Nikki asks a very important question:
If one is saved by believing in Jesus, then why does Rom 4:24—“Now it [Gen 15:6] was not written for his sake alone that it [righteousness] was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead…”—make it sound like we need to believe in the Father rather than the Son to be saved? Also, a question is there with John 5:24, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”
For salvation, are we to believe in Jesus, or are we to believe on the One who sent Jesus and raised Him from the dead?
And, in John 3:16 does the word Him in “whoever believes in Him” refer to the Son or the Father?
One crucial aspect of interpretation is that we interpret potentially confusing texts by comparing them to clear texts. This is a good example.
In Rom 4:24 Paul is referring to God the Father when he refers to believing “in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” Yet when we go back and look at the various references to faith regarding justification found in Rom 3:21 to this point, we see that it is faith in Jesus that results in justification. The expression “faith in Jesus” for justification is found in Rom 3:22, 26. The same is true in many verses in John (e.g., 1:12; 3:14-18, 36; 6:35, 47; 11:25-27; 20:31) and in Acts and the Epistles (e.g., Acts 16:31; Gal 2:16; 1 Tim 1:16).
Nikki mentions John 5:24. That is actually a verse that helps explain Rom 4:24. What the Lord is saying in John 5:24 is that to believe in Him is to believe in the One who sent Him. That is, the Father sent Jesus to give the message of everlasting life by faith in Him (Jesus). Therefore, one cannot rightly claim to believe in God the Father, as Jesus’ opponents did, without believing in Jesus who was sent by the Father.
In John 3:16 the reference to God sending His only begotten Son refers to the Father as the Sender and then the Son whom He sent. In the words “that whoever believes in Him…has everlasting life,” the pronoun Him most naturally refers to Jesus, the nearest antecedent. That is confirmed when we see that in verse 14 it is the Son of Man who was to be lifted up, and in verse 15 whoever believes in Him, the One lifted up, has eternal life. It is also confirmed in verses 17-18. See also John 3:36, in which John the Baptist says, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life.”
A person cannot be born again by faith in God the Father apart from faith in His Son whom He sent.