We are all on death row, and there is only one way out. Jesus.
In this verse, Jesus chose to emphasize the power of faith. Jesus healed multitudes, but many, if not most, did not believe in Him.
Commentary from the MacArthur Study Bible, notes for Mark 9:23.
Belief in the Lord Jesus, in who He is and in what He did on our behalf, isn’t just intellectual acknowledgement but complete abandonment of ourselves to Him.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, April 28, 2021.
Prior verses, 23 and 24, subtly reveal the true nature of belief from a biblical standpoint. Because of what observers knew of Jesus from His miraculous signs, many came to believe in Him. However, Jesus made it His habit not to wholeheartedly “entrust” or “commit” Himself to them because He knew their hearts. Verse 24 indicates that Jesus looked for genuine conversion rather than enthusiasm for the spectacular. “Belief into His name” involves much more than intellectual assent. It calls for whole-hearted commitment of one’s life to Jesus.
Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for John 2:23,24.
~2 Timothy 1:12-14~
All people have a belief system whether they realize it or not. Even those who claim there is no God have faith that He does not exist. What we believe affects every area of our life and shapes each decision we make, yet few of us take the time to really think about what we accept as true.
All belief systems have a foundation. Some people base their convictions on what fits their lifestyle, reasoning, and desires. But that is not to be the case with Christians – Jesus calls His followers to adapt life to their faith in Him and the authority of His Word.
Anytime we add other philosophies or ideas to Scripture or pick and choose which parts of the Bible to believe, we create our own version of faith, based on personal reasoning. God’s Word is the only true and reliable foundation for belief, because it contains the recorded thoughts of an eternal, omniscient God. All other concepts must be measured against Scripture to determine their validity.
Knowing what the Bible says is essential for developing a sound system of beliefs founded on the truth and wisdom of the Lord. This world offers many philosophies that sound good but are laced with lies. A faith anchored in what Scripture teaches is your protection against deception.
Each time you face a problem or decision, search God’s Word for the answer. Begin your day by reading the Bible and asking God to help you understand what He is saying. He loves communicating with His children and as you spend time with Him, He’ll open your mind to know His thoughts.
Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, November 26, 2017.
Intellectual assent – agreement with a set of Christian teachings – is incomplete faith. True faith transforms our lives. If our lives remain unchanged, we don’t truly believe the truths we claim to believe. Living the way God wants us to live does not earn our way into heaven, but it shows that our commitment to God is real. Godly conduct is not a substitute for, but a verification of our faith in Christ.
Commentary from the One Year NIV Devotional New Testament, November 10. Tyndale House publishers, Inc. 2003.