GOD LOVED SO MUCH THE WORLD
16“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
19And this is the judgment:
The light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
20For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
21But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
This story happened when Lord Jesus was confronted by a pious Jewish man called Nicodemus, and He explained to him about the necessity to be ‘born again’.
Jesus explained to Nicodemus, that the reason He had incarnated, because He openly speaks of his pre-existence (Jn 3:13), was not to condemn the world, not yet, but to give the world a last chance of salvation. And salvation through the easiest way possible, through faith in his Name.
Lord Jesus clearly said that through faith in Him, meaning accepting Him in submission of who He was, the redeemer Son of Lord God YHWH, everyman could obtain forgiveness of sins and the consequent salvation they expected. But also, that whoever did not believed in Him, and did not submit to Him in obedience, will be lost without hope.
It’s important to notice here, that the whole point to determine the salvation and condemnation of man in this passage, it is not his conduct, even when this is intimately related to this (Jn 3:19-20), but in the submissive acceptance of Jesus kingship. This is determined by the logical consequence that only mental knowledge of Him is not what Jesus was referring to. Not just to admit or know that Jesus was who He said He was, and leave it at that. Even demons know that, and still are perseverant in their rebellion and enmity towards God. The Faith that Jesus was speaking about, carries an implied submission of obedience. To realize who He is, the Son of God Almighty, should take us to a surrender of our wills to Him as Lord. And therefore, to reject his Lordship, which normally comes fr.om ignoring who He really is, or just out of a rebellious attitude, will bring automatic condemnation.
Jesus speaks also that whoever does not accept his Lordship, is because they are trapped in sinfulness. This enslaved condition is what stops them from accepting Jesus’s Lordship. They love more sinfulness than the love of God, and therefore, they are condemned by their own choice, not God’s decision. But whoever listens and ends up submitting to Jesus, it is because they love holiness and justice, and by coming to Jesus, they receive salvation.
In both cases, conduct determines our decision to submit or not submit to Jesus as Lord. This clearly states the power humans have to change, and that they have the freedom of choice and change. But it is not these actions which determine their salvation, but what brings them to Jesus, who is who determines their salvation.
Salvation is uniquely based in the person of Jesus and his redemptive work, because only Jesus as a divine person, could take our place and suffer the punishment for our sins, so that we could be forgiven and start anew again in submission and gratitude to God for this marvellous redemptive work.
And the fact that a person gets condemned by merely rejecting Him, it is proof that salvation for humanity, it is impossible to attain by our own efforts.
It’s only Jesus, through our faith, repentance and submission, who can perform the salvation of all humanity. Nothing else can.