What Does "Believe in Jesus" Mean?
Hint: Not the same as believing in Santa Clause
1 John 2:4
“The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and yet doesn’t keep His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
[Jesus:] “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever
Notes: What does believe in Jesus mean? Keep His commands. What are His commands? They're all spiritual and attitudinal; no "works of the flesh" commands. They're scattered throughout the new testament. A number of them are in the Sermon on the Mount, examples seek God always, the Lord's Prayer, and the good-hearted shall see God... Then there was other commands embedded in His parables, which mostly reiterated the need to mature spiritually, and make sure our sins are forgiven through receiving the daily Bread of life.
Notice Jesus said in John 14:15-16, only when we keep His commands, He will then ask the Father to give us " another advocate", the Holy Spirit! Not everybody gets the Holy Spirit - we must keep His commands first!
Who is keeping Jesus' commands today? And who therefore has the Holy Spirit?
Jesus said: "And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will be made well.”
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Before declaring belief in Jesus you have to learn what Jesus said. Do you know all what He said? Do you know all His commands, teachings, parables, and their meanings?
Otherwise, if you only believe in Jesus as in: "the existence of Jesus as the son of God", then even the devil himself believed that much:
And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?”
But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?”
You believe that God is one. Good for you! Even the demons believe that— and shudder.
Notes: James here takes it a step further and mocks those who are giving lip-service declaration of belief.
Believe in Jesus = Worship Jesus = Learn His Commands and Keep Them
Jesus' commands are all spiritual. Worship means seek Him in the scriptures, love Him, and get on your knees and pray to God often, and not only when you need something. How often? Daily, according to the Lord's Prayer. First we should pray the prayer Jesus taught us, because He used this term "should" in Matthew 6:9 "this is how you should pray..." If he said "should" and I believe in Him, then I'm doing what He said. Then afterwards you can follow with your own prayer and wording. And remember, the "Bread" in the Lord's Prayer is His body, the "spiritual Bread of life", not earthly needs.
We don't even commit to a spouse without spending months and years learning about them first! Of course we do this for our earthly needs. But spend time reading the Bible to know more about God, then truly believe? Is of no interest to many Christians. This is analogical to my other example, we'd read a thousand-page book if paid money for it, to meet our earthly needs, but not the Bible to gain eternal life. If you're just a herd follower, then you don't truly believe in Jesus. Because you haven't spent the time to learn about all His teachings. In this case you're only in it for the social aspect of it - doing what other people do; repeating what they all say - and because other people will respect you for it.
Going to church every Sunday and singing hymns is only the icing on the cake; you've ignored the cake and focused on the icing!
Or you may be in a Christian band, singing or writing songs titled something like "the blood of Jesus". Belonging to a big church with thousands of members, and making a lot of noise on Sundays... and thinking "what's this one guy here talking about?" Despite the grand picture you're in, the fact remains, unless you keep Jesus' commands, your sins are not forgiven. Again what you're doing is icing on the cake; Jesus did not command any of this. He gave us simple commands like pray the Lord's Prayer daily and seek God always to understand the scripture and mature spiritually. Are you doing these? If yes you're on the right path. If no, you may not be reconciled with God. Because you're mainly doing things your way, not His way, not as He commanded. I'm not judging; I'm only pointing out God's view in relation to what I see going on in the Christian world today. Only He knows the hearts.
To "believe in someone" is not a casual statement. You need to know about this person before you can truly say you believe in them. In today's world, many get that knowledge from watching movies about the Bible. That knowledge is invalid; movies veer significantly from the truth in order to make a sensational, profit-producing product. Another method in today's world, is relying completely on churches, which only preach from certain parts of the Bible to keep it pleasing to people. The majority of Bible verses are unknown to people. Personal Bible reading is the only way to truly seek God. Look at all the new truths from the references in this website. Most churches don't talk about these! At a minimum, if you're staying with your church, which is not recommended, make sure to supplement with your personal Bible reading, and researching online. Focus on the cake first, then on the icing! It's your eternity at stake; do you trust anyone with that? Check things for yourself!
Declaring belief in Jesus is the beginning of a relationship with Him; a journey of getting to know Him. It goes in this order:
1. Birth of the flesh - first birth.
2. Birth of the spirit - second birth, born-again, declaring belief in Jesus.
3. Spiritual growth - maturing with more knowledge about God/Jesus
It is the 3rd item that most churches and people ignore. If you declare you believe in Jesus and then move on with your life, and just keep telling everybody "I'm covered by the blood of Jesus", you're not!! Because all you know about Jesus is that sentence. The Bible says you're spiritually dead; did not mature in the knowledge of God, like one of these people in the verse below, "choked by life's worries, riches, and pleasures":
"The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature."
==>"they do not mature"<==
Spiritual maturity, is more of an attitude. Being a true born-again believer would result in interest springing from within for wanting to grow that relationship with God, by:
- Seeking God, through reading the scripture and gaining more wisdom and knowledge about Him; maturing spiritually.
- Worshiping Him daily (Jesus’ prayer daily)
- Respecting Him! Keep Jesus' commands
- Liking what He likes and hating what He hates.
- Love all people, just as He loves all people, His children, His creation.
- Then after doing all the above, you can sing hymns and Christian music etc.
If you’re not doing these things, you're not maturing spiritually, your declaration of belief in God did not flourish. These things should spring from within; if you feel they’re a burden, or label them as "works" because they don't fit your lifestyle, then you're not cut-out for the Kingdom of God.
Some may keep insisting that any action we do is "works". These are the "do nothing believers", likely brain-washed into it by their church. They site some high-level verses in the Bible, ignoring many elaborating detailed verses. And they point to stories from the Bible, example about the blind man in the village square and the woman who touched His robe, were healed by Jesus. The do-nothing believers point out that these 2 people likely never looked at scriptures etc., and yet Jesus healed them. Ok perfect example. But note in the culture of those days where there were no TVs, social media, or smart-devices, Jewish people spent their spare time gathered in a village location, telling stories about the day's important events, and reading in the scrolls. So most likely the blind man and the sick woman knew the old-testament bible really well, and heard the stories about Jesus' teachings and miracles, and "strongly" believed that He was the Messiah. So Jesus obviously saw their inside, and healed them. And in the case of the blind man, Jesus had more ramifications in mind to glorify God. He knew the blind man would talk about it in the temple square, and the rest of that story.
Now let's fast-forward to today. These so called do-nothing believers are likely not blind nor with a bad sickness. Instead they're likely healthy and with a lot of time and resources on their hands. But they insist on doing nothing.
Are you a "Do Nothing" Believer?
Please stop the "do nothing", because you've become spiritually dead; "did not mature". A big difference between "Works of the flesh" and "Spiritual Activities":
Works: Is the works of the flesh, as in still trying to apply the Jewish law. Circumcision, animal sacrifices, refrain from certain foods, dress a certain way, do a lot of good deeds to offset the bad, etc.
Not works: Spiritual activities like seek God, read the Bible, and pray the Lord's Prayer daily.
Others say "we don't struggle with sin anymore, because Jesus covered it with His blood". Sounds like they mistook Jesus' blood for a license to sin. The apostle Paul struggled with sin, and hated it (Romans 7:15). And Jesus, the only sinless human that walked the earth, hates sin, and wants you to repent and stop sinning. And yes He will keep forgiving you, as long as you repent, humble yourself, and keep coming back and asking for forgiveness by praying the Lord's Prayer daily, which then truly keeps you forgiven, reconciled with God, and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Please don’t get your facts from watching movies/shows about the Bible, or even from the church. Get your facts from reading the Bible. You want to tithe 10%? In today's world, tithing 10% of your time reading the Bible, will likely please God a lot more.
I don’t want your sacrifices - I want your love; I don’t want your offerings - I want you to know me.