Posted by: bellissimanh | February 1, 2008

Do You Believe?

“…Behold I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”  1 Peter 2:6

Believe. The word has become quite common, thrown around even in secular circles as if it holds some mystical power.

“I believe in angels.”

“Do you believe in miracles?”

“Believe in yourself!”

Of course, we use it even more in Christian circles. The Greek word for “believe” is “pisteuo,” and it occurs 248 times in the NT. It’s Hebrew counterpart, “aman,” is found in the OT no less than 108 times.

As often as we talk about believing, I think we sometimes lose some of what lies at the root of what it means to really believe. This afternoon the Lord prompted me to look at it with fresh eyes, so that I could test my own faith and see if I really do believe. Grap a cup of tea and join me for a brief word study, won’t you?

Pisteuo means to consider something true and therefore worthy of one’s trust. It means to entrust oneself to an entity in complete confidence… to believe in with the implication of total commitment to the one who is trusted. Did you get that? Complete confidence? So much for giving my burdens to the Lord and then snatching them back again! If I truly believe, then I must give myself to Him with total confidence that He is going to take care of me and all that concerns me.

W.E. Vine defines belief as consisting of:

(1) a firm conviction which produces full acknowledgment of God’s revelation of Truth – (2Thes 2:11 -“in order that they all may be judged who did not believe [pisteuo] the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.”)

(2) a personal surrender to the Truth (Jn 1:12 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe [pisteuo] in His name”) and

(3) a conduct inspired by and consistent with that surrender.

I loved seeing it put this way by Wuest:

“…a definite taking of one’s self out of one’s own keeping and entrusting one’s self into the keeping of the Lord Jesus.”

Now that gave me fresh eyes! It’s not enough to say, “I believe,” and to consciously — mentally — believe what He has said. If I truly believe, then I will relinquish control of my life… completely and utterly… into His keeping. How often this past week have I wrestled that away from Him, confident that I knew what was best?

When Scottish missionary John Paton was translating the Scripture for the South Sea islanders, he was having a difficult time coming up with a word in their vocabulary that would convey the idea of believing, trusting, or having faith. One day as he was translating in his hut, a native came running in and threw himself down in a chair, exhausted. “It is so good to rest my full weight in this chair!” he exclaimed. Paton has his word. Faith is resting your full weight on God.

Are you believing today? Are you trusting? Are you leaning into the Father’s frame and resting your full weight upon Him? Have you completely surrendered to the Truth? Is your conduct inspired by and consistent with that surrender?

“True faith commits us to obedience.” A.W. Tozer

“Never put a question mark where God has put a period.” John R. Rice

“It will not save me to know that Christ is a Savior; but it will save me to trust Him to be my Savior. I shall not be delivered from the wrath to come by believing that His atonement is sufficient; but I shall be saved by making that atonement my trust, my refuge, and my all. The pith, the essence of faith lies in this — a casting oneself on the promise.” C.H. Spurgeon

“Faith is holding onto things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.” C.S. Lewis

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Responses

  1. “True faith commits us to obedience” What an awesome summation of the salvation experience!

    Xandra

  2. “Complete confidence? So much for giving my burdens to the Lord and then snatching them back again! If I truly believe, then I must give myself to Him with total confidence that He is going to take care of me and all that concerns me.”

    How many times am I going to give my trust to God only to take it back in the next breath? I have so much to learn.


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