Recently I received two similar responses to a recent blog (which you can read here). In the blog I had said that we must believe that what we get from the Lord by believing in Him is irrevocable, whether we call that everlasting life, salvation, justification, forgiveness, or new life.
Those two responses I received suggested that everlasting life is the result of believing in Christ, but not the object of faith.
I was discussing John 5:24 and John 6:35. In both cases the Lord said that the one who believes in Him (which is equal to believing in the Father who sent Him) has everlasting life which can never be lost.
Let’s assume for the moment that everlasting life, irrevocable salvation, secure justification, forever forgiveness, and an unending relationship with God are all results of believing in Jesus, but not what we believe Him for. My question is this: If the promised result is not what we are believing the Lord Jesus to do, then what does it mean to believe in Him?
One of the responses I received said that to believe in Jesus is to believe that He is my Savior. I’ve heard that a lot. But, of course, that too is a result. The Savior gives salvation to those who believe in Him.
Some say that you only need to believe that Jesus is your Savior who has given you salvation which is undefined as to its permanence. You don’t need to believe that He has given you salvation which can’t be lost. The problem is, Jesus doesn’t promise undefined salvation. He promises salvation which is secure forever.
I see no reason why the Lord Jesus’ promise of everlasting life cannot be the content of our faith in Christ. Is that not what we are believing in Jesus for? Surely that was true in Martha’s case as John 11:25-27 shows. It was also true in the case of the seventy (with Judas as the exception) as Luke 10:20 and John 13:10 show.
Let’s say your Dad said, “If you believe me, I’m taking you fishing on Lake Texoma next Saturday morning. Do you believe me?” That is like John 11:26. If your answer is Yes, then what is it you believe? You believe your Dad is taking you fishing on Lake Texoma on Saturday! The promise is what you are believing Him for. Now you believed lots more about your Dad before he made the fishing promise. But the reason you are going fishing next Saturday is because you believe His promise to take you fishing.
Could you believe your Dad and yet not believe you were going fishing next Saturday? Of course not. If you think going fishing depends on your works between now and next Saturday, then you do not believe your Dad. Simple.
There is no conflict between believing in Jesus and believing in Him for what He promises. I can only believe in Him if I believe in what He promises: everlasting life which can never be lost, secure salvation.