those who had believed were together and had
all things in common; Acts 2:44 (NAS)
Belief in Jesus Christ and the gospel is a key
ingredient for a person to become a Christian.
Jesus said in John 8:24 "...unless you believe
that I AM, you will die in your sins." In
Mark 1:15 Jesus said "the kingdom of God is at
hand. Repent and believe in the gospel."
Belief as the basis for our faith and obedience:
Jesus said in Mark 16:15-16:
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach
the gospel to all creation. 16 "He who
has believed and has been baptized shall be saved;
but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned." Mark
If a person does not believe,
it won't matter how good that person is...or the
works that he or she does. If a person does
not believe, he or she "shall be condemned" and
will "die in their sins." However, a
person who truly believes in Jesus and His promises,
will do those things that Jesus says:
they that gladly received his word were baptized:
and the same day there were added unto them about
three thousand souls... And the Lord added to the
church daily such as should be saved." Acts 2:41,47
Is it possible to believe in vain?
Not all that heard Peter's words in Jerusalem
believed. Some people may have believed in
part, but chose
to repent or to be baptized for the remission of sins. Acts
2:41-47 only talks of those who gladly received his
word and were baptized.
There are many who
believe or claim to believe in Jesus...who never
decide to follow His teachings. James 2:19
says that "even the demons believe (in God)...and
shudder." Consider the following scriptures:
it is time for judgment to begin with the household
of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be
the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of
God? And if it is with difficulty that the righteous
is saved, what will become of the godless man and
the sinner?" 1 Peter 4:17-18 (NAS)
"...by which also you are
saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to
you, unless you believed in vain." 1 Corinthians
"Nevertheless many even of the
rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees
they were not confessing Him, lest they should be
put out of the synagogue; for they loved the
approval of men rather than the approval of God."
John 12:42-43 (NAS)
"You believe that God is one.
You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder."
James 2:19 (NAS)
Jesus said in Mark 16:16 "He
who has believed and has been baptized shall be
saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be
condemned." Mark 16:16 (NAS)
What about those who reject the word?
Before Jesus died on the cross, John the baptist
was preaching a baptism of repentance preparing the
way for Jesus Christ. Some that heard John's message
gladly accepted it, however, others decided not to
be baptized with John's baptism:
when all the people and the tax-gatherers heard
this, they acknowledged God's justice, having been
baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees
and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for
themselves, not having been baptized by John."
Luke 7:29-30 (NAS)
Believers or Disciples were later called
During Jesus' ministry, the believers were also called "disciples"
(from the Greek word
mathētēs, which means "learners").
Later on when Paul and Barnabas
were together in Antioch (see Acts 11:26) it says "...the disciples were
first called Christians in Antioch."
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