The New Testament was originally written in Greek. The word believe comes from the Greek word pisteuo, which means to trust and the root Greek word of pisteuo is peitho which means to obey due to persuasion.
The gospel of John
We are going to look at three passages of scripture from the gospel of John, each verse requires faith.
John 3v16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 7v38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
John 14v12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the *works that I do shall he do also; and greater *works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
* It should be pointed out at this stage that the works mentioned in John 14v12 are shown in John 9v1-7 and Matthew 11v2-6 as the miracles that Jesus performed, which he said, bear witness of him, John 10v25, 32, 37, 38.
Again, I point out that the requirement in each of these scripture is to believe in Jesus Christ.
If we accept that John 3v16 is applicable to the believer, then we must also accept that John 7v38-39 and John 14v12 are also applicable.
So we see, the person who believes in Jesus Christ will receive the Holy Spirit, John 7v38-39, will do the same works (miracles) that Jesus did, John 14v12 and will have everlasting life, John 3v16.
All three passages are from the same gospel and all require a person to believe. We cannot isolate one passage such as John 3v16 and disregard the other two.
Romans 10v9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
We note that in this scripture, along with the need to confess, there is the need to believe with the heart.
Peter, the apostle, (Acts 15) refers to his visit to the house of Cornelius, how Cornelius and those with him received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues.
Acts 10v44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,…
In Acts 15v7-9 he reminds the council of this event and how God who knows the hearts, bear them witness, giving them the Holy Spirit.
Acts 15v7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
We see from Acts 10v44-46 how Cornelius and his associates received the Holy Spirit and spoke with tongues, and in Acts 15v8 this happened because God who knows the hearts bare witness by giving them the Holy Spirit.
So, if a person confesses with their mouth and believes in their heart (Romans 10v9), then God will bear witness to their heart by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to Cornelius and those with him (Acts 15v8, Acts 10v44-46), and by doing so, he will purify their heart by faith (Acts 15v8-9).
So, we see the connection of believing with the heart and receiving the Holy Spirit to obtain salvation.
2 Thessalonians 2v13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
Do you believe in Jesus?
Many profess to believe in Jesus Christ, but only those who believe in their heart will receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 15v8) and be saved (2 Thessalonians 2v13). This is why Paul, the apostle asks the question..
Acts 19v2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
In Acts 8v5-25, the Samaritans believed in Jesus Christ and were baptised (v12), but did not receive the Holy Spirit (v16), until the apostles laid hands on them, (v17). How did Philip know that they had not received the Holy Spirit? They clearly had great joy (v8), but this was not evidence. And how did Philip and the apostles know that they had received the Holy Spirit, when the apostles laid hands on them? (v17).
Simon the sourcerer, (v9), was impressed with the miracles of healing as he…wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.(v13). It wasn’t until the people received the Holy Spirit, that he blasphemed by offering money (v17-19). What did he see or hear that impressed him more than the healing? Jesus said in Acts 1v8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:.. , the word power in the Greek is dunamis, which means power and is often translated as miracle. In Acts 2v4 we read about the manifesting of this power when the disciples received the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2v4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
There are three witness in the Acts of the Apostle which bear witness to speaking in tongues as the intial sign of receiving the Holy Spirit, Acts 2v4, Acts 10v44-46, Acts 19v1-6.
2 Corinthians 13v1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
What we all must do?
Acts2v37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.