In John 6:29, Jesus explains that the “work of God” that men are called to is to believe in the One he has sent (Jesus). I understood this passage to mean that the belief was the action that would allow the men acting to receive the Bread of Life.
If you guys would share passages related to the definition and practice of “believing”, that would be swell. I may not be able to respond to comments on this topic, but I appreciate any input. Thanks :grinning:



I’m not sure I had thought of that particular passage in that way before, so thanks for that perspective, Ian. I’m totally convinced, though, that ‘belief’ or ‘faith’ such as we have as Christians is certainly not a passive thing but, as you have said, is a ‘practice’; that is, it is active faith.

I think it was Martin Luther who said:

“We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.”

I have had discussions over James 2:24:

“You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.”

People see that as that we are saved by works and not by faith alone. At face value that is what you might take from it. But as you look at what James is saying in context it is just what Martin Luther sums up from above… that our faith in Jesus is an active faith. Faith without action backing it up cannot be said to be true faith, in my view.

So that would be my short answer, I think… faith/belief is not passive, it must necessarily change who we are and what we do.

I always give the example here if Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. (Spoiler alert… but the movie is from 1989 so 30 years should have been enough to see it by now :slight_smile:) Indiana at the end faces a chasm that must be crossed but cannot be jumped or got past by any other means. He is told he has to “have faith” to cross. And this is what happens… he has faith. But he doesn’t have faith and just stand there… he has faith and steps out into the nothingness of the chasm. That is what our faith is to be (not stepping off cliffs); a faith of action that steps out.

Those are my thoughts… looking forward to others.


For starters the book of John was written so that you might believe. It’s worth noting that John uses the word believe 98 times in his writing. He never uses the word faith. I would agree with you that that is precisely what John was trying to convey. Here is a link that should be helpful. it will take you to the Biblia.com a most helpful site.

Please comment if possible.
When you get to the webpage use the search function for the word believe and it will return all verse in your choice of Bible.

Hey @IanW,

The Greek word here is πιστεύητε (pisteuēte), the root word being pistis. This is a common word in the New Testament and as connotation of belief, faith, and trust. It’s a reliant belief, not a senseless belief, but a trusting one that knows and believes in someone or something.

In the context here in John chapter 6, Jesus has fed five thousand, and the people want more signs and provision. They do not trust in either Jesus, nor God Himself. Jesus was trying to instruct them in John chapter 6 to trust/believe/have faith/have pistis in Him. Here is another passage we could also look at related to faith being the answer:

Romans 4:2-6 NASB
[2] For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. [3] For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” [4] Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. [5] But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, [6] just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

Abraham trusted/believed/had faith/had pistis in God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. Jesus wanted the people to have have belief in Him (pisteuon) and they would have eternal life (Jn. 6:47).

I hope that helps for a definition of belief and the context by which Jesus was using it. If anything is unclear or you have other opinions, please feel free to rely.

Thanks for the topic! :slight_smile: