Bible Question:

I hear some preachers say “Trust Jesus as your Savior, or “Trust Jesus to save you”, but I don't see that precise rendering in scripture. I can do that (trust Jesus to save me) if you can convince me verses like John 1:12, 3:16-18, Acts 4:12 etc mean that when they mention believing in Jesus or believing in Jesus' name. Perhaps you can recommend a reputable Bible translation that renders those above passages “trust Jesus to save you. ” Thank you.

Bible Answer:

The New Testament was originally written in the Greek language. If you have an English Bible it has been translated from the Greek. Therefore, we are interested in the Greek word which has been translated as belief (a noun) or believe (a verb). The Greek word for “belief” is PISTIS (the noun) and the word for “believe” is PISTEO (the verb). These Greek words can mean “believe, depend, obey, trust, or assurance.” There is a response to a previous question that discusses the meaning of PISTIS.

So when John 3:16 says whoever believes in Jesus will not perish, it is saying that anyone who depends upon or trusts in Jesus will not perish.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (NASB) John 3:16

The meaning of the Greek is what is important here and not our English word believe. Bible translators attempt to use one English word for one Greek word. But the English word “believe” does not give us the best sense of the Greek word PISTIS. That is an inherent problem when one attempts to translate from one language to another. Therefore, we should understand that John 3:16 is telling us that anyone who believes, trusts, and depends upon Jesus will have eternal life. If a person really believes that Jesus Christ is God with all of his/her inner being, that person will also trust Him and in some sense be willing to submit to Him.


What are we trusting or believing Jesus to do? We are trusting Him to forgive our sins. As a result, He is our Savior. So when a preacher or teacher says “Trust Jesus as your Savior” he is correct. Jesus is the Savior because He is the only One who can forgive our sins, and the Greek word “believe” includes the idea of trust or trusting. May the Lord reveal Himself to you in new ways.