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Lesson 17: God’s Use of the Word “Believe” in the Book of Acts Please pick up a handout from the table in the back of the auditorium for class this morning.

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Presentation on theme: "Lesson 17: God’s Use of the Word “Believe” in the Book of Acts Please pick up a handout from the table in the back of the auditorium for class this morning."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lesson 17: God’s Use of the Word “Believe” in the Book of Acts Please pick up a handout from the table in the back of the auditorium for class this morning.

2 “Believe” (Gk, pisteuo) Can Be Used As “Mental Acknowledgement” A.When someone is exposed to certain information, believing can mean, simply, “to consider such information to be truthful/reliable.” 1.Examples: 1 Corinthians 11:18; James 2:19; Acts 26:27 I.

3 A.True “believing” goes a step beyond “mental acknowledgement,” for it moves to action. 1.“Believing” can mean “to trust” what God says and “to obey” what He says to do. II. “Believe” (Gk, pisteuo) Can Be Used in the Full Sense of “Trustful Obedience”

4 B.Often, the word “believe” (pisteuo) is used interchangeably with “obedience.” 1.John 3:36 “He who believes (pisteuo) on the Son has eternal life; “but he who does not obey (apeitheo) the Son will not see life…” 2.Hebrews 3:18-19 “…they would not enter His rest…who were disobedient (apeitheo) “…they could not enter in because of unbelief (apistia)” 3.Acts 14:1-2 “A great multitude both of Jews and of Greeks believed (pisteuo). “But the Jews that were disobedient (apeitheo) stirred up the souls…” C.To “believe” the Lord is to “do what He says,” and “a refusal to obey” is “disbelief.” II. “Believe” (Gk, pisteuo) Can Be Used in the Full Sense of “Trustful Obedience”

5 A.In many instances, “believing” is a summary term that encompasses all the conditions of God’s plan of salvation. 1.God frequently makes use of “synecdoche,” which is a figure of speech by which a part of something can stand for the whole (or vice versa). 2.In the matter of salvation, God frequently uses a part of His plan for the whole. a)Ex: John 3:16; Rom. 10:9-10; Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30; 1 Pet. 3:21 b)A part not specifically stated does not mean it is not a condition of salvation. III. “Believe” (Gk, pisteuo) Can Be Used As a “Summary Term” for All Conditions of Salvation

6 B.“Believe” (pisteuo) can be used to summarize the entire process of being saved. 1.On Pentecost, the process of being saved encompassed: a)A heart-pricked petition, “What shall we do?” (2:37). b)Command to “repent” and “be baptized” for remission (2:38). c)Those who “received his word were baptized” (2:41). d)Full picture: believers repented and were baptized to be saved. e)As a summary term for their obedience, Luke states: 1)“Now all who believed were together” (2:44) 2)“Believed” = those who repented and baptized for remission. 3)“Believed” is a summary of the obedience described in 2: III. “Believe” (Gk, pisteuo) Can Be Used As a “Summary Term” for All Conditions of Salvation

7 B.“Believe” (pisteuo) can be used to summarize the entire process of being saved. 2.The same word is used in 4:4, which points back to 2:44. a)“Many of those who heard the word believed; and the number…5,000.” b)The 5,000 in 4:4 includes the 3,000 in 2: c)Therefore, “believed” in 4:4 means exactly what it did in 2:44 (i.e., full obedience). III. “Believe” (Gk, pisteuo) Can Be Used As a “Summary Term” for All Conditions of Salvation

8 B.“Believe” (pisteuo) can be used to summarize the entire process of being saved. 3.In Philippi, the process of being saved encompassed: a)“Believe…and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). b)“Washed their stripes” as a fruit of repentance (16:33). c)“Immediately” was “baptized” (16:33). d)Full picture: believers repented and were baptized to be saved. e)As a summary term for obedience, Luke states: 1)“…He rejoiced, having believed in God” (16:34). 2)“Believed” = had repented and been baptized for salvation. 3)“Believed” is a summary of the obedience in 16: III. “Believe” (Gk, pisteuo) Can Be Used As a “Summary Term” for All Conditions of Salvation

9 A.“Believe” and “be baptized” are two distinct steps in God’s plan of salvation (Mark 16:16). 1.It is possible for a person to do one without doing the other. 2.However, in God’s scheme of redemption, both are essential for salvation; therefore, one is no good without the other. 3.If one has been saved by God, he has taken both of these steps, without exception. IV. “Believe” (Gk, pisteuo) Can Be Used to Specifically “Include Baptism”

10 B.“Believe” (pisteuo) can be used to include the act of baptism. 1.To a group of sincere students in Acts 19, Paul asked two questions to ascertain their level of understanding and the steps they had taken prior to his arrival: a)“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” (19:2). Answer: “No” b)“Into what then were you baptized?” (19:3) c)Paul was not changing topics with his second question. 1)Belief and baptism are tied together. Paul was just getting more specific. 2)In fact, their baptism (in v. 3) was a part of the belief process (in v. 2). IV. “Believe” (Gk, pisteuo) Can Be Used to Specifically “Include Baptism”

11 B.“Believe” (pisteuo) can be used to include the act of baptism. 2.Those who responded to the gospel in Corinth followed the same pattern: a)It is stated that “Crispus…believed on the Lord with all his household” (18:8). b)Also, “And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized” (18:8). c)Crispus did not do something different or less than the others (see 1 Cor. 1:14). d)Luke merely summarizes (through synecdoche) to encompass all, incl. baptism. IV. “Believe” (Gk, pisteuo) Can Be Used to Specifically “Include Baptism”

12 A.“Believe”(pisteuo) is used to reflect the entire process of becoming a Christian because: 1.“Believing” is the foundation of one’s surrender to Christ. 2.“Believing” is the motivating factor for further obedience. 3.However, “believing” alone, without full obedience, is dead! B.“Believe” (pisteuo) is also used to describe those who have already become Christians. 1.“the multitude of them that believed” (4:32). 2.“those who had believed through grace” (18:27). 3.Paul said he had persecuted “those who believe” (22:19). C.True “believing” is so much more than mental acknowledges. It is trusting obedience! V. The True Nature of Faith in the N.T. Is Emphasized in Becoming and Living As a Christian


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