The apostle John used the verb form "pisteuō," translated as "believe" and sometimes as
"trust" or "commit," ninety eight times in the gospel. By stressing its verb form, John presents faith as
an intentional act of believing; it is not simply an idea, subjective feeling or the mere assent of a proposition.
"Believe" meant the active acceptance of the message about Jesus.
When the apostle John preached "pisteuō eis," he encouraged the acceptance of a Jesus'
statements as true; believing grows naturally out of trust in the person. In essence, "believe Jesus when
He preaches" (John 8:40-45) or "believe in His word"
(John 2:22; 5:47)
is equivalent to "believe in the Jesus who is proclaimed."
The apostle John wanted the world to know that the One proclaimed is the Jesus who met
them and preached what God will do through Christ.
What the Gospel proclaims as an event, Jesus' act of atonement, is itself the very character
of God's word.
In John 1:1 ("In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God"), the apostle John develops the thought that God's word and act
are unity. Through the Bible, human beings meet God's act, and through God's act is the basis for the Bible.
Of the gospels, the book of John stands unique in making this explicit association: the
unity of Jesus Christ with God's word.
For deeper study:
What does John say about "faith"?
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