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 is Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. So, the Son is also God. So, not only did the Father give his only begotten Son, but the Son gave himself for us. So, what did he give his Son to do? Yes, to die on a cross for our sins and then to be resurrected from the dead in victory over sin. But what did Jesus’ death on that cross accomplish for us? If we don’t understand that, we can’t understand what our salvation means.
The Scriptures teach that Jesus 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. Jesus gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. And he shed his blood for us to buy us back for God so we would now honor God with our bodies.
[1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15,21; Titus 2:14; 1 Co 6:19-20; Rom 6:1-23]
And Jesus taught that if anyone would come after him that he must deny himself and take up his cross daily (daily die to sin) and follow (obey) him. For, he said that whoever would save his life (hold on to his life of sin) would lose it (for eternity), but that whoever loses his life (dies with Christ to sin) for Jesus’ sake will save his life (for eternity). For what does it profit if a person gains the whole world and loses and forfeits his soul? (Lu 9:23-26)
Also, belief in Jesus is not a one-time experience in our lives and then we are good to go to heaven when we die regardless of what transpires from now until then. For this passage must be read as “whoever believing in him.” So this belief must be in the present, not just past. And our faith to believe in Jesus comes from God, Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith, and faith is gifted to us by God, and not one of us can come to faith in Jesus unless God the Father draws us (persuades us) to believe in Jesus.
[Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1]
Since this faith (belief) comes from God, is persuaded by God, and is gifted to us by God, this faith will be according to God’s divine character and will and purpose for our lives, and in agreement with his holiness and righteousness, and it will be consistent with the purpose for why Jesus died for us on that cross. Thus those who have this God-given faith will die with Christ to sin, not just once but daily, they will forsake their sinful practices, and they will now follow Jesus in obedience to his commands for our lives.
[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 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23]
For, if we are believing in Jesus with genuine God-given faith in him, we will surrender our lives to him and submit to his Lordship over our lives and walk in holiness and righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit. For we understand that our lives are no longer our own to be lived however we want. For we were bought back for God with the blood of Jesus so that we are now God’s possession who are zealous to do the works that God prepared in advance that we should walk in them (Eph 2:10; Tit 2:14).
Now going back to this verse in John 3 and comparing that to Luke 9 where Jesus talked about what is required of us in order to have this eternal life with God, we need to understand here that faith in Jesus isn’t just some prayer we pray or some confession we make. But faith is obedience, and it is submission to God, and it is forsaking our sins. It is what the Scriptures teach. So, please read these noted Scriptures.
For why did Jesus die? That our old self might be crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. So we are to no longer let sin reign in our mortal bodies to make us obey its passions. For we are slaves of the one we obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness and to sanctification, and its end is eternal life with God (Rom 6:1-23).
So, believing in God/Jesus involves forsaking our sins and surrendering our lives to Jesus Christ to now follow him in obedience throughout our lives up until the very end. But if we do not do that, then we are not believing in him, and we don’t have the hope of eternal life with God. And we will perish in our sins because we refused to forsake our sins and to obey our Lord. So, please take this to heart for your eternity depends on you living the truth.
[Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:1-17; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; Col 1:21-23; Jn 8:31-32; Jn 15:1-12; 1 Jn 2:24-25; Heb 3:6,14-15]
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.”
Now, this is a passage of Scripture that is often misquoted and misinterpreted. But let me say this first. Yes, when Jesus came to the earth the first time he was not here to condemn the world as he will be when he returns the second time. He was here that the world might be saved through him. But this doesn’t mean that he didn’t talk about condemnation or judgment or teach what we must do if we want to have eternal life with God and then proclaim the judgments that will take place if we do not obey him.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Jn 3:17-21; Matt 7:21-23; etc.]
And with regard to the rest of this, where it talks about those who believe and those who do not believe, I must refer you back to the previous section where the subject of belief is addressed from a biblical perspective. So, this would be like saying, whoever is not believing (forsaking sin, obeying Jesus) is condemned because he is not, by God-given faith in Jesus Christ, forsaking his sins and walking in obedience to the Lord. But whoever is dying with Christ to sin and walking in obedience to him is not condemned.
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.”
So, what this is saying, basically, is that Jesus (light, truth, righteousness) came into the world but people love their sin (the darkness) more than the light (Jesus, truth, righteousness, obedience, repentance) because their works are evil (such as sexual immorality, adultery, lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, slander, etc.). For everyone doing (practicing) evil hates Jesus, they hate the truth, they hate the gospel, and they hate righteousness, holiness, moral purity, love and kindness, etc. But they love wickedness.
So those who are making sin their practice, even though many of them profess faith in Jesus Christ, they truly hate Jesus and his gospel and his holiness and righteousness because they love their sin more, and thus they will not repent of their sins in truth, and they will not walk in obedience to the Lord. For they are choosing their sin over genuine faith in Jesus Christ, and so they are condemned already, for they are not believing in Jesus with genuine God-given faith that repents of sin and obeys Jesus Christ.
Now, this last part is not teaching works-based salvation. For it says clearly here that the one practicing the truth, who comes into the Light, that his works are being done in God (in Christ). So, he is one who is in Christ by genuine faith in Jesus Christ, who is doing the works that God prepared in advance that he should walk in them (Eph 2:10; Tit 2:14; Php 2:12-13). And that is why he is coming into the light and it is the direct result of the fact that he is coming to the Light that his works have been done in God.
And the Scriptures teach us that if we walk according to the Spirit, in the forsaking of our sins, and in obedience to our Lord, that we have the hope of eternal life with God provided we continue in that faith steadfast until the end. But they also teach that if we walk according to the flesh, in sinful practices, that we will not inherit the kingdom of God. So, please take this seriously, for many are going to hear Jesus say one day, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matt 7:21-23).
I’ll Meet You In The Morning
By Albert E Brumley
I will meet you in the morning by the bright riverside
When all sorrows has drifted away
I’ll be standin’ at the portals when the gates open wide
At the close of life’s long weary day
I’ll meet you in the morning with a ‘How do you do?’
And we’ll sit down by the river and when rapture of the plane is renewed
You’ll know me in the morning by the smile that I wear
When I meet you in the morning, in the city that is built four square
Caution: This link may contain ads