But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth, 2nd Thessalonians 2:13.
The word "belief" is only in the King James Bible one time. The Apostle Paul makes it clear that belief of the truth is a key to salvation. The verb for belief is "believe". To believe is to have a belief. I was recently asked if "belief" and "faith" were the same thing. I explained that it wasn't.
People travel to Mecca to fulfill a mandate from the Quran because of their belief. Children put out milk and cookies for Santa Claus because of a belief. Sociologists form theories for human behavior based on their belief in evolution. There is no substance to what they believe. The evidence is contrived and suits their individual desires or needs. Such is the nature of religion.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, Hebrews 11:1. Faith is not an arbitrary choice. It is not a belief akin to Santa Claus, evolution or false religions. In the bible definition of faith, faith is a tangible thing. It is a substance that cannot be seen, but nevertheless exists as evidence. Faith is the byproduct of a sincere person reading and studying the word of God. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, Romans 10:17.
Throughout that process, the person reading the bible has a choice as to whether or not to believe what he is reading. This is not some arbitrary choice as in choosing what religion to follow, or whether Santa Claus is real. This is a spiritual process in which the Holy Ghost interacts with the heart and mind of the reader seeking to convince the reader, and to impart real spiritual proof of what is being read.
A robin or some other migratory bird eating grubs in Costa Rica knows when it is time to begin his migration to Northern regions. It is built into his very being. He reacts to the change in season because of an evidentiary substance in him that cannot be seen or measured with standard instruments. He reacts to an instinctive impulse implanted by his creator.
Likewise, the person who willingly reads his bible, allows it to instruct him, and is willing to forsake his previous beliefs receives a work of the Holy Ghost in which the Holy Ghost plants a substance within him. That substance is faith which he finds to be sufficient evidence that the bible is true. With the help of the Holy Ghost, he chooses to believe what is written.
There are two great barriers to the belief needed to allow faith to do its miraculous work. Jesus Christ warned of these.
How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?, John 5:44.
A person who approaches the word of God, the gospel, or any other aspect of the faith of Jesus Christ, but approaches these things while worried about what others are thinking has voided the work of the Holy Ghost. Of old, that is why altar calls were given. People forsook their pride with an open declaration of their bankruptcy before God.
John 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
John 5:47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
Herein is the other great barrier to belief. There is more to Moses than just believing in creation. Moses wrote the laws that define right from wrong. Moses wrote the precepts whereby a sinful person can judge himself in the light of God's word. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God, Romans 3:19. You will note that the law served that purpose for the whole world. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith, Galatians 3:24.
For a person to say, "I believe" and yet not be dispossessed of doubt and unbelief, that belief is not biblical. It is just a fanciful belief. The Lord chose the precepts of the law to convince men of his justice. We have a generation of would be soul winners who think that they themselves are sufficient schoolmasters to bring men to Christ. When they ask men if they truly believe, they accept any definition at all for belief. God has his own definition and men have fallen far short of it.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
A man or woman can repeat the sinner's prayer from now until the rapture, and it will never save them if they bring a belief not wrought by the Holy Ghost. We have flooded our respective nations with armies of people who upon the urging of a humanist soul winner, exercised a worldly faith, and left without ever having truly called upon the Lord. To hear the testimony of someone who awakened to that fact, click here.