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SALVATION QUESTION 146
What is involved in the word "believe"? "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever [believeth] on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.
The word believe is a verb which means, total reliance, full confidence, and 100% trust in something or someone. A 99% dependency or reliance in something is not the meaning of believe. For instance, when you sit in a chair you don't 99% trust that chair. If you only trusted it 99%, you would be hanging onto something else while sitting in that chair. When your not consciously thinking about sitting in that chair, trusting it will do what it was designed to do, that's 100% trust. This is the thought behind the word believe or the phrase, believe in. It is not so much believing in something or someone, as much as it is believing (which is trusting solely), in that something or someone!
This is the meaning of the word "believe," as found in John 3:16., "Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." The Son of the living God died for (on behalf of) our sins, (1 Corinthians 15:3). He was raised again from the dead, (Acts 13:31.) Thus, God has opened up a way for us to be cleansed from our sins through the death of Christ on the cross.
How does one become a benefactor of this? This is where passages like John 3:16 or John 3:36 come into play. God said, in the light of the finished work of Christ, "Whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." Again, in John 3:17-18 of this chapter, it is stated, "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God." It becomes clear then, if we don't take God at His word, there will be sore and eternal consequences to it. To take God at His word is to have ones' sins totally forgiven, and receive the gift of eternal life. (Romans 6:23).
Reader, where do you stand with respect to God's salvation? Are your sins totally forgiven? Have you by faith received the gift of eternal life?
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated March 9th, 2014 by Sandra Felix