The 16th verse of John’s third chapter is probably the most well-known and recognized verse in all of Scripture. Certainly, God loved the world so much that He demonstrated that love by sending His Son, so that whoever believes in Christ would not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
What is rarely preached, and never seen on TV, however, is the 36th verse of that same Chapter. There, we see a very important connection to v. 16 because belief is defined there. You see, if belief in Christ is necessary for eternal life, then we must understand what it means! Thankfully, Jesus didn’t leave it to us to figure it out as if it were some sort of riddle.
Jesus begins verse 36 by repeating the promise of verse 16, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.” Same promise – correct? But, pay close attention to the way Christ finishes the sentence:
whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
Do you see it? Jesus says that belief in Him is demonstrated by obedience to Him. In essence, Christ was saying that if there is no obedience to the teaching, there truly is no belief in the Teacher. Mental assent to the existence of Christ is not the belief He requires – belief that shows itself in obedience is.
Is your belief in Christ marked by obedience to Him? –Dave
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