The word "Believe" sums up everything we are about, and much of this text. There are some who like to divide all people into two groups, the believers and the unbelievers. This is an arbitrary division--there are no people who do not believe. Everybody believes in something or someone. The question is not whether or not we believe; it is about the object of our faith, in whom or in what we believe. Faith is what undergirds one's life. It is our highest loyalty, our ultimate commitment. As we use the word here, faith is a response to what God has done. Sometimes it is incorrectly called a decision. But when we use this word we have to be careful not to give the impression that faith is something we have done. It is a gift of God. We can refuse it, but we cannot of our own power or strength create it. Christian faith is: 1. the inner belief, given to us as a gift of the Holy Spirit, which; 2. Enters our lives through Baptism and allows us to realize the truth about the damning consequences of our sinful nature and our need to be saved, and; 3. Enables us to cling to God's gift of grace in Jesus Christ for salvation. For Christians, faith is centered in God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In this sense faith is a personal relationship. God is revealed to us in the Bible, but the Bible is not our God. The word of God is in the Bible as the soul is in the body. The Augsburg Confession (Article IV) reminds us that Christians "…are freely justified for Christ's sake through faith when they believe that they are received into favor and that their sins are forgiven on account of Christ, who by his death made satisfaction for our sins. This faith God imputes for righteousness in his sight." When God saves us, he doesn't wait for us to do something for him to prove that we are saved. He goes to work in us to give us the faith and the good works that go with it. Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit. So is obedience. It is not salvation by works but salvation by grace. Whatever good works we do, are good works "which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." When John says that everyone who believes in Jesus may have eternal life he does not mean that believing is something we have to do by our effort or strength. Rather, God's love for us is so great and deep that he sends his Spirit to help us believe. Whatever faith we have and whatever works we do are done by the Holy Spirit in us.