What does believe mean?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by FERRON BRIMSTONE, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. FERRON BRIMSTONE

    FERRON BRIMSTONE
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    John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

    How do you define the word belive in this context?

    How would you explain it to a non-believer?
     
  2. Atonement

    Atonement
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    This is a very good topic. Thank you for posting it. In the context in which believes is used here is the Greek word

    πιστεύω

    which means to have confidence or faith in the truth of (a positive assertion) give credence to.
     
  3. Scarlett O.

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    Well, I know for sure what it is not.

    It isn't a head knowledge that Jesus is real and exists as a Deity and as the Son of God. The demons know all of that and they tremble because of their believing that Jesus is who He says He is......and their permanent residence is everlasting hell.

    Jesus said that the only way to the Father is by Him. There are millions of lost people across the centuries who have believed that Jesus was the way to God and yet they resisted and rebelled and now their permanent residence is everlasting hell.

    For "believers", what does "believe" mean? In my own unimportant opinion, I take the word "believe" in John 3:16 to mean to place my life in Jesus wounded hands and to "die" to self. It means to trust Him, as a Living Sacrifice, to the point of obedience.

    Believe is an action verb....it requires one to do something. Get beyond the head knowledge and the admission that Jesus is God's Son and obey Him.
     
  4. Lacy Evans

    Lacy Evans
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    A couple things:
    1) What is "head knowledge?" Any English definition of the word "believe" is just "believe". This head vs heart (biblically, the same, by the way) thing confounds the issue so no one knows how to get saved.

    2) James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

    Demons were never offered salvation by believing.

    Believing there "is one God" is not the gospel message.

    The context subject of James 2 is not eternal salvation. It is the faith-plus-works that a believer should exhibit in order for his "faith" to be alive and fruitful.
    conjecture. confounded. confusing



    You don't get to just "take" a definition. Truth is not relative. Faith is faith. Works is works.

    An unbeliever can only believe. He must be saved by faith alone. He doesn't need to die. Christ did all the dying for him. No amount of "obedience" would be anything more than filthy rags.

    A Christian believer is sanctified by faith mixed with works. He has a choice and free will. But he has promises be obedient, get rewards, be disobedient, get chastening.



    There is absolutely no scripture to support any part of this statement. It is all just religious cliche's. You're mixing two things that must not be mixed. No one can be saved by this "gospel". Unregenerate man has no access to the power of the holy Spirit to be "obedient". Obedience doesn't prove your saved. Obedience proves that you are obedient.

    I need no other argument, I need no other plea.
    It is enough that Jesus died, and that he died for me.

    Lacy
     
    #4 Lacy Evans, Sep 2, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2006
  5. Scarlett O.

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    I don't think that I said anything about head knowledge vs. heart knowledge.

    I did say that my own opinion was unimportant......but nonetheless, I do stand by what I said. :type:
     
  6. TaterTot

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    I heard once in a class that believe in has the connotation of "believe into"...Maybe one of the smart fellers can come and either agree or straighten me out on that...
     
  7. Lacy Evans

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    I stand corrected. What exactly did you say?

    If it tells me how to get saved, it is important, and you should stand by it.

    If I don't obey, am I saved?

    Lacy
     
  8. James_Newman

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    Is it believe with the implied 'making'? As in 'make believe you are saved, and if you work hard enough maybe it will be true'? I don't 'believe' that is the case. I think Mr. Webster hit it with this definition.

    BELIE'VE, v.t. To credit upon the authority or testimony of another; to be persuaded of the truth of something upon the declaration of another, or upon evidence furnished by reasons, arguments, and deductions of the mind, or by other circumstances, than personal knowledge. When we believe upon the authority of another, we always put confidence in his veracity.

    2 Timothy 1:12
    12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
     
  9. Scarlett O.

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    When you die to self and place your trust in Christ as the Lord of you life, including your everyday routine existence,.....you are obeying.
     
  10. FERRON BRIMSTONE

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    Do you think the following Scripture is related to the "believe" in John 3:16? If so in what way?

    Mat 13:44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
    Mat 13:45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
    Mat 13:46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.


    Mat 19:21 Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."
     
    #10 FERRON BRIMSTONE, Sep 2, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2006
  11. Scarlett O.

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    Let me highlight a few words in the same verse.

    ".......for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."

    Paul committed his life to Christ. I have, you have, and so has every other Christian.

    And there's something else common to every other Christian. We all have heard our fair share of lost people who say things like:
    • "Yeah, I know I ought to be in church."
    • "Well, I'll get right with Jesus in my own way."
    • "Me and the Man Upstairs? We have an understanding."
    • "Me and Jesus? We've had a talk and He understands."
    • "I'm getting to Heaven on my husband's/wife's coattail."
    • "Well, I haven't broken any of the 10 commandments lately."
    • "Well, I just as good a "christian" as all of you folks down at the church. If Deacon so-and-so is going to heaven, then I know I am."
    • "Am I saved? Well, I hope so."
    • "Am I saved? Well, I got "dunked" when I was a kid, so I'm in."
    • "Am I saved? Well, I walked the aisle once and got my "fire insurance."
    Many of the same lost people come to church exactly twice a year, on Easter and Christmas, and stand up with a hymnbook in their hands and sing worship songs.

    They know who God is. They know that Jesus died on the cross for their sins. They know that christians are praying for them to "be saved". They know what they should be doing.

    But they don't do it.

    They have knowledge of Christ and believe that He died for all mankind.

    But they reject Him. They don't follow Him in the obedience of committing their lives to Him.

    I'm not talking about works, folks. But I am talking about something that goes much deeper than just saying "I believe" and then never being convicted about that belief into committed yourself to Christ and His Lordship.
     
  12. LeBuick

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    I'm no smart feller but I will agree. The word implies conviction or persuaded or to place all confidence and trust.

    2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
     
  13. Hope of Glory

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    Yes, they are related in that both John 3:16 and the passages you cited have to do with ruling and reigning in the coming Kingdom and not with spiritual salvation. "Believe" in John 3:16 is a present, active, participle and "believe" as used in Acts 16:31 which has to do with being saved is in the aorist.
     
  14. FERRON BRIMSTONE

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    Mat 13:44-46 seems to me to be saying that once we realize how precious that Gods love and forgiveness is, we will treasure above everything else. He is not teaching works salvation, but how dear the Gospel will be to an individual once they recognize it.


    In Mat 19 Jesus looked into the mans heart and what was most precious to him, his money. His wealth was his God, he could not worship both, so the money would have to be taken out of the way.

    Mat 6:24 "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. ESV

    Am I wrong?
     
  15. EdSutton

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    Yep! :thumbsup:

    Ed
     
  16. EdSutton

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    You have said most of this better than I can, Lacy! Preach on, brother or sister!

    Ed
     
    #16 EdSutton, Sep 3, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2006
  17. EdSutton

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    I'll agree that you technically did not say anything about "head knowledge vs. heart knowledge". But considering what you DID say, including twice speaking about "head knowledge", would you mind explaining what you mean by that?

    It seems that this is 'implying' something, anyway, including the use of a "buzz word".

    Ed
     
  18. EdSutton

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    Good summary!

    Ed
     
  19. Scarlett O.

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    Head knowledge, in my opinion, is when you know something to be true and right.... but that's all. Head knowledge doesn't require that you embrace it.

    I know and believe that I need to clean up my den. But I'm not going to do it today. I may not even do it next week.

    I know and believe that riding in airplane is statistically safer than walking down the street. But am going to get in one? Not if I can help it.

    The demons can only have head knowledge of Christ. All they can ever "know" of him is who He is. And it does them no good whatsoever just to know He exists.

    Lost people, who know who Jesus is, but who do not submit themselves to His Lordship are in the same boat from hell as the demons are.

    There are tons of people who know who God is and have been convicted by the Holy Spirit to receive Christ's gift of salvation......and they refuse to turn their lives over to the Lordship of Christ.

    They believe there is a God, TONS of people profess to "know" and "believe" there is a "God". But so many of them refuse the gift of Jesus Christ's blood for their atonement....when they know that is what they should be doing.
     
  20. Lacy Evans

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    But right now, if faced with the choice to obey Christ or not, in a particular situation, If I yield to the flesh am I saved? Or is it proof that i was never saved? What if i obey and disobey in the same day? What does it prove?

    Lacy
     

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