The Meaning of “Believe”
A. THE QUESTION OF A DESPARATE MAN ANSWERED BY AN INSPIRED MAN.
B. THE ANSWER: “BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS, AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED.”
1. Some assume that this means all you have to do is believe – obedience isn’t needed.
Faith only Salvation. No such statement can be found in Scripture!
2. Some insist there is more to salvation than just believing.
C. IT IS WORTHWHILE TO STUDY THIS PASSAGE AND VITAL TO UNDERSTAND.
D. WHAT DOES THE WORD “BELIEVE” MEAN?
A. THESE PASSAGES ARE WORTHY OF NOTE.
1. John 5:24. 1 John 5:1, “begotten of God.” Acts 13:38-39, “justified.”
Acts 10:43, “remission of sins.”
2. All these passages refer to the same transaction: Believe and be saved.
B. BUT WHAT ABOUT THESE OTHER PASSAGES?
1. Heb. 5:8-9; 1 Pet. 4:17; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Rom. 6:17-18. OBEY what?
2. Condition of obedience is given (John 14:15; Luke 6:46). Commands not specified.
3. We must know if there are specific commands other than belief.
a. We must hear the gospel (John 6:44-45; Rom. 10:13-14).
b. We must believe the gospel (Rom. 1:16; 10:9-10).
c. We must repent (Acts. 17:30-31).
c. We must confess the name of Jesus (Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Tim. 6:12).
d. We must be baptized (Acts 2:41; 8:12; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 8:36-37).
4. Can one go to heaven and disobey any of these commands?
A. THEY ASKED THE SAME QUESTION (vs. 37; Acts 16:30).
B. DIFFERENT ANSWERS:
1. Pentecost (vs. 38), “repent and be baptized …”
2. Jailer (Acts 16:31) “believe on the Lord Jesus ...”
C. WHY THE DIFFERENT ANSWERS?
1. They were at different stages on conversion. How do you get to the church building?
2. Depends on the meaning of “believe” in the context.
A. SOMETIMES THE WORD “BELIEVE” IS USED IN THE GENERIC SENSE TO MEAN
ALL THE TERMS OF SALVATION, ESPECIALLY THOSE PRODUCED BY FAITH.
1. Acts 19:18; Acts 11:21, not all believers turned; Acts 18:8; 8:12; 35-38.
2. Belief is separated from other commands, is seen in conjunction with them.
3. John 12:42-43. Believed but wouldn’t confess. Saved? (Matt. 10:32-33).
4. James 2:19. “Even the demons …”
B. SOMETIMES IT IS USED IN THE SPECIFIC SENSE TO INCLUDE ONLY THE ACT OF
GIVING MENTAL ASSENT. AGREEING THAT WHAT IS SAID IS TRUE.
1. John 3:16; 20:30-31; Acts 16:1; 1 Tim. 6:1-2; Rom. 1:16.
2. Do these verses teach that you can be saved without repenting or confessing?
C. “BELIEVE,” IN THE GENERAL SENSE INCLUDES THE ENTIRE WILL OF GOD.
1. Used with “obedience” (John 3:36; Acts 14:1-2; Heb. 3:18-19).
2. Unto Salvation (Rom. 10:9-10 Belief; Acts 11:18 Repent; Rom. 10:9-10 Confess;
Acts 2:28 Baptized).
D. THE CASE OF THE JAILER – SPECIFIC OR GENERIC (Acts 16:31).
1. vs. 34. It is said that he believed in God.
2. vs. 32. Before he could believe, he had to be told what to believe.
3. vs. 33. What did he do as a result of being told what to believe.
a. He washed their stripes – a sign of his repentance.
b. He was baptized immediately, indicating not just necessity, but urgency.
A. FAITH ONLY WILL NOT JUSTIFY (James 2:24).
B. FAITH ONLY WILL NOT MAKE YOU A CHILD OF GOD (Gal. 3:26-27).
C. FAITH ONLY WILL NOT TAKE AWAY SINS (Acts 2:38).
WHERE DO YOU STAND?