Whoever is 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.”
God the Father loved the people of this sinful world so much that he gave his only begotten Son Jesus Christ, God the Son, to die on a cross to deliver us from our slavery (addiction) to sin. Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us on that cross that we might become the righteousness of God.
So, in his death, our Lord Jesus put our sins to death so that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness; so that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who died for us; and that we might become God’s possession, and now honor God with our lives (our bodies).
He did this so that whoever is believing (present tense) in him should not perish but have eternal life with God. So, this means we don’t have eternal life with God based on a past profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but on a present reality of genuine God-persuaded faith being lived out in one’s life.
For, to believe means to be persuaded (convinced) by God as to who Jesus is, and as to what he did for us on that cross, and what that means for us, and that includes what is required of us, too. For, when we are believing with God-given faith, which originates with Jesus, and is being perfected by Jesus, we die with Christ to sin, and we are rebirthed of the Spirit of God.
We entrust our lives to Jesus Christ to deliver us out of our bondage to sin so that we can now become slaves of God and of his righteousness. He is now our Lord (owner-master), and we belong to him. And now we are to walk in the works which he planned in advance that we should do.
Now we no longer walk (conduct our lives in practice) according to the flesh, but now according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God. Daily by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, saying “No!” to sin and “Yes!” to walking in obedience to our Lord in the power of God’s Spirit.
This is the only faith that saves us from our sins, and which promises us eternal life with God. It must be a present reality in our lives, it must be what we put into practice in our lives, and we must continue in this faith until the very end, and then we have eternal life with God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Jn 6:44; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2]
We are Saved Through Him
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.”
Many people read this first sentence here and they draw the conclusion that Jesus Christ will never judge any of us. That is not true! It is true that when he came to the earth the first time, he came not to bring judgment on the world but to save the world. But when he returns for his bride, he will judge those who did not believe in him (Matt 7:21-23; 2 Co 5:10; Acts 17:31).
For truly it is our unbelief which condemns us. And many who proclaim faith in Jesus Christ are guilty of unbelief because they never submitted to Christ as Lord nor obeyed him. They never died with him to sin, and so they were never reborn of the Spirit of God. And presently they are still living to the flesh and not according to the Spirit, so they will die in their sins.
But our God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. And repentance is not a mere change of mind away from non-belief in Jesus to some human-originated faith in Jesus Christ. Repentance is making a spiritual U-turn. We are turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God that we might receive forgiveness of sins.
And repentance is essential to our faith and to our salvation. Jesus taught repentance for salvation as did John the Baptist, and as did the apostles. It means we die with Christ to sin, we are raised with him to newness of life in him, and now we walk in obedience to his commands. We were going one way, and now we are going the exact opposite way (the U-Turn).
People Love the Darkness
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 Christ is the light, as is truth and righteousness. The gospel is the light. Jesus Christ came into the world. He spoke the truth of the gospel to the people, that they must deny self, die daily to sin and self, and walk in obedience to his commands, and leave their lives of sin behind them.
He told them that if they held on to their old sinful lifestyles that they would lose their lives for eternity, but if they lost their lives for his sake, i.e., if they died with him to sin and lived with him to his righteousness that they would have eternal life with him (Lu 9:23-26; cf. Rom 8:1-17).
The Apostle Paul taught the same thing, that we must die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, that we must forsake our lives of sin to follow our Lord in obedience to his commands, or else we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).
But the light is being distorted by humans who, in their flesh, want to have the promise of heaven when they die but who do not want to live for the Lord on this earth. So, they have adulterated the true gospel and have reduced it to something contrary to the true gospel of grace.
They have turned God’s grace into a license for lasciviousness by telling people that they can say some magic words or just acknowledge who Jesus is and what he did and they are saved and bound for heaven no matter how they live their lives from that moment forward.
Many today are taking it further than that, and they are outright stating that faith in Jesus Christ requires no repentance, no obedience to Christ, and no submission to him as Lord. In fact, they are calling that “works-based salvation,” and they are demonizing the true gospel.
So, they are those who love the darkness (sin), and thus they want to continue in their habitual and deliberate sinful practices, and so they won’t come into the light. They won’t die with Christ to sin, and they won’t deny self and follow him in obedience, and so they stand condemned.
But whoever does what is true (makes truth and righteousness their practice) comes into the light, i.e., is crucified with Christ in death to sin and lives to Christ and to his righteousness, in the power of God, as a matter of lifestyle, their walk of faith in Jesus Christ, which results in eternal life.
[See the Scripture references in the first section]
By Jonathan Foreman
I give you my destiny
I’m giving you all of me
I want your symphony
Singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs
I’m giving it my all
So, I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours
I know now you’re my only hope
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