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What It Means to Believe in Jesus

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To believe in Jesus as our Savior, we need to know who He is, what He accomplished, and why it was necessary.

JOHN 3:16-18

The apostle Paul told his jailer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). That Philippian man and his household had saving faith—they accepted the invitation and joined God’s family.

Saving faith has three elements: knowledge, conviction, and trust. Today, let’s look at the knowledge component. To believe in Jesus as our Savior, we need to know who He is, what He accomplished, and why it was necessary.

Who is Jesus? He is deity—God the Son. At the request of God the Father, Jesus set aside His divine rights, took on human form, and dwelled on earth (Phil. 2:6-7).

What did He accomplish? Jesus lived a perfect life, which qualified Him to be our substitute: He stood in our place and bore God’s judgment for our sins. His death on the cross made a way for us to be forgiven and experience peace with God.

Why did He have to die? We could not save ourselves, since our “good deeds” are all marred by our sin nature. When we accept Christ’s atoning work, we go from being God’s enemy to becoming a member of His family.

When I was saved at age 12, I understood only the simplest aspects of these basic truths. I knew I was a sinner in need of God’s forgiveness and only Jesus could save me. What mattered was that I truly believed, and the Lord saved me. 

Knowledge without conviction and trust does not bring salvation. Even the demons understood that Jesus was the Son of God (Luke 4:41). Do you believe what you know to be true?

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