What does it mean to believe in Jesus?

by Sajal

Rick Brentlinger Answers -

Excellent question Sajal. Many people have no idea how to believe in Jesus to get saved. The Bible says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).

But how does one believe on Jesus? How can we know we have believed on Him the right way?

Do you know:
What it means to believe in Jesus?

Some people say, "I've always believed in Jesus. I've always believed the Bible yet I don't know for sure that I'm saved."

The little word "faith" sometimes confuses people - yet it is faith that makes salvation so simple and so easy that we have a hard time accepting it.

God does not want us to live in uncertainty. God wants us to know and understand what "believing" means. Therefore I want to tell you, as simply as I know how, what it means to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 1:12 says, "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name."

You know that Jesus is the Savior and that according to Romans 3:23, "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

Everyone on earth is born a sinner. In plainer words, even little babies have a sin nature though they are not constantly sinning.

Everyone is born in sin and destined for hell until God intervenes. But how does God intervene?

God intervenes in the person of Jesus Christ. You know that when Jesus died on the Cross, He was taking your place. He died for you as your substitute, your Savior - IF you will trust Him.

Romans 10:13 says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

In other words, God says, "I have given you the record of how I love you, and I have sent Jesus into the world to die for you. I have told you that if you will receive Jesus, I will make you My child.

I have told you all of this in the Bible. Now when you are ready to repent and receive My Son, just ask and I will save you."

We are saved:
by grace alone
through faith alone
in Christ alone

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works..." Ephesians 2:8-9

Faith is believing what God said and then acting on it. Notice, I did not say "believing IN God," but believing God.

God says, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13

God wants you to BELIEVE Him. God wants you to KNOW you are saved because He said He would save you. That is believing God. He wants you to trust Him to do exactly what He said He would do - and He said He would save you if you call on Him.

Have you sincerely asked God to save you? Have you believed God? It does not matter how you FEEL about it - God wants you to believe Him and what He says in His Word.

Faith is believing what God said

He said if I would call upon Him, He would save me. I have sincerely called - and I know He saved me because He said He would.

You can pray right now and
trust Jesus as your Savior

"Lord Jesus, I need You.

Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins.

I admit that I am a sinner. I'm sorry for my sins. I repent and ask forgiveness.

I believe that Jesus shed His blood on the cross to pay for my sins.

I believe that you raised Jesus from the dead to prove that you accepted His payment for my sins.

I open the door of my heart and receive You as my Savior. I'm trusting you alone to save me.

Lord Jesus, please help me live for you all the days of my life.

Thank you for saving me from my sins.

In Jesus' Name, Amen."

Helpful Links For
Growing Christians

Find out for yourself, Who Is Jesus?

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God saves you forever - here's what happened.

Many Christians wonder, How can I tell others about Jesus? Here is helpful information about How To Witness for Jesus.

These short, interesting videos help you get over your fear of witnessing.

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Comments for What does it mean to believe in Jesus?

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Jul 17, 2013
do not add or take away
by: Anonymous

Don't the Scriptures teach that one should not add to or take away from them? Yet by adding the word "alone" to what you teach about faith and grace you have twisted the Scriptures to what you want them to say.

Rick's comment: Romans 3-5 and Galatians 2-5 make it clear that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. May I gently encourage you to read those chapters and see for yourself?

Secondly, the Scriptures do not teach that we are born in sin. We choose to sin it is not inherited.

Rick's comment: The Bible teaches that we did inherit our sin nature from Adam. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" Romans 5:12

Third in importance, immorality is sinful. I may love you as a person but I do not accept your sinful life style it is contrary to what the Scriptures teach us.

Rick's comment: Isn't it incredibly judgmental of you to accuse me of having a sinful lifestyle? You don't know me so you are just imagining that I have a sinful lifestyle. Why would you do that?

Jul 18, 2013
Romans 5-8 - flesh vs. spirit
by: ralphm

I would like to extend this interesting discussion to Romans 5-8. I have trouble understanding this. Yes, I know there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (this is why I put this comment here, it fits into the topic). But Romans 5-8 is very complex, it deals with the topic that if we are saved, we still need to avoid sin (to say it in my limited English). I have trouble with this, because as gay christian I cannot fully deny my bodily desires, my "lust". Specifically, look atthis part of Romans 8:4-5:

"4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit."

Yes I believe that I'm saved by grace, through faith. But how can I still enjoy sex in a committed relationship (homosexual in my case, but this doesn't really matter here) if I run the risk of being "one who walks after the flesh"? Where do we draw the line? I personally think it matters where our heart is. Do we love God with our hearts and walk in his ways - or are our hearts set on the world. If we truly love God, we can also enjoy our bodily desires. I hope you understand what I mean and where I struggle. What do you think?

Rick's comment: Paul is making a theological argument based on justification by faith. "Walk after the flesh" describes an unsaved man. "Walk after the Spirit" describes a saved man. Walk after the flesh is not talking about individual sins a believer might commit after he gets saved. Walk after the flesh is not talking about living in lust instead of living in holiness.

That is not at all Paul's argument. Paul is contrasting law and grace, unsaved and saved. People who try to earn salvation by their own good works are walking after the flesh. People who receive Jesus Christ as Savior and all-sufficient sacrifice for all their sins, are walking after the Spirit.

Jul 19, 2013
No condemnation in Christ
by: Anonymous

Paul makes two interesting statements the first "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus". Romans 8:1

Question--How do the Scriptures teach one gets into Christ?

Rick's comment: You are placed into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit through spiritual baptism, NEVER by water baptism. Salvation is always by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

Secondly, Paul says that one is justified by the blood of Christ--read it here: "Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him" Romans 5:9

Another question--How does one contact Christ's blood?

Rick's comment: Nothing in Romans 5:9 suggests or implies that you need to contact the blood of Christ to get saved. One thing we know for certain is that no one ever got saved by contacting the blood of Christ in the waters of the baptismal pool. Hope this is helpful.

Jul 19, 2013
Inherit a sinful nature?
by: Anonymous

The Scriptures do not teach that we inherit a sinful nature and the Scripture you are using to show this, Romans 5:12, does not.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--
(Romans 5:12)

The verse makes a simple statement of fact Adam sinned and because of that sin physical death came upon all mankind. The second part of the verse referring to spiritual death spread to all because of individual sin not Adam's sin.

Rick's comment: I believe you are misinterpreting this verse. Since all of the human race is descended from Adam, we inherited his biological nature as well as his spiritually fallen nature or his sin nature. That is what the verse tells us and that is how Christians have understood this verse since AD 58, when Paul wrote it.

all have sinned: means that all of human kind were naturally and seminally in Adam because he was the common parent of mankind, he had all human nature in him, and was also the covenant head and representative of all his posterity.

That means that all of the human race was in Adam both naturally and federally, and so all of us "sinned in Adam" and fell with him by his first transgression into condemnation and death, a condition we inherited by virtue of being descended from Adam. From Adam we inherited a sin nature just like we inherited hair color and every other genetic disposition.

More info in my four part series beginning here.

Was Adam a real man, part 1

Apr 29, 2014
Worried about losing my salvation
by: Henry

Something that I found last night scared me a bit, and I'm worried that God may reject me and/or people I care about at the time we die, despite us pursuing God but still being sinners.

What does 1 John 2:4 and 2:15-17 mean? Does this contradict Eternal Security? And when someone believes in God, accepts Christ, and believes they're going to Heaven, could they ever be wrong and God casts them to Hell at the time they die?

Rick's comment: Hi Henry - No, 1 John does not contradict eternal security. In John's day, Gnostic unbelievers claimed higher knowledge of God yet made no attempt to obey God. They claimed to know God and to know more about God, to be closer to God than real Christians yet their lives did not demonstrate any knowledge of God. Gnostics believed you could know God without it changing your life, without being holy, without becoming more like God.

So to correct their error, John points out that saved people will increasingly lead a righteous life or a holy life, for God is righteous and holy. John does not say that saved people will be sinless because he has already said that anyone who claims to be sinless is lying, 1 John 1:10.

Yet a saved person will be moving in a direction which displays the righteousness of God by obedience to God, in plainer words, a progression toward holiness. John's topic is sanctification.

V. 3 - know him = keep his commandments.

V. 4 - to know God must be more than an empty claim; truly knowing God radically changes your life.

V. 5 - in him, that is, in Christ means you are a new creature, cp. 2 Cor 5:17.

V. 6 - abide in him. John describes progressive sanctification, not perfection, not being sinless but growing closer to and more obedient and more like Jesus Christ.

When you get saved, God gives you the permanently indwelling Holy Spirit. He provides assurance of salvation by bearing witness in your spirit, in your heart, that you belong to God. The blessed Holy Spirit leads you into all truth and provides power to live for Jesus.

May 12, 2014
1 John 3:10
by: Henry

Hi. I'm sorry for bothering you, but there are some things to ask:

1. What does 1 John 3:10 mean? And does it contradict eternal security and no need of works? I thought there was a verse in the bible that said we are justified by faith even without works.
And I read your page here and have it added to favorites: http://www.gaychristian101.com/Eternal-Security.html But that is another reason why I am confused.

2. It is probably because of this verse that my parents, particularly my mom, called me a child of the devil due to being gay. What are your views on this, if you don't mind?

Rick's comment: Hi Henry - please reread my answer to your question just above this one. 1 John is not talking about anyone losing his salvation. John is addressing Gnostics who had a lot of false views.

No gay person is a child of the devil if s(he) has trusted Jesus Christ for salvation. There is only one way to get victory over the idea that you can lose your salvation. That is to learn what the Bible says in context.

To help you do that, I have more than 300 pages of FREE Bible study which you can print out and work your way through to teach yourself the Bible. Here's the starter page.

FREE Bible Study Downloads

May 15, 2014
not faith alone
by: Alan

If Paul is teaching, as you declare, that salvation is by faith alone, Christ alone, and grace alone (this statement is a contradiction in itself) then he is contradicting the Hebrew writer who states: "And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him" (Hebrews 5:9).

Rick's comment: Hi Alan - I believe Paul is the author of Hebrews. Notice though, to whom Paul was writing. To the Hebrews. He is writing to Jews who grew up under law, obeying Moses' Law, keeping Torah.

Jesus' message to the Jews was: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." Mark 1:15

That is what Paul has in mind in Hebrews 5:9 when he tells his Hebrew readers to obey. The idea is, Obey your Messiah! Obey Jesus! He told you to repent and believe the gospel. When are you going to obey Jesus instead of trusting your works of the law and works of the flesh?

Remember what Paul wrote in Romans 10:4ff. - "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved..."

There is no contradiction between Paul and James or between Paul and Hebrews. There is simply a different approach to Jewish believers so as not to offend their Jewish sensibilities while they are struggling to get a handle on the great influx of Gentiles into the church.

On the topic of salvation, it is vitally important to understand justification by faith. Christians who do not understand justification by faith will always be confused about biblical salvation.

May 16, 2014
Justification by faith
by: Alan

Justification by faith does not exclude obedience. Also, there is not one way of salvation for the Jews and another for the Gentile.

Rick's comment: HI Alan - I agree with you on justification by faith and that there is only one way of salvation for everyone. You're right on both points. I intended to state that Paul was dealing differently with his Jewish audience than he would deal with a Gentile audience but Paul's gospel is the same for both. Sorry I wasn't more clear.

May 19, 2014
Does resisting sin count as works?
by: RoseFlame

I can almost never get this question answered from anywhere I go.

Does resisting sin count as works, or is it a separate thing and is absolutely required for salvation?

Please explain with evidence and good detail, like you always do. Thank you.

Rick's comment: Hi RoseFlame - thanks for asking such an excellent question. Resisting sin never has anything to do with getting saved or staying saved and has absolutely nothing to do with salvation because salvation is ALWAYS by grace alone through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, John 14:6, Acts 4:12.

I go into great detail about how salvation is completely apart from works in my five part series on justification by faith.

I offer more than 330 pages of excellent basic Bible studies on my FREE downloads page. Every Christian should know that information and it is easy to learn and easy to teach others using the FREE Bibles studies I offer. Hope this is helpful to your spiritual growth.

Oct 07, 2015
Just want to know
by: Darrell lee

So are you saying I can be save and a child of God and be save just because I say I believe?

Rick's comment: Hi Darrell - No, that is not at all what I said. Please re-read the article. Believing in Jesus involves faith, grace and repentance, as I pointed out in the article. If you'll click the text links, there is lots of helpful explanation of what it means to believe.

What must I do to be saved?

Oct 07, 2015
by: Alan

Rick, you have twisted the entire meaning of Paul's treatise to the church in Rome. You have come to the book with a preconceived idea and thus interpret the book of Romans accordingly. Martin Luther did the same thing, in fact, he went so far as to remove the book of James from his translation because it clashed with his translation/interpretation of Romans.

Rick's comment: Hi Alan - Based on your comments in this thread, you seem to have a faulty view of salvation. I encourage you to do more reading and study because God has more truth to bless your heart than you have yet embraced.

I'm not sure how Martin Luther factors into this since I am neither a Reformed nor a Lutheran theologian.

My impression is that you are not yet fully cognizant of the amazing grace of God in Jesus Christ, made available to us as one of the FREE spiritual blessings of God when He saves us, Ephesians 1:3 and seats us in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 2:6.

Rejoice dear brother, in the awesome goodness and grace of God toward believers in Jesus Christ.

What must I do to be saved?

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