Believing in Jesus Christ

The text:

Whoever believes in (eis) the Son has eternal life, …   (John 3:36)

In this study we examine what it means to believe in Jesus, with ‘in’ as the translation of the little Greek word ‘eis’.

The meaning of ‘eis’ is explained in: ‘Word study of the little Greek words epi, en, eis’.

The little Greek words ‘en’ and ‘eis’ are of importance for the present study

  • ‘en’, which draws attention to the place or status where or in which an action takes place.
  • ‘eis’, which assumes there to be movement from outside into, or onto the place where the action takes place.

An example:

Someone is sitting at the window looking outside.
He feels the warmth of the sun on his skin and enjoys the view of his garden and nature.

If he wishes to experience nature to the full – the grandness of fresh air, the scent of flowers, feeling the wind on his skin, he will have to:

  • Get up and leave his house,
  • go outside ‘into’ (eis) ‘in’ (eis) the garden, in other words: go ‘into’ (eis) the garden.

Only when the person goes outside, ‘into’ (eis) the garden, will he be able to experience God’s creation to the full ‘in’ (en) the garden.

Some Bible texts:

Believing in Jesus:
Remember: ‘eis’ supposes there to be movement ‘into’, or ‘onto’ the place where the action takes place.

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. … whoever believes in (eis) me will never be thirsty.   (John 3:35)

Whoever believes in (eis) the Son has eternal life, …   (John 3:36)

For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in (eis) him shall have eternal life, …   (John 6:40)

Still, many in (eis) the crowd believed in him.   (John 7:31)

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in (eis) me will live, even though they die; …   (John 11:25)

If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in (eis) him, …   (John 11:48)

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in (eis)?   (Romans 10:14)

The goal of believing in Jesus.
The purpose of Jesus’ coming to the world is for a disciple to live in Jesus, just as Jesus lives in a relationship with His Father:

On that day you will realize that I am in (en) my Father, and you are in (en) me, and I am in (en) you.   (John 14:20)

Remember: ‘en’ draws attention to the place where the action takes place.

Just as Jesus lives in a relationship with His Father, a disciple will live in a relationship with Jesus:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in (en) me and I in (en) you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.   (John 15:5)

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in (en) me, and I in (en) them.   (John 6:56)


To be able to be ‘in’ (en) Jesus, one must first come ‘in’ (eis – into) Jesus.

Back to the example:

As explained in the study ‘John 3:3-5 – Conversion and discipleship’, living in Jesus requires two steps:

  • Conversion
  • Discipleship

1. Conversion:
Through conversion one is born into new spiritual life.
As a result of this the believer comes to see something of the Kingdom of Heaven.
This is like the person sitting at the window and looking out and experiencing something of nature in the example above.

Whoever, through conversion, looks at Jesus from the viewpoint of his worldly surroundings, trusts (believes) that He is the Son of God, trusts (believes) that He died for the forgiveness of sins, … sees and undergoes something of the Kingdom of God, without fully becoming part thereof himself.

Ander bekeerd
This is what is illustrated in the study ‘A different schematic presentation’ by the drawing: People who know Jesus in their life.


Moreover, Jesus desires everyone, who has received forgiveness of sins, to live in (en) Him and thus to experience the blessings of the Kingdom of Heaven to the full.

2. Discipleship:
From the spiritual point of view discipleship is living by the Spirit, whereby the believer does not trust in himself, but totally in Jesus, when making decisions in life.
Expressed otherwise: Puts his trust in(to) (eis) Jesus.
That is like in the example above, leaving the house and going outside, into (eis) nature, in order to experience it to the full.

Ander discipel
This is explained in the study ‘A different schematic presentation’ by the drawing: People who give Jesus authority over their life.


When asked:

“What must we do to do the works God requires?”   (John 6:28)

Jesus answers:

“The work of God is this: to believe in (eis: into) the one he has sent.”   (John 6:29)

Doing the works of God is determined by trusting in(to) Jesus.

Whoever trusts (believes) in(to) (eis) Jesus will live in (en) Jesus.

Jesus taught:

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to (eis: into) the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
Anyone who loves their life (psuche = soul) will lose it, while anyone who hates their life (psuche = soul) in this world will keep it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.
(John 12:24-26 – also Matthew 16:24-26 and 10:39 / Mark 8:35 / Luke 9:24 and 17:33)

The kernel of grain must be planted in/into (eis) the earth and remain in (en) in the earth in order to be transformed into its destiny, growing into a fully-fledged, fruit bearing plant.

Only in this way will the believer live as a disciple of Jesus, if he/she transfers faith/trust in (en) him/herself (in)to (eis) Jesus when making life’s decisions, in order, subsequently, to remain in (en) Jesus. Only in this way will the disciple bear fruit according to the norms of God’s Kingdom.

As Jesus said:

… for I always do what pleases him (my Father).   (John 8:29)

As Jesus lived in a relationship with His Father, the disciple will live in a relationship with Jesus.


In our use of language “believing/trusting into Jesus Christ” or “putting trust into Jesus Christ” are strange expressions.
They can be understood better as: entrusting oneself to Jesus Christ.

A disciple of Jesus Christ does not only “believe” in Him, but has fully “entrusted himself to Him” in all aspects of life.

See also the studies:


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Believing in Jesus Christ.