“who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”
believe in God
Jesus’ redemptive work is the ground of our faith (3:18). His work has caused us to place our faith in God. It is faith that makes us faithful.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me,” (John 14:1).
“This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men,” (Titus 3:8).
Almost everyone believes in some kind of god. Some worship a tree stump. Others bow before a statue. Some simply believe in themselves. The Bible flatly states the only people who go to heaven are those who go through Jesus.
“You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!,” (James 2:19).
“In God” expresses internal trust, cleaving to Him. This is not mere faith. It is faith in God through Christ. The issue here is not faith so much as the object of our faith.
It is not belief but the object of our belief that makes us a Christian.
Faith enables us to take hold of God’s provision for our salvation. God places the decision of our faith in our hands. It is our eternal death or our eternal life to decide. However, it is not ours to decide what to believe. That is God’s prerogative.
It makes no difference how moral or how immoral we are. Our honesty or dishonesty is not the issue. These are issues that follow becoming a Christian. If we are not birthed into the family of God by faith, we do not have the capacity to live for God.
Ninety-nine times the gospel of John mentions the word “believe” as man’s charge to become a Christian.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16).
John even states this as the explicit purpose of his book,
“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name,” (John 20:31).
Do you mutually exclusively believe, and believe alone, that Jesus’ death on the cross is sufficient for your salvation?