For God So Loved the World


Elder George D. Walker (dec)

I suppose that John 3:16 is read and reread, quoted, and requoted more than all the other scriptures in the Bible, yet, it is the least understood of all scriptures. The Text says; For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

I don't believe that any of us could have knowledge concerning this verse without having some knowledge of the first 15 verses in this third chapter of John. We as Primitive Baptists have always believed that ye must be born again. We find in the first 7 verses that this doctrine is plainly taught. Verse 3 says; except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. I want to purpose a question; is it possible to believe in the name of Jesus Christ if you have not been born again?

In verse 5 it says; except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. In verse 6 he points out that being born again is not of the flesh. That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. That is, the spirit only comes by the spirit, or the breeze or the breath of God gives spiritual life.

Then in verse 7 Christ says; the wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, or whither it goeth; so is everyone that is born of the spirit. So then, if the spirit is like the wind that blows, and we cannot tell when it comes, or where it goes, it stands to reason that we do not act in order to get it. Christ was making a statement of fact, that ye must be born again, and that this new birth comes only from God, through the breath or spirit of God.

When a person is born again he possesses everlasting life; that is, from that day forward his soul, or his spirit will live forever. It will never die, our bodies will die, go back to the earth from which it came, but the spirit and soul will leave the body, ascend back to Christ and abide until Christ comes again to redeem the bodies from the earth. Then the spirit and soul will be reunited with the body to live with Christ forever.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son. Can you think of anything greater than the love that God had and has for his people? That he loved you so much that he sent his only begotten Son to suffer, to bleed, and to die upon that cruel tree of the cross. The just for the unjust. The Apostle Paul says; when we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The word believeth comes from a Greek word meaning as to have faith. In Galatians chapter 5, verse 21 tells us that faith is the fruit of the spirit. Therefore, if a person is not born again, he cannot believe by faith, because he does not possess the spirit. He does not possess faith, and then if he does not possess faith he cannot possess belief.

Do you realize that the faith that we have is not in ourselves, but in him, that is in Christ Jesus. Then Christ says; should not perish. He is telling us that our faith is in Christ, and due to that we will never perish, or that we will never be fully destroyed, but have everlasting life. The words have, from the Greek means to possess. This is telling us that we possess everlasting life, or eternal life, or we will live forever.
The message of John 3:16 is not a condition placed upon man to get born again, but rather a revelation to a believer that he possesses eternal life. Life always precedes action. This is the message of grace that comforts the sinner. This is the work of God. The Holy Spirit applies this to the heart.

There was a question asked in John 6:28; what shall we do, that we might work the works of God? I wonder how much thought was given to that question before it was asked? If we would think about that for a moment, surely we would say that we couldn't work the works of God. In verse 29 Jesus answered them and said; this is the work of God that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

If you believe that Jesus is the Christ, that he is the anointed one of God, that he was crucified for you, that he died for you, that he was buried for you, and that he arose again the third day for you, it is because God has performed a work. God by his grace has had a divine influence upon your heart, and it is reflecting in your life. That life in you is eternal, it is everlasting, it is forever, and you shall never perish.