“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”John 3:16 (NIV)
We all know this verse. It is probably one of the very first Bible verses we memorized as a child. And yet I can’t help but wonder if many who profess to believe really do. What does it really mean to believe? In Greek the word believe is pisteuō which according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon means, “A conviction full of joyful trust, that Jesus is the Messiah — the divinely appointed author of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God, conjoined with obedience to Christ.
To believe then is more than just an acknowledgment that Jesus is who he says he is. To believe includes trust and obedience.
Given the actual definition of the word “believe” based on the original language used here and in other places throughout the Bible, I wonder how many “believers” truly believe?
In 2 Corinthians 13:5 Paul says to “Test and evaluate yourselves to see whether you are in the faith and living your lives as [committed] believers. Examine yourselves [not me]! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves [by an ongoing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test and are rejected as counterfeit?” 2 Corinthians 13:5 (AMP)
So let me ask you. Do you believe? As we have seen believing is more than just mental assent. Believing for salvation is joyfully trusting in Jesus sacrifice on our behalf and walking in obedience to him as Lord. Anything less is superficial at best.
I would suggest we all examine ourselves and make whatever corrections need to be made while we still can. The day will come when our mediocre belief will be tested and the outcome could determine our eternal destiny. If your belief were judged where would you stand? Would your belief be counted as unbelief? Now is probably a good time to work it out.