October 06, 2020 – Tuesday
John 3:16-18 NIV
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.
18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Today we come to the next three verses and what is arguably the most famous verse in the New Testament John 3;16, For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. I recommend going here and looking at this verse in many versions of the Bible and how they all say essentially the same thing. All but a few speak of believing in Him while only a few mention trust in Him and one faith in Him.
About these words and those that follow, many believe they were added in and were not Jesus’ words to Nicodemus. However, many believe these are Jesus’ words and He is still instructing Nicodemus. I agree with the latter position. Jesus is revealing to Nicodemus truths that He expects him to comprehend and if not now, then eventually to understand.
Look at what is revealed to Nicodemus and to us by John recording this. God’s love is not just for His chosen people, but for the world. Not just for Jews who would believe in Him, but for whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Jesus was sent by His father for Jew and Gentile alike. And as Moses held up the snake in the wilderness to heal and save those who had been bitten by poisonous snakes, God sent His Son into the world to save the world through Him. By turning to Jesus we would be freed of the slavery of sin.
How would this happen? Verse 18 tells us how, Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. Paul makes this point as well in Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Believing in Him means more than simply acknowledging Him as the Son of God, but the reason He came. He came to pay the price for our sins, on the cross, so when we believe in Him we would repent of our sins and choose to live for God instead of for ourselves.
Not everyone will make this choice no matter how plain it is made to them. Jesus makes this clear in the next three verses as He finishes His instruction to Nicodemus where He now shows Nicodemus He is the light of the world 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
Returning to verse 17, Pett makes the following observation which is worth considering, Other (mythical) gods came to the world to condemn it, never to save it, but God’s purpose in sending His Son was to save. He wanted to give men eternal life. He wanted to save them from ‘perishing’. And there was only one way to do so, by taking their deserved suffering on Himself. Notice the stress on the fact that Jesus is ‘God-sent’. His sending by the Father is a theme of the Gospel.
And he adds this considering verse 18, He stresses that it is not God Who condemns men, rather they condemn themselves. When they see God’s supreme Word, Jesus, revealing His glory and the glory of God, their very refusal to acknowledge Him condemns them. They are showing what they really are. For had their hearts been open and true they would immediately have believed in Him and received Him gladly. And their sin is made worse by the fact that that they are rejecting ‘the only Son of God’.
God condemns no one but permits each person choose salvation or condemnation. Each person chooses to have God’s will done in their life or to have their own will done. When judgment day comes, if a person has chosen their own will, God may well pronounce “Let your will be done” as they enter hell. We need to choose wisely.