By Johnie Edwards
The phrase “believer in God” is a descriptive term of all a child of God does in obeying God. Peter said, “Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God” (1 Pet. 1:21).
The “believer in God” is not one who just believes in God as many are often lead to believe. Many times the word believe includes obedience. Take a look at this: “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which, the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner” (1 Pet. 2:7). It seems that the word believe and obedience are the same since he refers to the disobedient in the same sentence. Read it and see. Now take a look at John 3:36 in the American Standard Version. “He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life-, but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” It can be easily seen from this passage that the believer in God is an obedient believer. Let’s take a look at one more instance of where the believer in God has obeyed God. When the Philippian jail keeper asked what to do to be saved, he was told, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31). By reading more of his conversion, it can be seen that he “washed -their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway” (Acts 16:33). After the jailor had heard the word of God and had obeyed it, inspiration records that he “rejoiced believing in God with all his house” (Acts 16:34).
Now let’s take a look at the believer in God from the book of God.
Believes There Is A God
The believer in God believes there is a God and has his faith in God. Peter said, “Who by him do believe in God (1 Pet. 1:21). Perhaps one reason that many never obey the Lord is due to their lack of faith in God. The apostle to the Hebrews made it clear, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6). Too many have their faith in men rather than in God. Paul told the Corinthians, “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Cor. 2:5). One cannot read but three words in the Bible without realizing there is a God. “In the beginning God … ! ” (Gen. 1: 1). We need to believe that God “created” us (Gen. 1:27); and it is “in him we live, and move, and have our being . . . ” (Acts 17:28). Only “the fool hath said in his heart, there is no God” (Psa. 14:1).
Believes In The Resurrection
The “believer in God” believes that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. Again Peter said, “Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory. . .” (1 Peter 1:21). Many people, who claim to be believers, deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave! There is just no way that a person can really believe in God and not believe what God says about the resurrection. Paul said, “We have testified of God that he raised up Christ. . . ” (1 Cor. 15:15). If Jesus was not raised, then there is no assurance that any of us will ever be resurrected from the grave. But the Bible says, “And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power” (1 Cor. 6:14). You see, if there was no resurrection, “your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins, they which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished, and we who have our hope in Christ, are of all men most miserable. . . ” (1 Cor. 15:13-19).
Has Purified His Soul
The “believer in God” is one who has purified his own soul. Peter further states, “Seeing ye have purified your souls . . .” (1 Pet. 2:22). The word “soul” in this passage simply refers to the inner man – the spirit which Zechariah meant when he said that God “formeth the spirit of man within him” (Zech. 12: 1). Every person is responsible for seeing to it that his soul is made clean. How does one go about purifying his soul? The Psalmist said, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psa. 119:9). If one is to be clean he must take heed to the word of God. Jesus put it this way, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you”(Jno. 15:3). When death coines, “the dust shall return to the earth as it was: and-the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Eccl. 12:7). The soul that shall return to God and expects to enjoy the bliss of eternity must purify his soul while he lives and keep it clean for “there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Rev. 20:27).
Obeys The Truth
The “believer of God” is one who has obeyed the truth. “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit . . .” (1 Pet. 1:22). There is no way that one can claim to be a believer in God, in the real sense of the word, without doing what God says! Jesus said, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say” (Lk. 6:46)? Salvation is promised to those who obey. The Hebrew writer said that Jesus is the “author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb. 5:9). The believer in God does not obey just anything but he obeys the truth. Jesus said, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). You know the Bible refers to those who “have not obeyed the gospel” (Rom. 10: 16). New Testament believers heard the word of God, believed the word of God and obeyed the word of God. This obedience includes being “baptized into Christ” (Gal. 3:27). The believer in God continues to obey the truth after he has been baptized for the remission of his past sins. Paul in writing the Galatians said, “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth” (Gal. 5:7)?
The “believer in God” has a loving heart. Peter said, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently” (1 Pet. 1:22). Love must be with sincerity and without hypocrisy. Fervency must characterize the love that the believer in God has for his fellow Christians. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (Jn. 13:35). There are too many places where brethren “bite and devour one another” and Paul told the Galatians to “take heed that ye be not consumed one of another” (Gal. 5:15). One reason a lot of churches have so many internal problems is that brethren have just not learned to love each other enough.
Are you a “believer in God”?
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 2, pp. 38-39
January 19, 1984