Showing posts from December, 2008

What does it mean to believe in Jesus?

Since I require my Advanced Homiletics students to preach either John 3:1-13 or John 3:14-21 as their third sermon, I’ve heard 7 messages on both passages within the last 2 weeks.

The frequent occurrence of the verb πιστεύω in John 3:1-21 has caused the issue of what it means to believe in Jesus to resurface in my thinking. The key phrases are
• Everyone who believes in him [the Son of Man] (John 13:5)
• Everyone who believes in him [the Son] (John 3:16)
• The one who believes in him [the Son] (John 3:18a)
• The one who does not believe has been condemned (John 3:18b)
• Because he has not believed on the name of the only Son of God (John 3:18c)

Theologically, I know that for faith to be saving faith it must bear the fruit of obedience to Christ (James 2:22-26). There is no Lordless salvation (Matt. 7:21). But “believe on Jesus” seems so cognitive, so cerebral, so non-heartish … it almost seems to lend itself to a religion of the head apart from the heart.

A common answer to my …