John 3:16

“Whoever Believes in Him Shall Not Perish”


“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”-John 3:16. What did Jesus mean when he made this statement? Of course it shouldn’t, for Christ died for all of use, and Scripture Confirms this as we study John 3:16.

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8 NIV) Even when we were sinners, Christ came to earth and died for all of us. We might come to know his wondrous righteousness. That “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph 2:8-9) The Believer’s Study Bible makes this comment: “We are not saved by good works, but we are saved for good works. The word “workmanship” (poiema, Gk.) carries the idea of a “work of art.” The English word “poem” is derived from this Greek word.” And also States: “Grace (charis, Gk.) refers to the beneficial actions of God in which He reveals Himself, His gifts, and to some, His life — all bestowals which grow out of His love rather than any worth or merit of man. In its biblical usage, the term refers to God’s goodness manifested to undeserving man.”

Salvation is the general term used to describe all that God does for the believing sinner solely on the basis of the atoning work of Christ. The work of salvation is essentially threefold: (1) The past tense, in which at the moment of faith, God justifies the believer, i.e., declares him to be perfectly righteous before a Holy God, thus freeing him forever from the legal penalty of sin. This is justification, which transpires at the moment of conversion/regeneration. (2) The present tense, which suggests that at the moment of justification the Holy Spirit permanently indwells the believer, affording him the power to resist the still-present Adamic nature, thus potentially freeing him from the power of sin. This is called sanctification, which is movement toward Christlikeness. (3) The future tense, which looks to the time when the believer receives his glorified body at Christ’s appearing. Then he will be forever freed from the very presence of sin, his salvation thus totally consummated. This is called glorification, and is the perfect realization of Christlikeness as glorified humanity. (Compare Eph. 2:4)

Another Scripture that is so powerful is that of 1 John 4:9 that reads: “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” As we see so far God desires all of us to have eternal life through his Son, not just a certain group of people. Though God knows who is going to be saved or not.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10) We didn’t love God first, He (God) loved us first and sent his Son to us as a atoning sacrifice like a burnt offering. To even think of his greatness, we can’t. He has done so much for us. To imagine the pain that he went through. More pain then we can imagine.

“”Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”” (Gen 22:12 NIV) ” God tested Abraham in the command to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. God in His omniscience had always known the heart of Abraham, but here He gave Abraham an opportunity to demonstrate his faith. Abraham himself had his faith exercised (James 2:21-23) and developed while learning a new lesson — that God would provide (vv. 8, 13). Almost certainly the event on Mount Moriah is typological. Abraham, advancing up the slope, very possibly where Solomon’s temple later stood, felt something of the agony of the Heavenly Father sacrificing His only Son, Jesus. At the summit of Moriah, the type changes, and Isaac is a type of all lost and condemned men, for whom a substitute ram, typical of Christ, was sacrificed.” (Compare Isa 9:6; John 1:15)

“No one has ever seen God, but God the One and only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.” (John 1:18 NIV) “John is conveying the fact that God chose to reveal Himself physically in Christ. “The only begotten Son” (monogenes, Gk.) means “one of a kind,” “unique,” “without precedent.” Some manuscripts read “the only begotten God” (NU God). The sense is the same regardless of the correct reading. “Bosom” denotes the closest possible relationship between the Father and the Son. The abrupt statement about a “begotten Son” or “God” is seen by some as an intimation of the virgin birth. The Logos, who is the Son, “has declared” God. He is indeed the interpreter, the exegete (exegesato, Gk.), leading out and explaining God to man.” (Compare John 1:36; John 6:29)

Again the Scriptures clearly state: “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”” (John 6:40) It is “that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life.” A pastor said to me once that to believe in a doctrine, you must have enough scriptures to support it. Jesus again states: “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;” (John 11:25; Compare John 11:26)

The last Scripture reference is that of Romans 8:32: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Verses 32-39. All things whatever, in heaven and earth, are not so great a display of God’s free love, as the gift of his coequal Son to be the atonement on the cross for the sin of man; and all the rest follows upon union with him, and interest in him. All things, all which can be the causes or means of any real good to the faithful Christian. He that has prepared a crown and a kingdom for us, will give us what we need in the way to it. Men may justify themselves, though the accusations are in full force against them; but if God justifies, that answers all. Christ thus secures us. By the merit of his death he paid our debt.

For the apostle Peter wrote: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) Another case of man’s ingratitude for God’s mercies is the fact that a mistaken sense of security developed from the observation that Christ’s return had not yet taken place (vv. 3, 4). The long-suffering of God is not due to slowness or failure but to the love of God. He is not willing that any should perish but desires that all should come to repentance.

Unpublished Copyright © 1997, revised 11/99

All Rights Reserved.

Edited By Mike Arbuckle