Wednesday, December 18, 2013

John 3:16 -- The Process

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

Today we'll study the process -- our believing in Him. Let's dig in!

Believing is how we can be linked to God. Yes, He loves the world and gave His Son, but that alone doesn't rescue us from peril; it doesn't take away the fact that we will perish. That takes believing, having faith in Him.
And it's an ongoing thing, too. My study Bible makes the point that all through John's gospel, the verbs are all in present tense. Remember what we said John told us in John 20:31?
"These have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name." 
So it's not a one-shot deal.....it's ongoing. It's day by day. Keeping on. Keeping Jesus as our focus, as the most important thing that we believe in.
Another step in the process of our faith, our believing, is being truly satisfied with all that God has done for us in Christ. In other words, if our believing is just head knowledge, as we noted recently, instead of heart knowledge, our faith is no different than that of devils who believe and tremble (James 2:19). True belief is a very powerful thing. It instills new affections in the heart -- we are no longer satisfied with the things that pleased us before. Our faith is satisfied by Christ, and He brings relief to our troubled souls.
We've been talking mostly about belief being a process that WE are responsible for, but our faith is a work of the Spirit, not merely our desires.  The Bible teaches us that the human mind is blind to spiritual truth, and the human heart is sometimes hardened to spiritual pleasures. So how can we be saved? How can this process of believing, having faith in Christ, actually start?

Here's the answer:
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him." (John 6:44)
Jesus said that. He said these, too:
"All the Father gives to me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will certainly not cast out." (John 6:37)
"No one can come to me unless it has been granted him from the Father." (John 6:65)
Jesus' answer to our spiritual blindness and hardness of heart is that the Father draws us. He takes away the blindness and gives us spiritual sight. He replaces our hearts of stone with hearts that are soft and responsive to His leading. He does this through words of truth, like this verse, John 3:16. This one verse is reminding us of our peril (our sinful state), the plan (God's love and way of rescue), and today, the process of building faith in Him. Today we recall that faith in Him is an ongoing thing -- continuing each day. We recall that it is being satisfied with what God provides for us. And we can praise Him that He has drawn us to Him, so that we can be building our faith as we walk with Him.



3 comments:

Cathy said...

It is an awe inspiring thing, to think of God loving His fallen creatures enough to give His Son to die to save us. And not only save us, but adopt us into His family, and call us His sons and daughters.

Belinda said...

I agree with Cathy!

Faith without works is dead, the Bible says. If we TRULY have faith, we want to work for God. We want to please Him. Saying we believe is not enough.

Also, the Holy Spirit convicts and draws us to God. If we continue to refuse that call, eventually He stops. Or at least we stop hearing it. So sad.

Belinda said...

I agree with Cathy!

Faith without works is dead, the Bible says. If we TRULY have faith, we want to work for God. We want to please Him. Saying we believe is not enough.

Also, the Holy Spirit convicts and draws us to God. If we continue to refuse that call, eventually He stops. Or at least we stop hearing it. So sad.