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BELIEF

December 7, 2015

Monday

 

John 3:16

 

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.

 

 

LESSON

 

This best-known verse in the whole Bible expresses the gospel message more clearly and winsomely than any other. Almost every word in it is significant. Jesus’ mission in the Incarnation and the Cross resulted from God’s “love” for human beings. The construction of the Greek sentence underscores the intensity of God’s love. He gave His best: His unique and beloved Son. The Jews believed that God loved the children of Israel, but John affirmed that God loved all people regardless of race.

Christians should not love the world with the selfish love that seeks to profit from it personally. The world stands under the threat of divine judgment because of the Fall and sin. God, in His gracious love, has reached out and chosen some people from out of the world for salvation.

He does not take pleasure in pouring His wrath out on the lost, but He rejoices when people turn from their wicked ways to Him. The fact that God allows sinners to perish does not contradict His love. He has provided a way by which they need “not perish” because He loves mankind. His ultimate purpose is the salvation of those who believe in His Son.

The consequences of belief are new birth, eternal life, and salvation. The alternative is perishing , losing one’s life , and destruction . To “perish” does not mean to experience annihilation, but ruin, failure to realize God’s purpose, and exclusion from His fellowship. The only alternatives are life or perishing; there is no other final state. Cessation of belief does not result in the loss of salvation.

 

Memory Verse: Hebrews 11:6

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