January 26, 2023 – Thursday
John 3:18 NIV
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.
I want to back up to John 3:16, but first let’s take a look at this verse in some detail. First point to make is that the him in the verse is none other than Jesus the Christ. The second phrase says, whoever does not believe stands condemned already. That tells us something terribly important, namely that everyone was condemned until they believed in him. And that bears repeating, everyone was condemned before they believed in him, Jesus Christ. The first phrase of this verse tells us who is not condemned, Whoever believes in him is not condemned. Those who have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son remain condemned.
There can be no doubt here that John is stressing the importance of believing in the name of God’s one and only Son. Look at the two preceding verses, 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. Verse 16 is one almost everyone is familiar with, but few take the time to really look at it. It tells us of God’s love for those in the world, how He offers eternal life to whoever believes in Him (Jesus) with no restrictions. Then John shows how God backs this up with the next verse, For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. There it is, God wanted to save anyone, everyone, through His Son if only they would believe.
Of course, our verse for today drives this point home, 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. Ellicott’s Commentary believes judged is more correct than condemned and gives us the following modification from the KJV, He that believeth on Him, is not judged: but he that believeth not hath been (and is) already judged. Believing in Him removes all negative judgment. Who are those who will refuse to believe? The next two verses answer that for us, 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.
What of the believer? The very next verse tells us, 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. When we read whoever lives by the truth that is in contradistinction to Everyone who does evil in verse 20. Here we have real insight on what it means to believe: to no longer do evil, but to live by the truth from Jesus. I like how Paul put it in Galatians 5:6b, 6b The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. We cannot be in the darkness if we are expressing our faith through love.
Bottom Line: We are all given the choice of remaining in the darkness and not believing or coming into the light by believing in Jesus and what He did for us. Then living a new life, as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:17, 7 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help us to live our lives in the light with Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Help us to live our lives as a witness to the power of believing in His ransom for our sins. Thank You. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton