What Does It Mean To Believe In Jesus?
Jesus says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). We have got to believe in Jesus in order to be saved. But what does it mean to believe in Jesus?
There is a popular false doctrine today that says you do not have to obey Jesus but only believe in Him to be saved. They say we are saved by "faith only". But the Bible says, "You believe there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe and tremble" (James 2:19). If all one has to do to be saved is believe, then the demons also will be saved. Those who believe in "faith only" are no better than the demons who are going to be eternally lost. "But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?" (James 2:20). According to the Bible the "faith only" belief is a dead and useless faith. We are to "be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves" James 1:22). A person only deceives himself if he thinks he is saved by "faith only". You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only" (James 2:24). "Faith only" is a doctrine of Satan which is going to cause many good people to be eternally lost. Satan has fooled many people into believing this false doctrine.
Only the faith that obeys is the faith that saves. Godís word says concerning Jesus, "He became the Author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him" (Hebrews 5:9). Christ has only promised to save those who obey Him. Jesus says, "Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness" (Matthew 7:21-23). These people were believers in Jesus. They called Him their Lord, but they were eternally lost because they had not done the will of the Father in heaven. They had followed their "faith only" doctrine.
Jesus says, "He who does not love Me does not keep My words" (John 14:24). If one does not believe and do everything that Jesus says, then he does not love Him. To this person Jesus asks, "But why do you call Me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46).
To believe in Jesus is to trust, and do everything Jesus and His inspired word says and for the reason He says. To believe in Jesus is to believe Him when He says, "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). One needs help to misunderstand this. Many people, who claim to believe in Jesus, defiantly say that being baptized has nothing to do with being saved. They have more faith in their denominational preacher who tells them that baptism is not necessary in being saved, than in Jesus who says that one must "believe and be baptized" to be saved.
Doing what Jesus says proves that we really believe in Him. Jesus says, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). There are many people who claim to believe in Jesus, who do not love Him. Godís word says, "He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1 John 2:4). A person may claim to believe in Jesus but if he doesnít keep all of His commandments, then he is a liar and is only deceiving himself. To believe in Jesus is to do everything He says, when He says, the way He says, for the reason He says, and only what He says.