By: Brandon Bowlin, CDH9
What do you believe? What do your actions say about your "beliefs?"
In the Gospel of John, John says he wrote his account that people “may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing they may have life in His name" (John 20:31). The word John uses for "believe" is the Greek word 'pisteuo.'
The New American Standard New Testament Greek Lexicon defines pisteuo as,
"To think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence. Of the thing believed - to credit, have confidence in. In a moral or religious reference - used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul. To trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith. Mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith."
To think to be true. To place confidence in.
To say that you believe in Jesus Christ is more than just an intellectual acknowledgment that Jesus existed. It's more than just reciting a prayer, or attending church services. Believing in Jesus is believing in what He taught and commanded.
Believing that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. That no man can go to the Father except through Him.
Believing that He is the Bread of Life.
Believing that His words must abide in us lest the love of the Father not abide in us.
Get the point?
To claim belief in Jesus is to believe in everything He said.
I have recently been reading through a daily Bible study book by William Barclay about the book of James. In chapter two James talks about the necessity of works to follow faith. While salvation is only obtained by grace through faith, it seems that James' point is that a life truly saved by the blood of the Lamb and living by faith in the Son of God should show outward signs of what is going on internally.
It's been said that actions speak louder than words. If you speak words of love, but turn around and deny giving good charity to your brother, then I'm certain most anyone would call you a hypocrite.
Actions are important. A person's actions are an indication of what he really believes. I think that is why James argues that faith without works is dead. The truly regenerate life will begin to show his deeds and live out the love that overflows from his heart.
I like the way Barclay put it,
"In any well-proportioned life there must be faith and deeds. It is only through deeds that faith can prove and demonstrate itself; and it is only through faith that deeds will be attempted and done. Faith is bound to overflow into action; and action begins only when a man has faith in some great cause or principle which God has presented to him."
Believe. Trust that the Lord is good, and in confidence obey His teachings and commands. Believe His promises of eternal, abundant life. Believe His Word.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever puts his trust, places his confidence, in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Finally, I'll leave you off with a Scottish paraphrase. An encouragement to continue to seek holy living, to let your faith and belief live out.
Let all who hold this faith and hope
In holy deeds abound;
Thus faith approves itself sincere,
By active virtue crown'd
About the Author:
Brandon grew up in sunny Sarasota, FL where he met the Lord at the age of eleven. He has recently come to the realization that he has been a follower of Jesus for more than half his life now, and he cannot imagine dedicating his service any other way. Currently Brandon is an intern for Clayton King Ministries and their Crossroads Discipleship House.
See more at bjbowlin.wordpress.com; Facebook and instagram @Bjbowlin and twitter @bbowlin4