John 3:16 /// The Myth
Long Story Short
God is calling us to a deeper faith that requires a commitment. This commitment doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect. It means that you recognize your sin, turn from it, and receive what Jesus has for you. This is a verse that people like to think that it means that everyone automatically gets a free pass to Heaven. If that were the case, then why would we need Jesus?
Short Story Longer
we have been looking at the most popular Bible verses throughout history and discovering a deeper meaning behind them. In week 1, we looked at Philippians 4:13 and discovered that God is calling us to contentment in all circumstances. We looked at Romans 8:28 and explored the deeper meaning that provides comfort in knowing that ALL things, including struggle, are working out for God’s glory. We looked at Jeremiah 29:11, and found it to be a promise to those that God had exiled that He has a plan in the midst of these trials. And last week, we looked at Proverbs 3:5 which tells us that riches aren’t the path to a blessed life, but walking with the Lord is. This week we are concluding our series by looking at the most popular Bible verse of all time:
John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Look at this verse – what 1 word stands out to you? ETERNAl. Why is this the most popular verse in history? Why is this the central verse for believers? Let’s look at it more closely… The word ETERNAL. We are afraid of death. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to go now (I think that is a song).The Gospel of John was written by the disciple John in around 90AD. It was written as an account of his witness to following Jesus.
John 3:1-16 You will notice the exchange in the previous verses about being born again. When God reveals Himself to us, we have a choice. He wants us to choose Him because we want to choose Him, not because we have to choose Him. We were created to return His love, to worship Him.
Remember its a choice...
In order for people to choose they had to have options to choose from.
In the Old Testament account of Adam and Eve, God forbid them to eat the fruit from the tree of life. If they ate the fruit they would be implying that they didn’t need God. They failed. They chose to eat the forbidden fruit from the tree. The case today – people are saying, “God, I don’t need you.” People will do anything to keep their spirits up outside of God. In the Old Testament the Israelites, in their unbelief, murmured against Moses, but they had forgotten that it was their own sin that brought them there. God presented poisonous serpents as judgment for sin. People died, and they asked for God’s mercy and confessed their sin. When Moses prayed, God instructed him to make a bronze serpent so they could be healed.
No one has ascended to heaven under their own power. This is significant because no matter what we try or do, we can’t get there. No sinner can stand in the presence of God. Sin has built a wall between man and God. What can we do to have God? There is no way back to God by our own making or control. God saw the human race in their misery. God knew that cost for sin was death/hell. He knew that left to ourselves, the payment of sin is spiritual death. How could God rescue us? He sent His only Son, Jesus, to earth, to live among us, and to bring us back into relationship with Him. The penalty for breaking God’s law is death. (Romans 6:23) The death of Jesus on the cross was not an accidental death. Our sin put Him there. This had been God’s plan from the beginning.
John 3:16 Let’s break down this verse:
If there had been any other way to rescue us, He wouldn’t have died.
“so loved” – means agape love, the highest form of love.
“world” – the Greek word is Kosmos.
“He gave” – means He sacrificed. Salvation is a gift from God. We can’t do anything to earn our way to Him. God gave us the gift.
“His Son” – God’s Word in the flesh. His Son, the atonement for sin. God on earth.
“Believe” – comes from the Greek word, pistouo –(pistoo oh) meaning: “to have confidence in and commit to.” When you have confidence in something you commit to it. You can believe that anything exists. You can believe that Adolf Hitler existed, but would you commit to him? Hopefully not. It’s not enough to simply believe in Jesus. Even the demons believe that Jesus is real – James 2:19 [SLIDE] We must have confidence in Him, and commit to Him.
“Not perish” – meaning to expire. Not to suffer a physical death as the end.
“Eternal life” – means life with God forever in Heaven worshipping Him forever. We can’t possibly earn our way to eternity with a Holy God on our own. Eternal life comes from faith in the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ; sent by God through His mercy and grace.
Repent - I have sinned, 1 John 1:9
Refuse sin…you can’t come to Christ and keep your sinful habits. Acts 3:19 2 Corinthians 5:17
Receive Christ. Colossians 2:6. Many of you believe,
But have you received? (Click the button below to talk to a real person about accepting Jesus)
It is more than choosing Him as a free pass to Heaven. It is more than choosing Him because we simply like Him. It is a commitment by faith, and faith always includes action. (Hebrews 11 has a ton of examples)
God is calling us to a deeper faith that requires a commitment. This commitment doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect. It means that you recognize your sin, turn from it, and receive what Jesus has for you. This is a verse that people like to think that it means that everyone automatically gets a free pass to Heaven. If that were the case, then why would we need Jesus? Why would He have to die? He had to die, and according to God’s plan, He is requiring us to have faith in His Son’s sacrifice through grace and love for us.
For those of us who have accepted Jesus its about CHOOSING Jesus in every situation because he first chose us. How can you choose "Jesus" in your daily life this week? Removing selfish motive and replacing with Christ like action. Click the button below to share how you Chose Jesus this week.