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The statement "I believe in Jesus" is often used by Christians,but how should "believe" be defined? Should it would be defined as trusting, accepting and embracing the teachings and philosophies of Jesus. Please include your definition, and explain your definition and also cite the justification.

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closed as too broad by warren, maj nem ɪz dæn, David Stratton, Jayarathina Madharasan, Affable Geek Apr 30 at 19:38

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

your question seems to be quite broad in the way it is asked? Are you asking for the Christian definition of belief in Christ as the son of God, or just a general definition of belief? It would be of great help if you would rewrite your question to be more specific. You can get guidance in the help section under how to ask questions. We all need to review that on a frequent basis. –  Bye Apr 20 at 2:09
Yes, I meant the Christian definition. I modified the question slightly to focus it. It seems clear to me, but if you can suggest improvements to the question, please do. –  Darryl Apr 21 at 3:33
This is a great question. +1 from me. –  delete this account Apr 21 at 4:32

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Well, of course in general to "believe" something is to consider it to be true. I believe in Newton's Laws of Motion, I believe that this table in front of me is made of wood, etc.

A statement of belief could be ambiguous. If someone says, "I believe in bigfoot" he probably means that he believes that the creature exists. But if someone says, "I believe in Senator Jones", he probably doesn't mean simply that he believes that he exists, but rather that he supports his political policies.

So some people might say, "I believe in Jesus" and mean "I believe that this person lived." Others might say the same words and mean "I think that his teachings were good and I attempt to follow him."

But the point of Christianity is something quite different. When an orthodox Christian says "I believe in Jesus", he means that he believes that Jesus has provided a way for people to escape the penalties for their sins through his death and resurrection, and that by accepting Jesus offer of salvation we can spend eternity in Heaven with God instead of in torment in Hell.

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excellent answer. I like the way you explained how people can have quite different definitions with the exact same words. I think the key is to ask which definition people intend. The people I've asked this question to haven't even considered what they mean, even though it's core to their belief. –  Darryl Apr 24 at 15:39

Believe = Belief, Trust, Hope, Faith

This is the meaning of the Greek word pisteuo, which is translated as all four in various places in the New Testament. This is the basis for any exegetical conclusion regarding what is meant by "belief." We don't choose how to define it. We use the common meaning of the word as it was employed by the Biblical authors.

In particular, the original word means more than the English "to acknowledge the existence of." It implies to put your hope, trust, and confidence in something. Suppose you were stuck on a ledge and couldn't climb up or down without falling. Now, suppose someone above threw down a rope to save you, but you knew that if the rope broke while you were being lifted, you would certainly fall and die. You would have to "believe" in the rope (and person) before you would risk your life by being held by it. This is at the heart of what it means to "believe" in Jesus.

Christians generally define "believe in Jesus" to mean that we trust him completely. This means that we trust that he is who he said is was (the one and only "son of God", John 3:16; the master of the universe, Col 1:15-17). If we trust him to be the lord, then we (ought to) do what he says and accept what he says as incontestable truth.

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