The imperative 'believe'

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The imperative \'believe\'

I've been looking into the 'command' to believe, and at the same time, I'm reading The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther...

Well in Section 56 of Discussion One, I came across this:

Concordances all the imperative words into one chaos, provided that, they be not words of the promise but of the requirement of the law only, and I will immediately declare, that by them is always shewn what men ought to do, not what they can do, or do do. And even common grammarians and every little school-boy in the street knows, that by verbs of the imperative mood, nothing else is signified than that which ought to be done, and that, what is done or can be done, is expressed by verbs of the indicative mood.
Thus, therefore, it comes to pass, that you theologians, are so senseless and so many degrees below even school-boys, that when you have caught hold of one imperative verb you infer an indicative sense, as though what was commanded were immediately and even necessarily done, or possible to be done.

So I did some research into the word believe as used in the most popular Arminian passages that tell us to believe in order to be saved, and these are my results.

Mk 1:15 - And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

imperative mood - men OUGHT TO

Acts 16:31 - And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

imperative (active aorist) - men OUGHT TO

Romans 10:9 - That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

subjunctive (active aorist)
  • The subjunctive mood is the mood of possibility and
    potentiality. The action described may or may not occur,
    depending upon circumstances. Conditional sentences of the third class ("ean" + the subjunctive) are all of this type, as well as many commands following conditional purpose clauses, such as those beginning with "hina."
I think the subjunctive means that IF you are saved, you will confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. Because I don't think you must say "I believe that Jesus rose from the dead" in order to be saved, do you? You must have faith in the sacrifice, not in the resurrection, am I right?

Matt 27:42 - He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

indicative (future active) - men are ABLE

Acts 15:11 - But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. (speaking of those already saved)

indicative (present active) - men are ABLE

I'm posting this here to get some feedback. I want to know if I'm on the right track, or if there are any 'experts' out there who are more familiar with the Greek uses of this word.


[Edited on 3-4-2006 by humbled]
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