John 3:14-21: Jesus Saves
Read: John 3:14-21
Jesus, after having discussed issues concerning the nature of the Holy Spirit in relation to spiritual matters, shares with Nicodemus the nature of salvation from a story in the Old Testament (Numbers 21:1-9). This story tells about the Israelites becoming disgruntled as they came out of Egypt. For this, God sent fiery serpents as judgment. Moses prayed for the people and God told him to raise a serpent up on a staff, so that all who look at it would live. Jesus likens himself to this, in that he would be lifted up for mankind, and all who look upon him for salvation will have life.
John 3:16-17 explain this as being an act of God’s love – God loved the world (that is, all the inhabitants of the world). He showed his love by sending Jesus who would be lifted up. And everyone who believes in Jesus for salvation would not die, but have eternal life. Jesus’ mission was not a mission of judgment, rather salvation. Jesus says that those who do not believe are judged already, condemned to die (John 3:18) and Jesus does not need to judge them. Jesus explains that people do not believe because they love darkness, their own evil deeds. The ones who love truth do good works in God because they are compelled by love to obey God’s commandments (John 14:15). These works are prepared in advance by God (Ephesians 2:1-10).
Make no mistake: God loves the world and he demonstrated this by sending Jesus to die on the cross to provide a way to escape death. This escape can come only through faith in Jesus, because it is by faith that one is saved, not my works. If you have not already done so, believe in Jesus so that you will be saved. If you have already done so, rest in the promise that you are already saved. You didn’t earn it. You don’t deserve it. But God loves you and gives grace to you. This is the message that we preach to all people so they will believe Jesus.
Lord, I believe in you! Thank you so much for saving me and not condemning me!