The True Meaning of the Word "Believe"
On the surface, it looks as though all you have to say is, “I believe,” and you will be saved (John 3:16). But notice, the apostles taught the people all the things they were commanded to teach and observe (Matt. 28:20). For three years, Christ taught them what they should teach and taught them to be teachers (Luke 6:40). The apostles were taught that to believe is to obey (John 3:36). The apostles were also taught how to obey.
You must keep Christ’s words in order to never see death, Jesus says (John 8:51). His words are not hard to keep or burdensome (1 John 5:3). “If you believe in Me, the works that I do you shall do also,” Jesus said (John 14:12). What kind of works did Jesus do? He did good works and He instructed His disciples to do the same. Yes, doing good works is how you glorify the Father (Matt. 5:16).
The Bible says that the devil and his demons believe, but they do not obey (James 2:19). They are not doers of the word, but merely hearers who remain deluded (James 1:22).
The apostles were very confident about telling people to engage in good deeds (Titus 3:8). They told them it was something they would have to learn to do (Titus 3:14). They were to be slaves to righteousness and slaves of Jesus Christ until they did the Will of God (righteousness) from the heart (Eph. 6:6). When they did God’s Will from the heart, they would be His bond-servants. A bond-servant of God is one who serves only God as a slave of righteousness.
Jesus Christ is making a peculiar people who are zealous for good deeds done in His name (Titus 2:14). This is how you overcome your old nature—by keeping Christ’s deeds or works (Rev. 2:26) Yes, the Bible says this is the only way to overcome, and only those who overcome will receive eternal life (Rev. 3:5, 21). All true disciples of Jesus Christ are bond-servants to God. They are called this because they live their lives to be pleasing to God by being happy servants of others. This is how you imitate God (Eph. 5:1; 1 Peter 4:11). And this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ, which is how you conform your life to godliness to be pleasing to the Lord (1 Tim. 6:3; 5:10). It takes daily discipline but it sure is an easy and pleasant way to live (1 Tim. 4:7; Titus 1:1; Matt. 11:30).
So, to say you believe, is to say you obey and are doing the deeds that Jesus did by serving others daily for the glory of God.