The impartiality of God’s love
In the past two articles we studied “The Measurement of Divine Love” and “The Unfathomable Love of God” as portrayed in John 3:16.

In this final installment for the present I want us to look at “The Impartiality of God’s Love,” “. . .that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16b).
In these words we see God’s unwillingness that any should be lost. Peter underscores this same truth in 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV) 9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
The condition on which the blessings of God’s love is enjoyed is broadly stated as “. . .whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16b). This passage in its context as well as that of other New Testament teaching was not intended to portray that all one has to do to be saved is merely believe. The context of John 3:16 reveals that the belief that brings the blessings of the love of God is an obedient belief. Jesus appeals to Israel’s experience in John 3:14-18 (KJV) 14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth (pisteuo) in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth (pisteuo) in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth (pisteuo) on him is not condemned: but he that believeth (pisteuo) not is condemned already, because he hath not believed (pisteuo) in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Note that Israel was not only to believe that Moses was telling them the truth about the brazen serpent but they were to look upon that serpent: Numbers 21:7-9 (KJV) 7 “Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.” Submissive obedience was a part of the believing experience. To believe yet refuse to look meant certain death. Other passages one might study regarding submissive obedience include: Matt. 7:21; Heb 5:8-9; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Gal. 5:6.
Then in John 3:36(ASV) notice that the word “pisteuo” is coupled with a different word, “apeitheo.” John states 36 “He that believeth (pisteuo) on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth (apeitheo) not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” The ASV, NASV, ESV, NLT, NCV, ICB, ISV, WEYMOUTH NEW TESTAMENT, and the RSV all render the reading, “...but he that obeyeth not the Son...” The Greek word in the first phrase is “pisteuo” (believeth), but the antithesis, “apeitheo” (disobedient, to obey not) is used in the second phrase. The context of John 3:16 is of a faith that leads one not merely to believe, but to believe enough to submit (obey). The conditions of obedient faith unto salvation are: Believe (Mark 16:16), Repent of Sins (Acts 2:38), Confess Jesus Christ (Matt. 10:32-33; Rom. 10:10), and be Baptized (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). “Whosoever believeth” is more than merely believing, but surrendering to these responses of faith. This is the Bible context of believing unto salvation. James said in James 2:19 (KJV) 19 “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

 

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