Often seen at football games

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.

John 3:16 King James Version (KJV)

john316signCan the Gospel be reduced to one verse? In one sense it can. John 3:16 cuts to the very core of God’s plan of salvation: His great love for the world, His great sacrifice freely offered, and our response to that call.

On the other hand, Jesus expounds a Gospel that encompasses so much more than that. Although this verse might be sufficient to achieve salvation alone, it can not even begin to inform a Christian life.

What is the answer? Very simple.

Hold up the sign.

Jesus said that when He is lifted up (exalted) He will draw all men to Himself. But after that, we who follow Him must care for the souls drawn to Him. A “John 3:16” Christian may escape Hell, but he will not experience the joy of a Christian life and he will not be very effective in drawing still more to the Lord.

5 Comments

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5 Responses to Often seen at football games

  1. Hilary

    It will be interesting to see what “drawing more to the Lord” looks like. I will keep an eye out as we continue to read John. Shaylee and I will be discussing John chapter 7 tomorrow.

  2. verbus_admin

    When Jesus gave us the great commission, to win all nations to Christ, He must have realized that such a thing was only possible if the Gospel were multiplied, one person telling several, and those several each telling several more. That is how the Church grew so dramatically in such a short time.

    We are the Body of Christ, literally. And as a body, it should be in our nature to propagate. God’s very first commandment was to go forth, be fruitful and multiply. To merely say the sinner’s prayer and get your ticket to heaven punched cannot possibly be what the Lord intended. So John 3:16, while crucial, is not itself constitutive of a full Christian faith. I’m not preaching a Gospel of works, but I am saying that being a Christian is a vocation, not a state of the soul. When Jesus called His disciple, He didn’t just offer them a guarantee of salvation. Rather He demanded a total sacrifice of their lives to Him. We, too, are called to proclaim the Gospel. Not necessarily by preaching, but by showing the fruits of the Spirit in our lives. That doesn’t happen overnight. We must grow in understanding and truth. It requires a commitment to a Bible-based Christian community coupled with a heart that is broken by the sin of mankind. Jesus wept over Jerusalem. We ought to be weeping for those who are likewise lost in sin.

  3. Shaylee

    I’m playing catch-up on these posts. We studied John 8 this week. The first part is the woman caught in adultery. This fits right in with what you’re talking about here. The Pharisees drag this woman into the temple and expose her in front of God and everyone and ask Jesus to make a judgement about her sin, knowing the law says she is deserving of death for what she is. Jesus’ response “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” They had to leave, knowing if they claimed sinless-ness, they would be guilty of they same thing of which they were trying to accuse Jesus. Jesus was the only one who could’ve thrown a stone, by those standards. But He didn’t. “Where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, ” Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on, sin no more.”
    Jesus didn’t leave it off at the “you’re not condemned” part; He gave her a command to go and sin no more. There is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus, is not a “ticket to ride.” (Had to throw in a board game reference there, Hil!) A heart that understands the great lengths that Christ went to to redeem their soul can not help but want to honor Him in gratitude, by their actions.

  4. verbus_admin

    Thanks for that interesting comment. I think that in emphasizing justification by faith alone (sola fide) there is an unconscious aversion to the appearance of justification by “works.” Yet Jesus always tied salvation to some kind of outward action (think of the rich young ruler).

    BTW, here’s a joke which you may have heard already. It’s only funny if you are Catholic.
    Jesus addresses the crowd seeking to stone the adulteress. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Suddenly from the outskirts of the crowd a rock comes flying in and hits the woman on the head. Jesus says, “Very funny, Mom.”

    Jesus tells the woman taken in adultery

  5. verbus_admin

    Ignore that last line. Typo.

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