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…Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. v17-18a, 36
- Jesus came to save.
- If we believe in him we aren’t condemned.
- If we don’t believe in him we are condemned.
- Believe = Obey
There is no gray area for us. Sometimes, I think we feel as though there is this gray area with people & God, as though there are 3 types of people.
- There are people who deny Christ and want nothing to do with him and they are actively choosing to live their own life how they want. These people have made a conscious, out loud, decision to choose their own way.
- There are people who believe in Jesus, who are walking with him daily and therefore no longer condemned.
- There are these people in the middle, good, nice people, who haven’t chosen to write God off but just haven’t decided one way or the other but they are pretty good people.
This passage shows us: The 3rd group doesn’t exist.
There are people who have believed in Jesus which means they are no longer condemned and there are those who are still condemned. See, we are are born in sin. Born, dead in sin, far from God, the Scriptures even say an enemy of God. Condemned before God, worthy of wrath.
But Jesus was sent on a rescue mission for his enemies. And those who believe, those who have been given the grace to believe, they are no longer condemned. As John 3 states, they no longer have the wrath remaining on them.
The 2nd part of this that I think is really powerful is the last verse of this chapter: “Whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath remains.”
In the line right before Jesus states, “Whoever believes…” then states, “Whoever does not obey…” – What’s my point? Jesus sees believing and obeying as two sides of the same coin.
If we believe, then we obey.
If we obey, then we believe.
Our culture has created this sort of belief in Jesus that doesn’t obey. He is our Savior, but not our Lord. But the Bible is very clear: If your belief is not lived out action, you don’t have saving faith. If Jesus isn’t the King of your life, but simply some ticket into heaven, you have no hope. If he isn’t your treasure, he isn’t your salvation.
Yeah, but what if I pray a prayer?
What if I was baptized?
Saving faith is obedient faith. Saving faith = life change. I am not talking about perfectionism, but I am talking about a true salvation. If Jesus came to save you, what did he save you from? Just the punishment of sin, but not the sin itself?
Jesus comes to save us from sin, the punishment but more importantly, the presence & power of it. Run to Jesus & obey him, but remember, we only do this, we only truly begin to obey him by believing him and believing him when he says, “I will do this. I will create obedience in you.”
So we believe him, we hope in him, we have have faith in him, that he would create in us a new heart, a heart that truly obeys him. This doesn’t happen by raising your hand at the end of a service or walking down an aisle, it happens by daily looking to Jesus as the King of everything, the very reason you breathe.
I pray our body, myself, our family would believe this, would hope in nothing else but Christ & his finished work. I pray we would be a holy people. We would run from sin, hate sin, hope in you alone. Don’t let us settle for “belief” but give us a radical life change, that we would see Christ is all.