by Michael Gilbert
April 15, 2007
“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”
(Jn. 3:16, KJV)
Our Creator loved us so much that He devised a plan by which fallen man could spend eternity with Him.
This plan involved the death of Christ on the cross. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Rom. 5:6-9).
This plan was devised by the Father before the creation of the world, “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:10). It is accessed by our belief in Christ, but what type of belief?
The belief mentioned in John 3:16 is not simply a “mental assent” to the fact of Jesus’ deity. It is an obedient faith…a faith that moves us to obey God’s commands for salvation.
The Father’s commands are simple: a sinner must believe in Jesus as the resurrected Son of God (Rom. 10:9), repent of past sins (Acts 17:30-31), confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:10), and be baptized for the forgiveness of sin (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21).