed that once saved you are always saved this mainly from observation of people as I see God the spirit at work in their lives, and this verse rings loud for them "for there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus the Lord"..... I know the words of life because Jesus is the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the father but by Him, but I have eyes and cannot see, I have ears but do not hear and my heart remains a rock no matter how I try to access that throne of grace by tears, prayer or reading the bible ...... the Holy Spirit's presence in your lifes core is the sure sign of belief, doubt is gone and you know in your heart that Jesus is King, Saviour, but more importantly to some that Jesus lord ....... unlike the demons who know who Jesus is I want Jesus as Lord and as saviour as once you have heard the message all you can say is "Lord to whom can we go? It is YOU that have the words of eternal life" speak them Lord to me, touch me Lord, lift me up, let me touch the hem of your garment and I WILL be made whole......... this is the cry that keeps us treading the path looking for Gods redemption, perhaps another good reason for the rapture and tribulation saints, to give those who are unable to understand for whatever reason to go through the begining of the tribulation and choose death to find life......... just sayin is all.
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
God did not disappoint me. As I read through the Gospel of John God showed me the true grounds for having a settled peace with Him. He showed me that all of my efforts of repeating the prayers, confessing sin, making promises to Him, etc. were not faith in Him but faith in myself. God showed me that I must cease from all of my efforts to find the assurance I was so desperately seeking and to just trust in what Jesus had already done. When the Holy Spirit opened my spiritual eyes to the truth of the Gospel and I saw that my salvation rested only in the finished work of Jesus at the cross, that my sins were nailed to the cross with Him, and that when He said “it is finished” that He meant that my sin debt to God was “paid in full” with His Blood that He shed there, then an enormous sense of relief immediately filled my troubled soul.
When folks stop trying to assist Jesus in keeping their salvation, they would most certainly have assurance of salvation simply by their belief in who He is, and what He has already done, and there is nothing we can ever add or take away from these facts.
 

ldonjohn

Well-Known Member
Even to know it as the demons do.......yes I fear that is where I am ...... and that is the problem for quite a few people, we know the truth but it has not set us free, on the contrary it has made our lives even more complex, depressing dare I say joyless for no matter what verse or chapter we read our hearts condem us at every turn of the page, tormented that our hearts are not right before God because we do not "know" Jesus as our saviour and Lord but only as Judge..... I have always believed that once saved you are always saved this mainly from observation of people as I see God the spirit at work in their lives, and this verse rings loud for them "for there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus the Lord"..... I know the words of life because Jesus is the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the father but by Him, but I have eyes and cannot see, I have ears but do not hear and my heart remains a rock no matter how I try to access that throne of grace by tears, prayer or reading the bible ...... the Holy Spirit's presence in your lifes core is the sure sign of belief, doubt is gone and you know in your heart that Jesus is King, Saviour, but more importantly to some that Jesus lord ....... unlike the demons who know who Jesus is I want Jesus as Lord and as saviour as once you have heard the message all you can say is "Lord to whom can we go? It is YOU that have the words of eternal life" speak them Lord to me, touch me Lord, lift me up, let me touch the hem of your garment and I WILL be made whole......... this is the cry that keeps us treading the path looking for Gods redemption, perhaps another good reason for the rapture and tribulation saints, to give those who are unable to understand for whatever reason to go through the begining of the tribulation and choose death to find life......... just sayin is all.
Dear Len,

May I suggest 2 articles by the late Dr. John R Rice? They might help you with your struggle. Links are below.


1. "How to Come to Jesus?"

http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=10522


2. "What Must I do to be Saved?"

http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=10572
 

ldonjohn

Well-Known Member
Even to know it as the demons do.......yes I fear that is where I am ...... and that is the problem for quite a few people, we know the truth but it has not set us free, on the contrary it has made our lives even more complex, depressing dare I say joyless for no matter what verse or chapter we read our hearts condem us at every turn of the page, tormented that our hearts are not right before God because we do not "know" Jesus as our saviour and Lord but only as Judge..... I have always believed that once saved you are always saved this mainly from observation of people as I see God the spirit at work in their lives, and this verse rings loud for them "for there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus the Lord"..... I know the words of life because Jesus is the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the father but by Him, but I have eyes and cannot see, I have ears but do not hear and my heart remains a rock no matter how I try to access that throne of grace by tears, prayer or reading the bible ...... the Holy Spirit's presence in your lifes core is the sure sign of belief, doubt is gone and you know in your heart that Jesus is King, Saviour, but more importantly to some that Jesus lord ....... unlike the demons who know who Jesus is I want Jesus as Lord and as saviour as once you have heard the message all you can say is "Lord to whom can we go? It is YOU that have the words of eternal life" speak them Lord to me, touch me Lord, lift me up, let me touch the hem of your garment and I WILL be made whole......... this is the cry that keeps us treading the path looking for Gods redemption, perhaps another good reason for the rapture and tribulation saints, to give those who are unable to understand for whatever reason to go through the begining of the tribulation and choose death to find life......... just sayin is all.
Len,

If you know that you are a sinner who needs his/her sins forgiven, and you know that Jesus is God who became a man so He could pay the penalty for your sins then I suspect that you do have the presence of the Holy Spirit in you life.

Jesus said in the Gospel of John that if we don't believe in Him we will die in our sins. He said that God is a Spirit and we must worship Him in spirit & in truth. He told the Pharisees that even though they search the scriptures looking for eternal life, those scriptures testify of Him, Jesus, but they won't come to Him to receive eternal life that only He can give. He said that no one can come to Him unless the Father draw the person to Him, to Jesus, and that everyone who has learned from the Father will come to Him. Then Jesus said that He will NOT reject anyone who comes to Him. The Holy Spirit is drawing you to Jesus.

So, let's put all of what Jesus said into our perspective.

  1. We hear from God's Word that we are unrighteous sinners who have been separated from God.

  2. If we will hear that message, the Holy Spirit will convict us that we are a sinner who needs to be forgiven.

  3. The Holy Spirit convinces us that Jesus' death on the cross & His shed blood there is God's way to redeem us back to Himself.

  4. The Holy Spirit continues to draw us to Jesus.

  5. The devil knows Jesus, he knows or believes that Jesus is God, he knows that Jesus paid our sin debt to God when He died on the cross, he believes in Jesus but he knows that he CANNOT come to Jesus for forgiveness. The devil knows his final destination is the lake of fire & he wants to take us with him to that place. Therefore the devil will do everything he can do to keep us from believing in Jesus. The devil might convince us that if we will clean up our lives that we will be righteous enough to be accepted by God. He might introduce us to false teachings that are contrary to the truth of the Gospel message. He might cause us to focus on ourselves, on things we can do to be saved as the Holy Spirit works to draw us to Jesus, so that we become confused about how to believe in Jesus. There are many ways the devil works to deceive us and to prevent us from coming to Jesus.

  6. Some of us find the Gospel message to be clear & simple, and we are easily drawn to believe Jesus for forgiveness of our sin and to receive the new life only He can give. But, some of us allow the devil to get a foot hold in our lives and the simplicity of the Gospel becomes a seemingly difficult process that takes us down a pathway that is obstructed with confusion, fear, uncertainty, & misery.

  7. Some of us who find ourselves confused & uncertain about how to “believe” in Jesus have concluded that we will never find an absolute assurance that God has heard our pleading for salvation. We “believe” we will never know that we have been saved.
Len, if you read the article you know that about 40 years ago I found myself at step 7. But, today I know that my sins are forgiven and that I have been born again. Without repeating my testimony here I will attempt to describe exactly how I found the true meaning of “believe in Jesus.”

Again, in the Gospel of John, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit must draw us to Jesus, and that we must believe in Him. I'm not a minister, not a pastor, not trained to counsel people; no I'm someone who once was blinded to the truth of the Gospel because I could not see beyond myself. I was focused on “me.” I thought God wanted me to turn from & confess my sin, promise to follow Jesus the rest of my life, walk down the isle of church, fall on my knees, and say a prayer in “Jesus name” begging Him to save me, and do all of that with great faith. I did those things several times plus said the sinners' prayer so many times that I lost count. Those things were done in faith in self; not faith in Jesus. Yes, I knew that Jesus died on the cross, but I did not get it. I did not “get it” that just before He died on the cross Jesus said “it is finished!” I could not see that Jesus took care of my sin at the cross, all of it! I was focused on what “I” was doing to get God to save me. Yes, I was so blinded to the truth that Jesus had already done all that God required for my sins to be forgiven that I could not bring myself to just simply allow my troubled soul to rest in that message. And, that, my friend is the true meaning of “believe in Jesus.”

Hope you will forgive me for repeating part of my testimony here, but I need to explain how the Holy Spirit brought me out of the darkness of “self” into the light of the Gospel. Only when I gave up on all the things I was doing to get God to save me, and turned to Him in a sense of helpless desperation did I find that which I believed I would NEVER find!

The answer was right in front of me. No, Jesus did not come into my room and tell me I was saved. He did not appear to me in a vision. I did not hear God's voice from heaven. I was reading the Gospel of John hoping to find something that would convince me that Jesus was real and that He would hear my prayer. I did not know what I would find there as I read in God's Word. I wasn't certain that the bible was really true, but I was ready to accept whatever I found there if it convinced me that it was the truth. Thank God, the Holy Spirit took over, removed the blindness from me, and allowed me to see the truth. He turned on the light and I GOT IT! Finally, I saw the truth of the Gospel. I realized that God didn't need me to do anything! “It is finished!” meant that Jesus took my sin to the cross & paid the penalty for me “in full!” It was a done deal. All I had to do was to accept it for myself. When “I got it” an enormous sense of relief overwhelmed me, and my trust went from “me” to Jesus. Then I found myself calling on Jesus; not to beg Him to save me, but because I had just become a true “believer in Jesus,” and I wanted to thank Him for what He did for me and to tell Him that I wanted Him to change my life. He did change my life that day. He gave me the power, His power, to turn from my sin. He changed the focus of my life so that it is not about “me.” He gave me the ability to understand God's Word. My life is different today in many ways, and one of the greatest things Jesus did for me other than forgive my sin is He gave me peace. Jesus gave me a peace that is impossible to explain to someone who has never experienced that peace for themselves.

Len, if I could summarize this post I would do so by just saying, “Stop looking at what you are doing to get God to save you and focus on the finished work of Jesus on the cross.” The Holy Spirit is drawing you to Jesus. Jesus said He will not reject anyone who comes o Him to receive His forgiveness; His pardon from your sin. You may ask, “How do I come to Him?” Well, that might be different for each one of us. Dr. John R. Rice offered an excellent explanation of how one could come to Jesus in the articles I suggested in an earlier post. Many people believe they must say a prayer, but remember it isn't the prayer that saves. If you say a prayer to be saved because the preacher told you that if you would say the prayer you would be saved, then are you trusting in Jesus or are in your prayer? Think about that. But, what if the preacher preaches a salvation message and the Holy Spirit turns on the light for you so that you “get it” and then you say a prayer because you want to trust Jesus to save you, would that be trusting in Jesus instead of trusting in your prayer? Do you see the difference in the two prayers?


Len, I have already written more here than I meant to write so I'll stop now. Hope this might help you. Don't give up on God; give up on self.



Don
 
Last edited:

Hol

Worships Him
Many people believe they must say a prayer, but remember it isn't the prayer that saves. If you say a prayer to be saved because the preacher told you that if you would say the prayer you would be saved, then are you trusting in Jesus or are in your prayer? Think about that. But, what if the preacher preaches a salvation message and the Holy Spirit turns on the light for you so that you “get it” and then you say a prayer because you want to trust Jesus to save you, would that be trusting in Jesus instead of trusting in your prayer? Do you see the difference in the two prayers?
My favorite part Don!
 

Len

Well-Known Member
My favourite part .....
When “I got it” an enormous sense of relief overwhelmed me, and my trust went from “me” to Jesus. Then I found myself calling on Jesus; not to beg Him to save me, but because I had just become a true “believer in Jesus,” and I wanted to thank Him for what He did for me and to tell Him that I wanted Him to change my life. He did change my life that day. He gave me the power. His power, to turn from my sin. He changed the focus of my life so that it is not about “me.” He gave me the ability to understand God's Word.
Oh yes ...... this is what I yearn for .....

Thank you for your insight Don, I do know what you say is correct as I see it in many other Christians and desire and covert this pearl of great price myself but so far I cant get past the prayer I guess ......... thanks for your discernment, direction and encouragement
 
Last edited:

Hol

Worships Him
Thank you for your insight Don, I do know what you say is correct as I see it in many other Christians and desire and covert this pearl of great price myself but so far I cant get past the prayer I guess ......... thanks for your direction and encouragement
Len, your longing must please our Heavenly Father in a deep way. :hug
 

ldonjohn

Well-Known Member
My favourite part ..... Oh yes ...... this is what I yearn for .....

Thank you for your insight Don, I do know what you say is correct as I see it in many other Christians and desire and covert this pearl of great price myself but so far I cant get past the prayer I guess ......... thanks for your direction and encouragement
Len, the prayer itself isn't important. The REASON you say the prayer is the difference between trusting in self, or in a preacher,etc., or in trusting the finished work of Jesus on the cross.

Don't dwell on your prayer, instead focus your mind on the fact that the penalty for your sins has already been paid, "in full" by Jesus. When Jesus said "it is finished" He was saying that your "sin debt," and mine, is paid. The sin debt we owe God could not be paid by us even if we were nailed to a cross & died there for our sins since God would not accept that as payment for our sins because our blood is tainted by sin, but Jesus IS God & He could NOT sin, therefore His blood was NOT tainted And God did accept His shed blood as FULL PAYMENT for our sin debt to Him. Can you not see that? Jesus took our sins to the cross, He is our sin barrier; He took care of the sin problem, it is a done deal, "it is finished!" Dwell on that message. Think about it more than you think about you prayer; you prayer did NOT pay for your sins!

The Hymn "It Is Well with My Soul" by Spafford, third verse says it best:

My sin oh the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross & I bare it no more
Praise the Lord Praise the Lord oh my soul


Don
 

ldonjohn

Well-Known Member
My favourite part ..... Oh yes ...... this is what I yearn for .....

Thank you for your insight Don, I do know what you say is correct as I see it in many other Christians and desire and covert this pearl of great price myself but so far I cant get past the prayer I guess ......... thanks for your direction and encouragement
Len, your prayer isn't important, but the REASON for saying the prayer is the difference in whether your faith is "saving faith" or "misplaced faith." That was one of the points I was trying to make in my last post. It's the difference in trusting "self" or trusting Jesus.
Don't continue to dwell on your prayer; instead focus your mind on the fact that Jesus has already taken care of your sin problem; and mine. Just before Jesus died on the cross He said "it is finished." He was saying that we owe God a debt, a "sin debt" that only He could pay. God could NOT accept any payment we might offer to Him for that debt. IOW, if we were to be nailed to the cross so that we shed our own blood & died there for our sins that would not be accepted by God a payment for our debt because our blood in tainted by our sin. But, Jesus IS God & He cannot sin, therefore He is the ONLY ONE who could go to the cross in our place, shed His blood, and die there to pay our sin debt, and God did accept the blood Jesus shed there as "payment in full" for our sin debt. That is the message of the Gospel. That is God's Way to redeem us back to Himself. That is the object of saving faith.

Misplaced faith, faith that cannot save, is anything you do, thinking God will save you because YOU did it; like hoping God will save you because you say a prayer begging Him to save you. God wants you to trust in the Gospel message. IOW, He wants bring you to the end of looking at self to a place where you will come to a complete confidence in the Gospel forgetting anything YOU can do, and simply resting in His finished work. Then you will probably say a prayer for the right reason in which your faith is directed towards Jesus' finished work on the cross. Remember, Len, your prayer does Not save you. You are saved through your faith if the object of your faith is Jesus' finished work on the cross. The weakest faith in Jesus is saving faith.

Sorry, Len, but I just can't respond without writing a lengthy post. Hope you aren't bored with me.

Don
 
Top