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What It Means to Believe in Jesus

August 23, 2019

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Believing in Jesus means not trusting in yourself or your own attempts at pleasing God. There is a transfer of trust away from yourself and onto him. The verse does not say:

  • God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever proves to be a fine Christian shall not perish but have eternal life.
  • God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever gives evidence of real and lasting change (peace, love, and joy), shall not perish but have eternal life.
  • God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever can demonstrate that he (or she) is sufficiently sorry shall not perish but have eternal life.

If the Word of God said any of these things, we would spend our whole lives looking at our sometimes miserable and always inadequate attempts to live a truly Christian life, and we would have no peace, no hope, and no joy. Thank God this verse says something different! “Whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Believing is both the simplest and the hardest thing in the world to do. It is simple because it is trusting him to do for you what you cannot do for yourself. And it is hard because it is in our nature to want to prove ourselves to God.

Respond to the statement: “Believing in Jesus means not trusting in yourself or your own attempts at pleasing God.”


The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.



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