3:16 is probably the most well known verse in the Bible. “For God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son. That whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save the world through Him.” John goes on to say in vs 33,36 “whoever receives His testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true...whoever BELIEVES in the Son has eternal life, whoever does not OBEY the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains in him.”
God sent his son. Jesus is God and came willingly to show us the way to live. He came and gave us knowledge and his word. And he took the punishment for all of our sins. He did this because of love. It says in John 3 at least 4 times that we must believe in Jesus to be saved. It also says at least twice that we must obey vs 21 and 36, “but whoever DOES what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out by God...whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, whoever does not OBEY the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God is upon him.”
We aren’t perfect and never will be. We are inherently evil due to the first sin. But thank goodness for the Holy Spirit to help, and a forgiving merciful God when we repent. Thank Goodness because I could never do it on my own!!
Verse 5 explains this more “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” I used to think this just meant we had to be born, baptized, and then born with the Holy Spirit. Upon much investigation I have learned that Jesus was referring to the purification of the soul. We needed a literal cleansing of the soul as well as just academic belief. Since this is the case, Jesus made reference to the spiritual washing of the soul accomplished by the Holy Spirit required at the moment of salvation that is required to enter his kingdom. It’s not just a prayer, it’s a lifetime marriage to Jesus, just like any relationship takes work and grows with time, so does our walk and maturity with our savior. But it does take work and commitment on our part- it’s a two way street! Let me know if you would like the references to purification Jesus was referring to in the OT if you want to look them up, I am happy to send them.
As always, I welcome your comments!