Whoever Believing in Him
John 3:16 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Jesus died for us on that cross to buy us back for God so that we would now honor God with our lives and with our bodies. He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Co 6:19-20; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21).
When we are believing in Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, we die with him to sin, and we are continuing to die with Christ to sin. We are reborn of the Spirit of God, and now we walk (in lifestyle, in conduct) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
Before we put our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus, we were dead in our sins, not alive to God. We were separate from fellowship with God, and in our own flesh we could do nothing to be acceptable to God (Rom 3:23).
That is why God the Father sent Jesus, God the Son, to the earth, to die for our sins, so we would be delivered from our bondage to sin, so we would be made right with God, and so we would be empowered of the Spirit of God to walk in holiness and righteousness to the glory of God (Rom 6:1-23).
The faith that we must have in Jesus for salvation from sin and for eternal life with God, thus, is ongoing (believing), it is repentant (daily dying to sin), it is obedient to Christ, and it submits to him as Lord (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Tit 2:11-14).
If we do not repent (turn away from our sinful lifestyles), if we do not surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, and if we are not obeying our Lord and his commands, but we are going our own way, instead, we are not saved from our sins and we don’t have eternal life with God (Gal 5:16-21; Rom 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co. 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10).
So, we can’t take this passage in John 3 out of context to say that anyone who (one-time) believes in (acknowledges) Jesus is now saved from his sin and is guaranteed eternal life with God. The rest of Scripture teaches us what it means to believe in Jesus, and not only does it mean death to sin and living to righteousness, but it is ongoing and continuous faith.
That we Might be Saved
John 3:17-18 ESV
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
When this says that Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world, it doesn’t mean that he never spoke words of condemnation and judgment or that he will not ever condemn anyone to hell.
What it means, I believe, is that Jesus’ first time to the earth was to bring salvation, not condemnation, i.e. this was not the time he was coming to bring judgment on the earth and on the people of the earth, but he was bringing the message of how we can be set free from our slavery to sin and how we can, in the power of God, live for the Lord in purity and holiness.
But he spoke plenty of words of condemnation to the Scribes and Pharisees and to all those who were living hypocritical religious lives but whose “faith” was all a performance to look good to other people. In reality, though, they were full of wickedness and they were sinning against God.
Lovers of Darkness, not Light
John 3:19-21 ESV
“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
Jesus also told the people the cost of following him, that it meant he was to be number one in our lives above all else, and that we are to go where he sends us and do what he has called us to do, and we are to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God, and we are to speak the words he gives us to say, and we are to surrender our lives to him as Lord.
If we do not deny ourselves and daily die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and if we do not obey him and his teachings, but if we hold on to our old lives of living for sin and self, he says we are going to lose our lives for eternity, not have eternal life with God (Lu 9:23-26).
So, don’t be fooled into thinking that a verbal confession of faith in Jesus Christ is enough to save you from your sins and for you to have eternal life with God. And don’t buy into the lie that says God won’t judge you for your disobedience and for your sinful lifestyles. He will (Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8).
If you are buying into the lies which tell you that you can be saved from your sins and have eternal life guaranteed you, based on a verbal confession of faith, but you don’t have to die with Christ to sin or live to Christ and to his righteousness, but you can continue living in sin, you are being fooled.
If you choose to walk in sin rather than to come into the light of truth, which is the righteousness of God, so that you can keep on in your wicked deeds, then know the Bible does not promise you eternal life with God, but it says you will die in your sins (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
Jesus preached repentance, he preached obedience to his commands, and he preached surrender to him as Lord of our lives. This is the true gospel. If we do not follow it, we will spend eternity in hell, not with God.
Come and See
An Original Work / May 20, 2013
Based off John 1:35-51
John, the Baptist, called of God to
Make straight the way for the Lord,
Told his disciples about Jesus,
So two of them followed Him.
One of them who followed Jesus
Told his brother, Simon Peter,
Who then he brought to the Savior,
Who had told them, “Come and see.”
Jesus Christ, our Lord, Messiah,
On his way to Galilee found a man, Philip,
So he told him, “I want you to follow Me.”
Philip then found his friend,
And he told him, “We have found the one
The prophets spoke of – He is Jesus!”
Philip then said, “Come and see.”
Jesus saw the man, Nathanael,
While he sat beneath a fig tree,
Even before Philip called him,
So Nathanael did believe.
Nonetheless the Lord said,
“You believe because of what I told you.
You will see much greater things than these
If you will Come and see.”
Jesus’ calling to each one of us.
He tells us to believe in Him
As our Lord and Messiah,
And to follow where He leads.
He says we must turn from our sins,
Die to sin and self each day,
And put on our new lives in Jesus;
Bow before Him; humbly pray.