May 13, 2022
The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Carefully consider the Lord’s words. He said He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. Most new Bibles leave out the words on me. But these two words speak volumes. Of the fifty times the words believe and on are used in the same verse forty-five of them have to do with believing on the Lord. The word on means “being in contact with the surface…of a thing and supported by it…as a book on a table.” (Webster’s 1828 dictionary) To believe on Jesus means to be in contact with Him; supported by Him, continually. For example, once the book is removed from the table it no longer is on the table.
Sometimes, far less times, the words believe and in are used to describe the belief system of someone concerning Christ. They believe in Him. “In denotes [being] present or inclosed, surrounded by limits; as in a house; in a fort; in a city.” Believing in Christ speaks of position; believing on Him speaks of permanency.
Either way, believing on Him, believing in Him brings everlasting life. The Apostle Peter looked at the words “on” and “in” from a different perspective. Instead of looking at them from the sinner’s point of view, he looked at them from God’s point of view. He wrote in I Peter 2:24, Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. Thus tying the death of Christ on the cross to Isaiah’s Old Testament prophecy But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him: and with his stripes we are healed. This is found in Isaiah 53:5, but later in that prophetic chapter something more personal is recorded. …when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
How can a person make his soul an offering for sin? Simply by believing on Him, believing in Him. According to the tenth Verily, verily teaching it is just that simple.
Until next time,
William T. Howe, Ph.D.