FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE. FOR GOD SENT NOT HIS SON INTO THE WORLD TO CONDEMN THE WORLD, BUT THAT THE WORLD THROUGH HIM MIGHT BE SAVED. (John 3:16-17)
Here the Lord Jesus Christ is explaining to the Master Rabbi in Israel, Nicodemus, why He came into the world. He came because God loves His people. Jesus explained to Nicodemus that one must be born again or he cannot see the Kingdom of God! Nicodemus who was admittedly ignorant of both the need to be born again, as well as, the means of being born again, asked of Jesus, “How can these things be?" Jesus answered him by telling him that He, the Son of God, came into the world that the world through Him might be saved. In other words, Jesus told Nicodemus that salvation, or being born again, was a sheer gift of God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
God’s Word had said substantially the same thing in John's gospel in the first chapter when The Word identified exactly the problem that Nicodemus was facing, to wit, that Jesus was in the world, and the world was made by Him and the world knew Him not. Jesus came unto His own and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God. There it is in the very first chapter! One must be born again, and that is only by God's divine sovereignty and power!
The Lord Jesus Christ later told his disciples, just prior to his crucifixion, “I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes unto the Father but by Me”. Knowing the condition of the world shows the absolute necessity for Jesus to have come into the world.
I. THE CONDITION OF THE WORLD
In John 3:18, Jesus tells Nicodemus, “He who believes in [the Son] is not condemned, but he who does not believe [in the Son] is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:18) The condition of the entire world from the time of Adam and Eve's disobedience in the garden and their resulting death, has been condemnation. Everyone who does not know the Lord Jesus Christ is condemned already. God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world. The gigantic statement that is made here is that the world is condemned already.
In the 2nd chapter of Paul's Epistle to the Church at Ephesus, Paul states, “and you has He made alive who were dead in trespasses and sins, wherein in times past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit which now works in the sons of disobedience. Among whom we all had our manner of life in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature children of wrath even as others”.( Ephesians 2:1 – 3) The entire world, apart from Christ, is dead in trespasses and sins! Indeed, the governing authority for the entire world, apart from Christ, is the prince of the power of the air, who now works in the sons of disobedience and causes all, even Paul as he identifies himself, at that time, to conduct ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind. The results are that apart from Christ we are by nature children of wrath! In other words, Jesus did not come to condemn the world because the world was condemned already. The world was already dead in trespasses and sins. The world was already controlled by the prince of the power of the air – Satan. Each person was governed in their own hearts by the “lusts of our flesh and fulfilled the desires of the flesh and of the mind being by nature children of wrath”! Jesus, The Son of God, came to save the world!
Therefore, because of God's great love wherewith He loved us, while we were yet dead in trespasses and sins, the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ in His incarnate person, being fully God and fully man, came into the world to save God's people. “All whom the Father has given to the Son shall come to Jesus”. (Have you come to Jesus?) He Himself bore your sins in His own body on the cross that you may be dead unto sin and alive unto righteousness and with His stripes we are healed. Do you know that? The whole world was in darkness and darkness was in the whole world and God sent the Holy Light of Jesus into the world to repel the darkness and to bring men and women unto Himself. Salvation is only of God. It is by God alone that one may be born again. It is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone that one is delivered from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light. Jesus said, “Come unto me all of you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest; take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest unto your souls, for my yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28 – 30)
Do you not see that those who want to argue that there are “many ways to God" are simply wrong? God alone saves through the Lord Jesus Christ, by faith alone in Him! Had there been any other way of salvation, Jesus would not have had to come, but thanks be unto God that He did come and give His life a ransom for many. He came that those who surrender their will to His will and place their trust in Him alone for their eternal salvation are saved.
II. THE ESCAPE FROM CONDEMNATION
In verse 18 of Chapter 3 of John's gospel, Jesus says that “he who believes in Me (the Son of God) is not condemned! What a great promise! However, the terrifying antithesis is that “he who does not believe (in the Son of God) is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." Indeed, those who do not believe are not just negligent. They are not just unknowing. As the Apostle Paul says in his Epistle to the Church of Rome, they are without excuse, “for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it unto them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse….." (Romans 1:18 – 20)
Not only are they without excuse, but in the gospel of John, Jesus Himself says in the 19th verse of the 3rd chapter, “and this is the condemnation that light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deed should be exposed." (John 3:19 – 20) Do you see it? Those who are condemned already hate the light! They will not come to the light because they love their evil deeds. They actually hate God. They hate the Lord Jesus Christ. They love their evil deeds. Rather than loving the God who loved them so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross in order to redeem them from their sins, they hate Him. They go to all sorts of extremes. The God who made them in His own image, and Jesus Christ, His only son who loved them and gave Himself for them that they should not perish, they hate. Rather than being grateful that it is God who has made them in His own image, they make up the most bizarre theory imaginable, that they have evolved from some kind of amoeba, or single-celled organism that climbed up out of the primordial soup and ultimately, over millions of years, or even billions of years, (millions or billions mean nothing to these people who believe in evolution), they evolved. They do this because they do not want to give up their evil deeds.
God's Holy Word is true and righteous altogether. It is more to be desired than gold, than much fine gold. Jesus is the Light of the world who gives life to all those who come to Him and receive Him through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ. Be zealous to tell others of Jesus who is mighty to save and urge them to come to Him. Don’t delay!
III. A FAITHFUL SAYING
In conclusion, the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world not to condemn the world but to save the world. When the Apostle Paul writes to his son in the faith, Timothy, in his first Epistle to Timothy he says: "this is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. Howbeit, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, as a pattern to those who are hereafter going to believe on Him to everlasting life." Paul, who described himself to Timothy as chief of sinners, obtained mercy from the Lord Jesus Christ. If Paul, who was chief of sinners because he was a blasphemer, a persecutor of Christians and an insolent man obtained mercy, all who are therefore less than “chief of sinners" can also obtain mercy. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners! Scripture says that all are sinners. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is none righteous not one. All are dead in trespasses and sins. Dead! Aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel, strangers from the covenants of God, without hope and without God in the world! Ah, but God, who is rich in mercy with His great love wherewith He loved us, has made us alive in Christ Jesus who came into the world to save sinners. Pray for all you know to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray that God would give them repentance toward Him and saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, neighbors, relatives of all kinds, anyone and everyone you know (for God has had mercy on you) pray that God would have mercy on them because it is a faithful saying that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom Paul was chief. Don’t hesitate!
After Paul wrote this faithful saying which was worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom he was chief, he concluded “Now to the King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible only wise God be honor and glory forever and ever.” Amen!
Worldview Weekend Foundation
PO BOX 1690
Collierville, TN, 38027 USA