Faith of Jesus Christ


Believe: Passive or Active?

Dear Brother: Peace in the Lord. I have few questions and would like your help to answer:

  1. Believe (4100, verb): in New Testament, it appears 245 times. In Gospel of John alone, “believe” appears 99 times, which is about 40% out of 245 times. In Romans, “believe” appears 21 times. But Faith (4102, noun, which is the subject of the Faith Version: Holy Bible of His Faith) occurs 242 times in New Testament. In Romans, “faith” appears 40 times. However, in Gospel of John, “faith” was not used at all. Why so?

  2. “Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:” (Rom 3:22) The “believe” in this verse is active present tense. In Romans, it is frequently indicating that a man believes in active voice, for example, “Abraham believed God” (Rom 4:3) (however, in LXX Septuagint translation, “believe” is a passive voice.) From my understanding, according to the original text, the verb “believe” supposes to be in passive voice to convince the “subject” it associated. Thus Romans 10:10, kardiva/ gaVr pisteuvetai eij" dikaiosuvnh (for heart is believed unto righteousness) the verb “believe” here is passive present tense. So my question is: should a man “believe” in Christ in passive voice or in active voice? I believe that God's Holy Spirit moves a man to believe thus a passive voice. Would a active voice “believe” mean that a man was moved (passively) by Holy Spirit to believe first, then he believes “actively” afterward.

  3. In Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”, the “justified” is a passive voice past tense verb (justify, 1344, verb), similarly in Romans 3:28. However, in Romans 10:10, the verb “believe” is in passive voice present tense, the “justification” becomes a noun (dikaiosuvnhn, 1343, noun). Some commentary indicated that here the “believe” is a general statement thus recommended to translate into “it is believed” (A.T.Robertson). Similar to above questions, does the “justification” also has two stages of process as “believe”: to be moved by Holy Spirit to believe (passive) to be justified (passive) then actively believe and actively justify. If so, why the “believe” in Romans 10:10 is till in passive voice?

    In summary, the questions above are asking: our “believe” is a “passive” or “active” voice? our “justification” is an “action” or a “status”? From a sinner point of view, I don't think that a man can “actively” believe. Therefore I still cannot understand how can a man stay in the righteousness (if he cannot “actively” believe).

Last, when the Gospel of John mentioned that our salvation is because we believe, as I mentioned in the question 1, in Gospel of John, the verb “believe” appears only in active voice and present tense, but in Romans, the verb “believe” appears many times in passive voice. Would this indicate that the justification is through passive believe, but the salvation is through active believe? If so, then it contradicts with my 2nd question: “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3) it is active “believe” and justified.


Dear Brother,


Praise the Lord Jesus Christ that he raised us from death!

We were dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1).

Would a spiritual dead person believe in Jesus?

Would a spiritual dead person praise the God?

Actually the answer shall be very simple: No.


In Romans 10:10, the solution for the “passive” believe is in Genesis 15:6.


In English or Greek, there are only three voices for a verb: active, passive and reflexive.


But in Hebrew, a verb may have seven major voices (stems). In Gen 15:6, “he believed in the LORD”, the verb “he believes” (in Hebrew pronounced as Ha_Amen) is neither “active”, nor “passive”. It is “hiphil” stem. What is “hiphil” stem? Hiphil stem (voice) means: the hidden subject causes the subject to do the same. So in Hebrew, “he believed in the LORD” it means “(Jesus believes in the LORD causes) he believed in the LORD”. Jesus is the hidden subject and Juses is the only life that believes the LORD unto death! And Jesus gave his life (faith) to “he” (the subject) to do the same which is “believes in the LORD”. Therefore, when I say “I believe in Jesus”, in Hebrew (hiphil voice) that means “(Jesus/God/Holy Spirit) causes me to believe in Jesus!”


Paul is a Jew and when he was writing kardiva/ gaVr pisteuvetai eij" dikaiosuvnh (for the heart is believed unto righteousness) in Romans 10:10, he cannot find a “hiphil” voice in Greek. Therefore, Paul used the “passive” voice of believe to indicate “hiphil” voice that “the heart is caused (by Jesus/God/Holy Spirit/His Faith) to believe unto righteousness.


A patient was dying of kidney failure. A gentleman with loving kindness was willing to give this patient his own healthy kidney. After one week of a successful operation, a doctor congratulated the patient and said: congratulations! YOUR kidney function is normal now!

I would like to ask you a question: WHOSE kidney is this?


Jesus loves us. He saw we were dead (kidney was not functioning! faith is not working! not able to believe! already dead!) in trespasses and sins. He decided to die for us on the cross and paid for our sins. He then was raised on the third day and now he gave us his own life of faith. The Faith of Jesus Christ is actually the operation of God who has raised him from the dead. His Faith thus operates in us and causes us to believe in God/Jesus/Holy Spirit. Today He tells us: YOUR faith has saved you! (Mat 9:22, Mak 10:52, Luk 8:48)

I would like to ask you the same question: WHOSE faith is this? (Whose actively “believe” in the Gospel of John?)


In the Bible, the verb “believe” is neither active nor passive, it is “hiphil” the action of the ONE who is actively saving us even up to today! He is alive! Amen.


We are currently study Romans in our weekly Bible study, welcome to join us!


Published on 12 Jan 2015 at 01:53AM under .

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