Everyone Believing in Him
John 3:16 BLB (Berean Literal Bible)
“For God so loved the world that He gave the only begotten Son, so that everyone believing in Him should not perish, but should have eternal life.”
It was God’s choice to send Jesus Christ to the earth to save sinners. For, he is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. It was his will that sent Jesus to the cross to die for us. For it is God’s will that we should not live in sin but that we should live for him and for his righteousness, for the praise and glory of God.
Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, became sin for us on that cross so that when he died our sins died with him, and when he was resurrected from the dead, he rose victorious over sin, hell, death, and Satan, on our behalf. For, he died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us.
This belief in Jesus Christ derives from Christ. He is the author and the perfecter of our faith. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the father draws us to Christ, so this can’t be done in our own human effort. And our faith can’t be according to the will of man, but it must be according to the will of God, for he is the one gifting us with the faith to believe.
Also, this belief in Jesus is present tense. It isn’t that we believed in him (past tense) and that was that. We must be believing in him (present tense) to have eternal life with God. And this belief, again, must be according to the will of God, and his will is for us to be free from our slavery to sin so that we can now walk with him in purity of devotion to him in his righteousness.
So, making a declaration of faith in Jesus Christ is not enough to save you from your sins. And making a one-time decision to receive Christ also does not guarantee you salvation from sin and eternal life with God. We must be actively believing in Jesus, which has to do with our walks of faith, which has to do with what we do in love response to our Lord in obeying him.
For, Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self and take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. He said if we hold on to our old lives (of living in sin and for self) that we will lose them for eternity. But if we lose our lives for his sake (if we are dying with him to sin daily) then we have the hope of eternal life with God.
So, if we claim faith in Jesus Christ and heaven as our eternal destiny, but we continue to live in deliberate and premeditated and habitual sin against our Lord, we will not inherit eternal life with God. We will die in our sins because we refused to die with Christ to our sins. But if we walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, then we have eternal life.
[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]
Whoever Does not Believe
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 Jesus Christ came the first time he came to save, not to condemn, not in the sense of eternal judgment. That will happen when he returns, and he judges the people of the earth, and he takes his bride to be with him for eternity. But this is not to say that he didn’t make judgments on people’s lives. He did! Read what he said to the Pharisees!
But it wasn’t just to the Pharisees that he made these judgments. He said we have to deny self, die with him daily to sin, and that we have to follow him in obedience, or we will lose our lives for eternity. He made it quite clear that to follow him means to leave our past lives behind us and to go wherever he commands us to go and to do whatever he says to do.
For, you see, our salvation is not just forgiveness of sins so that one day we can go to heaven when we die. Our salvation is dying with Christ to sin daily and living to Christ and to his righteousness. It is being delivered from our slavery to sin so that we can now be slaves of God and of his righteousness, with him as our only Lord (owner-master).
So, believing in Jesus means we are dying with him to sin and living to him and to his righteousness. And not believing in him means we are going the way of the flesh, doing whatever our flesh dictates that we should do, continuing to live in deliberate and habitual sin without regard for God or for what he requires of us in the way of holy living.
So, if we choose to turn our back on the Lord and to go our own way and to live for the pleasures of the flesh and not for our Lord, then we are self-condemned, for we refused the ways of righteousness and holiness that God had planned for us and we chose the ways of wickedness, instead.
This is the Judgment
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 is the light that has come into the world. His truth, his gospel is the light. Also righteousness is the light. It is the opposite of darkness, which is wickedness, Satan, and lies. But many people, including many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ, love the darkness rather than the light because their deeds are evil, and they don’t want to give up their evil deeds.
So, they create their own gospel message in the image of man, instead of in the likeness of Jesus Christ, and they convince themselves that they can believe in Jesus and have heaven secured them but that they can continue living in their sinful ways. For they see God’s grace and their salvation as merely forgiveness of sins and the promise of heaven for eternity.
But the Scriptures are clear on this subject. If you choose to not come into the light of truth which requires dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness, but you choose to continue living in sin, in willful defiance against the Lord, you will NOT inherit eternal life with God. It doesn’t matter what you profess with your lips. What matters is what you do in heart response to the Lord Jesus in following him where he leads you.
Jesus, Lead Me
An Original Work / July 22, 2011
Jesus, lead me all the way.
Be my hope and be my stay.
Gently lead me where I should go,
So Your Spirit, I want to know.
Open up my heart to You.
Fill me with Your love and truth.
Make my heart want to obey.
Be my Lord today. Gently lead always.
Jesus, lover of my soul,
Cleanse my heart, and make me whole;
Be transformed in my heart today,
As I turn from my sin and pray.
Make Your will known to my heart.
May I not from You depart.
How I long to hear You now,
As I humbly bow. Jesus, hear me now.