What does the Bible say about believing?
In the Bible, the word believe means to agree in your mind that something is true. If you believe God exists, you accept he’s real. But believing goes deeper than this, because Christian belief means trusting God to the point that you’ll commit your life to follow and live for Him.
Christian quotes about believing
“The issue of faith is not so much whether we believe in God, but whether we believe the God we believe in.” R. C. Sproul
“The more you believe and trust God, the more limitless your possibilities become for your family, your career – for your life!” Rick Warren
“Faith is a living and unshakable confidence, a belief in the grace of God so assured that a man would die a thousand deaths for its sake. ” Martin Luther
“You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.” C.S. Lewis
“Faith is the measure to which we believe God is God. And faith is the measure to which we let God be God.”
We are commanded to believe
You can know a lot about Christianity. Perhaps you’ve studied the doctrine of justification and sanctification. Maybe you can recite long passages of scripture or have memorized famous prayers of the Puritan writers of old. But is this what believing in God really means?
Charles Spurgeon addresses belief in God in his famous sermon titled, Knowing and Believing. He says,
It’s one thing to know the doctrine of justification by faith, but it’s quite another thing to be justified by faith and to have peace with God.
In other words, it’s the experience that counts. Belief in God is a way of life. It’s not from your head only, but also from your heart. It’s putting your faith and trust in Him and seeking to glorify him in your life. Believing in God is a daily life journey.
1. 1 John 3:23 (ESV) “And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.”
2. John 1:12 “But to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”
3. Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
4. Matthew 3:2 “and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
5. Acts 2:38 “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
6. Romans 8:3-4 “For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
7. Romans 1:16 (ESV) “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
8. John 14:6 (NKJV) “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
9. Thessalonians 2:14 “He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
10. John 6:47 “Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.”
11. Romans 10:9 “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
12. John 5:40 (ESV) “yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.”
13. Acts 16:31 (NASB) “They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
14. Philippians 1:29 “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.”
Believing God is real
There are people who make a living impersonating politicians and celebrities. They look so much like the person, sometimes it’s hard to distinguish who’s the real person and who isn’t. Of course, if you know the real person, you won’t be fooled by an impersonation.
With God, it’s important to remember there’s a difference between believing God is real and believing God. The first type of belief is simply acceptance with your mind that he exists, but the second type of believing comes from the heart. It’s embracing God, valuing and loving him. It’s also seeking him with your whole heart. When you know God, you aren’t fooled by an imitation.
15. Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
16. Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
17. 1 Corinthians 8:6 (KJV) “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”
18. Isaiah 40:28 (NLT) “Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.”
19. Psalm 14:1 (ESV) “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.”
Believing in Christ for salvation
What does a mouth, a heart, a skull and a broken tombstone have in common? They all represent a picture of what it means to believe Christ for salvation. Romans 10:9 says the same thing, but with words.
… if you confess with your mouth, the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9 ESV)
Believing gives you the assurance of salvation. When you believe you’re embracing the gospel. You are completely persuaded that Jesus died for your sins on the cross and was raised to life for you.
20. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”
21. Romans 10:9 “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
22. Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
23. Acts 16:31 “They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
24. John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
25. Titus 3:5 “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”
26. John 6:29 “Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
27. Psalm 37:39 “The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.”
28. Ephesians 1:13 “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”
29. John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”
30. John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”
The consequences of not believing in Jesus
Jesus was tough on the Pharisees and Sadducees, the religious leaders of the Jewish people. This is because they were often harsh with people they deemed sinful. But they ignored their own sins. These leaders looked godly on the outside, but were ungodly on the inside. They didn’t practice what they preached. They were hypocrites.
Jesus tried to persuade them to repent and clearly explained the consequences of not believing in him. But these leaders challenged him. They didn’t like that he was healing and delivering people from demons. At one point in the gospel of John, Jesus says,
If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father. (John 10:37-38 ESV)
When the religious leaders challenge him for telling a woman she’s forgiven of her sins, Jesus tells them.
I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins. (John 8:24 ESV)
Sadly, these leaders were probably jealous of his power and favor with the people. They cared too much about what people thought instead of realizing who Jesus really was. They were blinded by their own sin.
In Nazareth, where Jesus grew up, we read that they people would not believe. In the gospel of Matthew, chapter 13:58, we read, And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.
Other scriptures say they were actually offended by him because they knew his family. Their lack of belief, resulted in the people in his hometown missing out on healings and being delivered from demons. Unbelief is not only sad but dangerous. When you don’t believe you’re kept from enjoying a relationship with Him. You can’t receive his promises for salvation and eternal life.
31. John 8:24 “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”
32. Matthew 25:46 “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
33. Revelation 21:8 “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
34. Mark 16:16 “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.”
35. John 3:18 “Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.”
36. 2 Thessalonians 1:8 (ESV) “in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.”
The importance of believing God’s Word and His promises
Looking at Psalm 119: 97-104 ESV. As you read these verses, you’ll see the benefits of believing God and his promises.
97 Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
for it is ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the aged,
for I keep your precepts.
101 I hold back my feet from every evil way,
in order to keep your word.
102 I do not turn aside from your rules,
for you have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through your precepts I get understanding;
therefore, I hate every false way.
When you don’t believe God’s word and His promises, you miss out on all the ways God wants to bless you and help you.
37. 2 Corinthians 1:20 “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
38. Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
What does the Bible say about believing without seeing?
There are many things you believe without seeing them. You may have never been to Mexico, but you know it exists because you’ve seen maps, heard eye-witness accounts and other evidence. You’ve never seen protons, neutrons and electrons But you can research them and learn all about these tiny particles. Jesus addresses believing without seeing in his encounter with Thomas. In John 20:27-30, we read their conversation.
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Thomas believed when he saw Jesus was resurrected from the dead, but Jesus goes one step further and promises a blessing on those who will believe even though they can’t see him like Thomas does.
39. John 20:29 “Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
40. 1 Peter 1:8 “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”
41. 2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV) “for we walk by faith, not by sight.”
42. Romans 8:24 “For in this hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he can already see?”
43. 2 Corinthians 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
44. Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
45. Hebrews 11:7 “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in godly fear built an ark to save his family. By faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”
46. Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
Believe and trust in the Lord
When you become a Christian your journey of believing and trusting God begins. As you read and study the Bible, pray and have fellowship with other believers, your faith grows. You want to know Jesus more and enjoy his presence. You feel he is the most precious person to you.
47. Romans 15:13 (NLT) I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
49. Mark 9:24 (NASB) “Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief!”
50. Psalm 56:3-4 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”
51. Psalm 40:4 “How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who become involved in falsehood.”
52. Jeremiah 17:7-8 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
When you have doubt and disbelief
If you’ve been in a boat during a storm, you understand what it means to be tossed back and forth. It’s frightening to see the waves crash above the sides of the boat and feel the boat sway up and down. In the book of James we read that a person who has unbelief is unstable, tossed around by different things they hear. It’s easy to envision this person believing one thing, one day and something else the next day. Like the boat in a storm, they can’t steady themselves when they’re tossed around so much. You may not be in a real boat, but you feel like you’re being thrown about by your life situation.
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:6 ESV)
Having doubts doesn’t mean you’re not a Christian. When you go through trials or suffer, it’s tempting to wonder where God is. You may feel discouraged and overwhelmed by your life. God isn’t intimidated by your doubts or disbelief. God wants you to come to him with your doubts. Pray and ask him to help your unbelief and doubts.
53. James 1:6 “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
How to build your faith and confidence in the Lord?
Get to know Him personally through reading his word, prayer and fellowship with other Christians. Commit to trusting Him every day. Ask him to speak to you and through you. Pray about decisions you need to make, ideas you have and other things you’re doing in your life, Make Christ your center, the one you turn to in every situation in your life.
But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. (2 Timothy 1:12 ESV)
Here are some daily steps to help you build faith and confidence in God.
- Believe that you can have confidence in God because he’s faithful. (Hebrews 13:5-6)
- Figure out what kills your confidence in God (fear, others’ opinions)
- Pray with honesty (Mark 9:24)
- Obey God (1 John 5:2-3)
- Find daily confidence in God (Jeremiah 17:7)
- Repent of any known sins (1 John 1:9)
- Meditate on God’s word (Col 3: 1-2)
- Practice talking to yourself, instead of listening to lies you tell yourself
- Spend time with other believers (Heb. 10: 24-25)
- Read good Christian books
- Listen for God to speak to you in scripture or the Holy Spirit
- Keep a journal to write down prayers and things you feel God has put on your heart.
Knowing what we believe and why we believe it is not an option for the Christian, because as believers, OUR BELIEFS ARE THE VERY HEART OF WHO WE ARE.
Author Patty House in A Woman’s Guide to Knowing What You Believe: How to Love God With Your Heart and Your Mind
54. 2 Timothy 1:12 “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.”
55. Hebrews 10:35 “Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.”
56. 1 John 3:21-22 “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.”
57. Hebrews 13:6 “So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
58. 1 Corinthians 16:13 “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”
59. Ephesians 6:16 “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
60. Colossians 3:1-2 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
61. Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
When you believe in God, you are believing in him with your heart, mind and soul. Once you are a Christian, scriptures come alive to you. You get help and hope in what God says about himself and about you. You’ll know that you are forgiven by God not because of your performance, but because of what Jesus did on the cross to forgive sins. Believing in God becomes an anchor for your soul in difficult times of suffering or trials. You may struggle with doubts or fears, but God hears your prayers for help. He’ll either stop the storms or strengthen you to get through them.