Have you ever heard that even the devil believes and he trembles? You need to do more than believe, you need to have a relationship with the Lord. Matthew 7:21-25 states this when he says, “I knew you not, away from me you evil men! ”
You are correct. Faith is not just believing some facts about Jesus. Faith is believing the truth about Jesus – He is God, He died for your sins, and He returned to life. This is God’s definition or meaning of the word “believe.” Here is His definition.
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles . . . (NASB) 1 Cor. 15:1-7
What Does It Mean To Believe?
Did you notice that Paul said it is possible to believe in vain? He is saying that we can believe but it is just empty faith – meaningless faith. It will not accomplish anything. The actual Greek word used here for “faith” means more than just believing some facts. It also means you are depending, trusting, and relying on Jesus. You have given up on yourself and have turned your life over to Jesus. You must be trusting Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins.
Hebrews 11 also says that when we really believe we want to serve God, we look forward to heaven, and we are willing to suffer for God. The best test that your faith is real is that you are willing to suffer for Him. That is the ultimate test of what one considers to be truth!
A Personal Relationship?
I know a few people who say they have a personal relationship with Jesus but they do not live like it. A real personal relationship with a holy God will change us. That is the message in the book of James.
For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. (NASB) James 2:26
Do you believe in Jesus but your life is filled with sin? We need to ask serious questions about ourselves if there is little obedience to Him. Jesus says that if we want to be with Him we will be willing to say no to our own wants and desires and to suffer for Him. Jesus said, we must deny ourselves and carry our cross.
To believe in Jesus means you forsake yourself – give up on yourself. When you really believe in Jesus you are willing to die for Him because He is your friend.
. . . if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. (NASB) Romans 10:9