My wife and I have begun memorizing John 3:16-19 and following verses. It isn’t that we need to memorize John 3:16 but that we need to memorize the following verses. In refreshing and learning some of these verses I recognized that John 3:16 is the mantra of the evangelical world. It is placed on billboards, and placards, bookmarks, and at bottom of soft drink cups. It is good that we do these things and yet there is more that revolves around the verse. Specifically the condemnation of the world.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3:16-21
The condemnation is that men loved darkness rather than light. In verse 18 we see that men who do not believe stand condemned already. In verse 19 Jesus is the light and men loved darkness. What so many people mean by verse 16 is that love might motivate people to come to Christ. However, when Jesus Christ came as the light of the World we find that he is not loved back. In verse 16 God is extending His Son with love to satisfy the righteous requirements and is met with hatred. Instead men loved their sin more than God. If man is to stand in the day of judgment without condemnation then man needs to come to the light who is Jesus Christ. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Thee are a lot of things that we live for. Some live for the moment and others live for the weekend but we live for Jesus Christ our Lord. We all get passionate about something. In fact I have some friends that live for a sport team wearing jerseys, collecting paraphinelia, season tickets, and catching the away games on tv. It is clearly something that they live for. We all get passion about things including food or politics. How clearly do we look Christ-like?
The Apostles were recognized as ones having been with Jesus. Having been with Jesus didn’t look like wearing Christian t-shirts, having big smiles while doing something kind to someone else. For the disciples it looked like going everywhere preaching the gospel. Christ said who he wants to follow me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.
Christ living in you has some evidences. If Christ lives in you and His main objective was to seek and save the lost then wouldn’t that be evidenced in our lives? We ought to have some proofs that Christ is living in us. Things like a love for His word, prayer, a love for both the lost and the saved, and an ultimate desire for The Glory of God.
As I memorize this verse I am looking at my life and asking how much do I resemble Christ. We are to be “imitators of Christ” and “be conformed to the image of His Son”. So ask yourself do you resemble Christ. Does it look like Christ redeemed you and purchased you by his blood? May we each become more like the Son as the day approaches.
Business salesmen have historically had an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a presentation you can give to someone in the span of an elevator ride. What about it your life? Could you give a quick presentation on the purpose of your life as a Christian or perhaps a quick gospel presentation? Perhaps you should consider what you are about and what the gospel is so that if you have that checkout moment while you wait for the cashier to finish ringing groceries. Here is a verse I would encourage you to learn. It is quick and to the point and can be spring board to develop a longer gospel.
John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
Quote the scripture to that person. Then ask if they know why God’s wrath abides on someone? Because they did not believe in Jesus Christ. Describe what the penalty for sin. A person who lies, steals, commits adultery, murders, disobeys father and mother, covets, uses God’s name, and doesn’t worship Him will receive the just penalty of your sin. But the one who believes in Christ will have everlasting life. The person who believes upon Jesus Christ that he died and rose again for sin. By this
Really you can use any scripture but this one is a great one to start on.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Do a little research and you will find that a great many of children never follow Christ as their parents did. A good portion of this is due to the lack of instruction in the home. It is true that some will still fall away even while parents may have taught these truths diligently. May we not lose our families while we are faithful to share the truth with others. Let us assess how we are doing.
1) Are God’s commandments in your heart?
2) Do your children know the truths of God?
3) Do you talk about the Bible around dinner or relaxing?
4) Do you talk about the Scriptures while you are going places?
4) Do you talk about them while you are lying down or waking?
5) Have you bound them in your hand, on your door post, on your gates?
Whatever amount of success you find in answering these verses remember that God is the one who saves. Yet may we be God’s tool in teaching our family God’s truth. Start today by memorizing this passage.
This weeks memorization verse is Deuteronomy 6:4-5. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
Israel spoke this scripture daily. In a world where neighboring countries had a multitude of gods it was good for Israel to remind themselves that there was only one God and not a multitude. The other part was to love God and his commandment amidst a world that did what was right in their own eyes. May we love God in both His person and His commandments.
The American church needs this also. Many pastors are departing from the gospel and making the path broad. May our families be reminded to love God and that He alone is the Singular Deity.