He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
King James Version
Those who believe in him won’t be condemned. But those who don’t believe are already condemned because they don’t believe in God’s only Son.
God’s Word Translation
Words are important. Vitally important. Life and death important. Sadly, in our times words are abused, ignored, corrupted, perverted, and treated irreverently. Brevity is all the rage. Casualness of speaking and casualness of understanding.
Billions use the name of Jesus in vain, in profanity, many profess to believe in Jesus, but what the Apostle John wrote and his words mean, as held by the Spirit and Hand of God in writing the Gospel of John is those who believe Jesus is the Christ. The Messiah. Those that believe Jesus is Lord of their lives and Redeemer of their sins and Saviour of and for their salvation, and those who believe upon Him as the Son of God and believe His words, His life, His death, His resurrection and live in Christ and Christ in them are not condemned. Not judged. Saved.
For God So Loved
…17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.…
Merely believing there was a man named Jesus, or that Jesus lived and was “a good man, a teacher, a rabbi” and using His name saying with one’s lips “I believe there was a man named Jesus” does not save one.
It takes faith.
It takes repentance.
It takes a renewing of mind and spirit.
It takes losing one’s self and committing one’s life to the service of the Lord.
It takes dying to sin and resurrecting with Him in life.
Not mere words. Not mere motions. Not merely going to church on Sunday’s.
It takes turning from the darkness, this world, and to the Light — God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures — for the deeds and minds of men and women are evil. Not inherently good.
And without faith, without repentance, without service unto the Lord, without BELIEF exhibited in LIFE there is condemnation. Brought upon ourselves by the choices we make.
We are saved by faith and grace, not by works — but by our faith, living in the joy of our salvation and the grace and mercy of the Lord we honor Him through our faith which produces good works out of love and praise and honor and reverence to the Lord of our lives. We are not saved by works. Or mere words.
Ever hear the saying “Actions speak louder than words?”
Well, one place that is the most REAL is in ACTING by our daily walk, talk, deeds, actions that we are Christ’s and He is ours. We are His disciples.
I know people who are always telling me how they believe in Jesus, how they believe what the Bible says yet these people don’t pray. They don’t give thanks. They don’t understand the Word of God.
I sat down to lunch with one the other day. Sit down to eat a meal and they begin digging into the food as if they hadn’t eaten in a couple of days. They made no motion, no intent, no thought of giving thanks to God for the food He blessed us with.
I didn’t say a word. I merely bowed my head and prayed to the Lord giving thanks for what He provided. Not in judgment of who sat across the table from me. And I didn’t make a point of it. I merely prayed silently yet aloud in spirit to the Lord and provided and example. I hope.
This person tells me how Jesus is their Saviour and they say things like “Praise Jesus!” but I see no example of the Spirit of the Lord being in them. It’s all show. Making motions.
Belief is more than words or going through some motions.
Faith is not only believing in the invisible, but having KNOWING in the invisible through the power of the Spirit of God indwelling in true believers.
Praying, giving thanks for a holiday meal is not being a living, thankful, salt of the earth, light unto the world disciple of Jesus the Lord and Saviour.
Living by example. Imitating Jesus Christ should be our daily walk.
Jesus gave thanks unto the Father for the food the Father provided. And Jesus WAS — IS God! And if Jesus can pray and give thanks for every meal, every morsel, everything the Father did for Him why can’t we?
Are you a believer?
Do you pray and give thanks to the Lord for the food He blesses you with when you eat each meal? When you eat out in a restaurant? Or are you ashamed and do not pray because you don’t want to appear different to all the people around you?
Well, what is it? Do you serve the Lord and give thanks and LIVE your words, LIVE your professed belief, or do you serve the world?
You know the answer. And you know the consequences. And you know in your heart as convicted by the Spirit of god what is right, what is wrong, and which you do.
God is love. God is mercy. God is grace. God is forgiveness — to those who repent, to those who believe upon Him and believe upon His Son, Jesus Christ the Lord. Believe in making Jesus the Lord of their lives. Belief in living to serve Jesus and live to be pleasing and acceptable unto Him and turning from this world and its ways and beliefs and practices.
God does not want to condemn us.
He gives us every opportunity and all can be saved.
We condemn ourselves by our self-centered, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, selfish lives refusing to believe in the complete inerrant Word of God. Refusing to believe Jesus is the Son of God and Lord of our life and the only way to salvation and the only way to heaven. Jesus, only Jesus as the center, as the Head of our lives.
We condemn ourselves.
Or we humble ourselves and have faith and we repent and we believe and we then live to serve Him — serve Jesus Christ the Lord with our every step walking alongside of Him.
Turning from this world and turning to Jesus Christ. In all things.
Ken Pullen, September 29th, 2015
A Crooked Path
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
John 3:1-8 Nicodemus was afraid, or ashamed to be seen with Christ, therefore came in the night. When religion is out of fashion, there are many Nicodemites. But though he came by night, Jesus bid him welcome, and hereby taught us to encourage good beginnings, although weak. And though now he came by night, yet afterward he owned Christ publicly. He did not talk with Christ about state affairs, though he was a ruler, but about the concerns of his own soul and its salvation, and went at once to them. Our Saviour spoke of the necessity and nature of regeneration or the new birth, and at once directed Nicodemus to the source of holiness of the heart. Birth is the beginning of life; to be born again, is to begin to live anew, as those who have lived much amiss, or to little purpose. We must have a new nature, new principles, new affections, new aims. By our first birth we were corrupt, shapen in sin; therefore we must be made new creatures. No stronger expression could have been chosen to signify a great and most remarkable change of state and character. We must be entirely different from what we were before, as that which begins to be at any time, is not, and cannot be the same with that which was before. This new birth is from heaven, ch. 1:13, and its tendency is to heaven. It is a great change made in the heart of a sinner, by the power of the Holy Spirit. It means that something is done in us, and for us, which we cannot do for ourselves. Something is wrong, whereby such a life begins as shall last for ever. We cannot otherwise expect any benefit by Christ; it is necessary to our happiness here and hereafter. What Christ speak, Nicodemus misunderstood, as if there had been no other way of regenerating and new-moulding an immortal soul, than by new-framing the body. But he acknowledged his ignorance, which shows a desire to be better informed. It is then further explained by the Lord Jesus. He shows the Author of this blessed change. It is not wrought by any wisdom or power of our own, but by the power of the blessed Spirit. We are shapen in iniquity, which makes it necessary that our nature be changed. We are not to marvel at this; for, when we consider the holiness of God, the depravity of our nature, and the happiness set before us, we shall not think it strange that so much stress is laid upon this. The regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is compared to water. It is also probable that Christ had reference to the ordinance of baptism. Not that all those, and those only, that are baptized, are saved; but without that new birth which is wrought by the Spirit, and signified by baptism, none shall be subjects of the kingdom of heaven. The same word signifies both the wind and the Spirit. The wind bloweth where it listeth for us; God directs it. The Spirit sends his influences where, and when, on whom, and in what measure and degree, he pleases. Though the causes are hidden, the effects are plain, when the soul is brought to mourn for sin, and to breathe after Christ. Christ’s stating of the doctrine and the necessity of regeneration, it should seem, made it not clearer to Nicodemus. Thus the things of the Spirit of God are foolishness to the natural man. Many think that cannot be proved, which they cannot believe. Christ’s discourse of gospel truths, ver. 11-13, shows the folly of those who make these things strange unto them; and it recommends us to search them out. Jesus Christ is every way able to reveal the will of God to us; for he came down from heaven, and yet is in heaven. We have here a notice of Christ’s two distinct natures in one person, so that while he is the Son of man, yet he is in heaven. God is the HE THAT IS, and heaven is the dwelling-place of his holiness. The knowledge of this must be from above, and can be received by faith alone. Jesus Christ came to save us by healing us, as the children of Israel, stung with fiery serpents, were cured and lived by looking up to the brazen serpent, Nu 21:6-9. In this observe the deadly and destructive nature of sin. Ask awakened consciences, ask damned sinners, they will tell you, that how charming soever the allurements of sin may be, at the last it bites like a serpent. See the powerful remedy against this fatal malady. Christ is plainly set forth to us in the gospel. He whom we offended is our Peace, and the way of applying for a cure is by believing. If any so far slight either their disease by sin, or the method of cure by Christ, as not to receive Christ upon his own terms, their ruin is upon their own heads. He has said, Look and be saved, look and live; lift up the eyes of your faith to Christ crucified. And until we have grace to do this, we shall not be cured, but still are wounded with the stings of Satan, and in a dying state. Jesus Christ came to save us by pardoning us, that we might not die by the sentence of the law. Here is gospel, good news indeed. Here is God’s love in giving his Son for the world. God so loved the world; so really, so richly. Behold and wonder, that the great God should love such a worthless world! Here, also, is the great gospel duty, to believe in Jesus Christ. God having given him to be our Prophet, Priest, and King, we must give up ourselves to be ruled, and taught, and saved by him. And here is the great gospel benefit, that whoever believes in Christ, shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and so saving it. It could not be saved, but through him; there is no salvation in any other. From all this is shown the happiness of true believers; he that believeth in Christ is not condemned. Though he has been a great sinner, yet he is not dealt with according to what his sins deserve. How great is the sin of unbelievers! God sent One to save us, that was dearest to himself; and shall he not be dearest to us? How great is the misery of unbelievers! they are condemned already; which speaks a certain condemnation; a present condemnation. The wrath of God now fastens upon them; and their own hearts condemn them. There is also a condemnation grounded on their former guilt; they are open to the law for all their sins; because they are not by faith interested in the gospel pardon. Unbelief is a sin against the remedy. It springs from the enmity of the heart of man to God, from love of sin in some form. Read also the doom of those that would not know Christ. Sinful works are works of darkness. The wicked world keep as far from this light as they can, lest their deeds should be reproved. Christ is hated, because sin is loved. If they had not hated saving knowledge, they would not sit down contentedly in condemning ignorance. On the other hand, renewed hearts bid this light welcome. A good man acts truly and sincerely in all he does. He desires to know what the will of God is, and to do it, though against his own worldly interest. A change in his whole character and conduct has taken place. The love of God is shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost, and is become the commanding principle of his actions. So long as he continues under a load of unforgiven guilt, there can be little else than slavish fear of God; but when his doubts are done away, when he sees the righteous ground whereon this forgiveness is built, he rests on it as his own, and is united to God by unfeigned love. Our works are good when the will of God is the rule of them, and the glory of God the end of them; when they are done in his strength, and for his sake; to him, and not to men. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a subject to which the world is very averse; it is, however, the grand concern, in comparison with which every thing else is but trifling. What does it signify though we have food to eat in plenty, and variety of raiment to put on, if we are not born again? if after a few mornings and evenings spent in unthinking mirth, carnal pleasure, and riot, we die in our sins, and lie down in sorrow? What does it signify though we are well able to act our parts in life, in every other respect, if at last we hear from the Supreme Judge, Depart from me, I know you not, ye workers of iniquity?
Thoughts on Today’s Verse
By Elizabeth Haworth
God is not a cruel and merciless potentate Who is watching for every opportunity to pour out His wrath on mankind and punish the human race individually and collectively, as so many erroneously believe. He is long-suffering, merciful and of great goodness and His grace is extended to all humanity, from generation to generation.
It was sin that separated man from God, but even before the foundation of the world God in His omniscience knew that mankind was going to rebel against Him – but He is full of tender-love towards His creation and in His mercy and grace… (and at the enormous cost of the life of His only Begotten Son), God set in motion His amazing plan of redemption, to save mankind from eternal separation from Himself. This plan that was formed in the eternal council chambers of heaven, has the potential to touch and to save every person born into this fallen race – but salvation must be accessed by faith alone.. in the sacrifice of the only begotten Son of God.
God could just as easily have sent Jesus to condemn the world for all have sinned and fall short of God’s required standard and yet we read that that God did NOT send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Salvation was in the heart of God from the beginning and Christ’s redeeming blood has been poured out, so that whosoever will – may come.
In the beginning and in His wisdom.. God gave man a free-will to make his own choices and to choose his own destiny.. but as a demonstration of the amazing love that God has for Adam’s fallen race, He sent His only begotten Son into the world – so that whosoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.
Christ’s shed blood on the cross was the full and final payment for the sin of everyman, but the criteria for salvation is: believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved – and how we praise God that he who believes in Him is not judged nor condemned, for: he that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that does not believes is condemned already, because he has not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Heavenly Father, thank You that for Your glorious plan of redemption and for saving me by grace through faith in Christ. Thank You for loving me so much that while I was still a sinner You sent Jesus to save me from my sin and not to condemn me because of my sin. Thank You that there is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus, and I pray that I may live my life to Your praise and glory. Thank you Lord, for Your long-suffering mercy, goodness and grace for the human race – including me. Thank You in Jesus name, AMEN