What does "believe" really mean?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Amity, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. Amity

    Amity
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Okay, I'm going to chime in here (and make a statement that is REALLY gonna differ from my IFB brethren)

    OSAS is a doctrine that I have always battled with. My church teaches eternal security, but I guess if EVERYONE agreed with EVERYTHING in their church, well, it would be perfect and then we wouldn't be human now would we?

    Okay, so my question really points to this...if OSAS is true (which, BTW...I am completely secure in my own salvation) then we must look at what it truly means to "believe" or "have faith". God does not lie or contradict himself....and I know Paul was the one that wrote the most about "faith only" and "not works". But as I study the book of Romans more, I see that the "works" he is referring to is the works of the OT law. But he mentions the importance of obedience many, many times. Also, we see in 2 Peter 3 starting around v. 15 that Peter is reminding the recipients of that letter that sometimes Paul is hard to understand, and that people misundertand his writings "to their own destruction." Yikes. Pretty bold statement on Peter's part.

    So, my question is this. Believing in Jesus...is just saying "I believe" enough? I mean, Jesus said "love your enemies"...do you believe Him? Jesus said to repent. Do you believe Him? Jesus said "if you love me, keep my commandments". Do you believe Him?

    Luke 8:21 says, And He answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

    I'm not talking works based salvation here, I'm talking about the evidence of a Christian's faith. "Ye shall know them by their fruits."

    Please don't flame me, I'm really trying to understand...this is one doctrine I have wrestled with to no end....I grew up Methodist and was never encouraged to "study to show myself approved unto God" and have only been really, really studying daily for a couple years now.

    I'd just like to get others' perspective on this.

    God bless you all.

    Always learning,
    Amity
     
  2. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is your question about salvation?
    Becasue the works aren't for salvation or to keep salvation. They are becasue of salvation. The bible assumes(a dn tells us) to do good works reflecting our christianity to the world. But the benefit is not that people see us and judge our 'evidence'(they can't see everyting we do, therefore they do not see all the evidences either way), but they are also for an obedient personal relationship with God.
    I know I didn't actually answer you question, sorry.
     
  3. Amity

    Amity
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Well, I guess that's kind of my question. If we are not obedient, then are we truly saved? I know it's not our works that save us, but if we are "God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works that we should walk in them", but we don't....Is our heart really there? Do we "truly" believe on Jesus?
     
  4. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    But is that to say if we see a christian being disobedient they are not really saved? And are we to decide that(thier salvation)? And isn't disobedience sin? If so then if a christian sins are they really christians? Have you ever disobeyed God? If so are you really a christian?
    People are different levels of growth, we aren't automatically adult fully mature christians the moment we are saved. We need to give people the room to grow without judging them unsaved. It isn't the moment (everyone has bad moments)that tells if your a christian but the lifetime.
     
  5. Amity

    Amity
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Yeah, thanks. I now know my OP may have sounded judgmental, and it wasn't my intent. I actually got a SUPER answer to my question at another board....that I am at peace with. And your responses have been thought provoking as well. Thanks. [​IMG]

    I'm not discouraging you or others to still chime in, but just to let you know I think I understand now.

    God bless you.
     
  6. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Believe or belief would generally mean to have confidence in ,to trust and rely on something or someone (in our case that would be God).

    I tried to keep it simple and put it in a few words. Amity it might be a good idea to get yourself a Vines Concise Dictionary of Bible Words. Vines is simple ,reasonably accurate and inexpensive (only about $13 in paperback).There are also Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias in E-Sword which is online and free. E-Sword also has many other Bible helps.E-Sword can be downloaded for free fight on the internet. Just type e-sword in your seach box and hit find. When the selctions pop up it will be easy to select and start downloading.
    Good luck in your studies and God Bless.
     
  7. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,782
    Likes Received:
    0
    Believe, as a plain word, is ambiguous. It might mean your opinion, as in I believe that, historically, Carl Marx really did exist. Does that mean I believe in Carl Marx? In one way, it does, and in another way, it does not. There. That is the ambiguity.

    Normally, to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God would imply you've taken the logical step, having that opinion, and started to trust Him for your eternal life and salvation. But that isn't necessarily so! James pointed out even the demons believe and yet instead of having salvation, they tremble. Because there is no commitment to Him.

    But if we make a heartfelt commitment to following Him as our Lord and Savior . . . THEN we have believed unto salvation.

    Such a commitment, over time, will naturally display some works as evidence of that commitment. The works are not a requisite of the belief - but as James put it, show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith by my works!
     
  8. Amity

    Amity
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    AMEN!!

    Thanks fellas!!
     
  9. superdave

    superdave
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    2,055
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your question is a good one.

    I know many of the 123-pray after me folks might not like it, but saying you "believe" and praying a prayer does not make you a possessor of saving faith.

    Those who as you point out, "believe" and than fall away, are those who John said, went out from us because they were not of us. They didn't lose anything, cause you can't lose what you never had.

    That is why I can hold to OSAS and reconcile it with those who supposedly fall away from their faith. There are plenty of Phonies out there who have been cleaned up on the outside, but never really had a repentant heart.

    The fruit in someones life, long term, is really the only indicator we have to determine who is serious, and who is merely professing to be saved. And even that is not foolproof, many will say Lord, Lord, and be told to depart.
     
  10. Amity

    Amity
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    excellent perspective, superdave!!! thank you!

    i never got the "say a prayer, go to heaven" either. hmmmm......

    and i won't elaborate....i'm not judging others...just re-examining myself I suppose...

    (yes, I KNOW i'm saved.....now....12 years ago? not sure....)
     
  11. James_Newman

    James_Newman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    5,013
    Likes Received:
    0
    James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

    The devils believe what? That there is one God? And they arent saved by this? Go figure. That isn't the gospel for one thing. The muslims also believe there is one God, should we think they could believe this a little harder and add some works to it, and be saved? For another, Jesus Christ didn't die so that devils might be saved. A devil cannot believe on Jesus Christ to be saved, because He did not die for the devils. Using this verse to say that simple belief doesn't save you is just a straw man. The book of James is written to those who are already saved.
     
  12. mountainrun

    mountainrun
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    0
    Amity, would you share with us the answer you got on the other board?

    Great answers to difficult questions are always of value.

    MR
     
  13. Amity

    Amity
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    certainly. but a little disclaimer....it was from a non-baptist....but here ya go:

     
  14. StraightAndNarrow

    StraightAndNarrow
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Messages:
    2,508
    Likes Received:
    3
    "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." (Hebrews 4:11)

    "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." (Hebrews 10:26-27)

    "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21)
     
  15. mountainrun

    mountainrun
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ah, now if we could only see all the hidden good works of those whose salvation we doubt and the hidden sins of those who judge them.

    Do you suppose we might not be able to tell them apart?


    ===========
    ...The Lord does not look at the things a man looks at. Man judges by outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.

    {1st Samuel 16:7}

    If we could see into a backsliders heart and feel the grief that they feel for disobeying the Lord time and again and the futility and frustration they feel for stumbling in their walk with Him, maybe we wouldn't be so quick to judge.

    =========
    However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
    {Romans 4:5}

    MR
     
  16. Amity

    Amity
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    I been studyin this one. Lots this weekend. But my study partner isn't baptist so I don't believe I can post it here.

    God bless you in your studies.
    In Christian love.
    Amity
     
  17. StraightAndNarrow

    StraightAndNarrow
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Messages:
    2,508
    Likes Received:
    3
    Why are the righteous defined by their works in Jesus' description of the Judgement?


    Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
    Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth [his] sheep from the goats:
    Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
    Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
    Mat 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    Mat 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed [thee]? or thirsty, and gave [thee] drink?
    Mat 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took [thee] in? or naked, and clothed [thee]?
    Mat 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.
    Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
    Mat 25:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    Mat 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
    Mat 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    Mat 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did [it] not to one of the least of these, ye did [it] not to me.
    Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
     
  18. Amity

    Amity
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    that is an EXCELLENT question, straightandnarrow.

    God bless.
     
  19. Scott J

    Scott J
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,462
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you believe something it will change your attitude/worldview. Your attitude/worldview dictates your behavior.

    If your behavior doesn't change and continue to change toward Christlikeness then that represents a strong proof that you do not truly believe. I am not advocating the ideas of humans reaching a state of sinlessness but rather a general, persistent direction of life.
     
  20. superdave

    superdave
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    2,055
    Likes Received:
    0
    I concur Scott, its not about the behavior, its about a changed heart that creates good behavior
     

Share This Page

Loading...