Skip to comments.A look at John 3:14-18
Posted on 09/14/2013 12:29:44 PM PDT by matthewrobertolson
John 3:14-18 doesnt necessarily support the faith alone position.
For Protestants, John 3:14-18 might seem like the ultimate Gotcha! passage to use against Catholics. But if you look a little deeper, youll recognize that the passage does not defend the faith alone position and is totally in line with Catholic teaching.
The passage reads as, As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
That might seem a little damning to the Catholic position that good works are necessary, right? Well, in truth, its not.
With God, to believe means to obey. God does not desire a lukewarm, vague belief in Him, but a devoted life in His service. This is evidenced later in the chapter. John 3:36 reads as, He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
And if one looks at verses 19-21 of the chapter, they will see that Christ said that those who love darkness and do evil deeds will not reach the Light (Heaven).
Sin which, at its heart, is anything offensive to God is a heinous, damaging thing that we must cleanse ourselves of. This cleansing is done through Christ, of course, but meriting it requires a little more than a belief in Him. It requires a repentant heart (see Luke 13:3) and, in the case of mortal sin, sacramental confession (see my video about Confession).
On top of all of this, Christ told us in John 13:15 to follow the example that He set and He also told us in John 15:10 that we must keep His commandments to abide in [His] love.
We cant just sit back and relax non-stop, counting on our vague faith to save us we have to do things! Like St. Paul wrote in Colossians 1:24, we must help the Church in filling up what is lacking in Christs afflictions.
So, when reading the Bible, remember that true belief requires obedience and good works.
(All verses are from the NASB translation.)
Click here to watch the accompanying video.
Protestants won't agree that one must relax non-stop. They believe that true faith will result in good works. However, they do believe that faith in Christ's work is what saves...His righteousness replaces our sinful nature and that is a saving truth.
remember that true belief requires obedience and good works.
Again, Protestants believe this.
Stopped right there ... for EVERYthing said past that hinged ON that and ... it's wrong.
The gospel (good news) of eternal salvation:
The Bible is clear that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God who died on the cross as our substitute.
He paid the penalty for our sins.
He took the punishment that we deserve.
Gods provision of eternal salvation is a free gift (Eph. 2:8,9).
God, through Jesus Christ, did everything.
All you do is accept that free gift.
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
The Bible explains how to be saved (how to receive the free gift of eternal salvation):
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever BELIEVES in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He who BELIEVES on him is not condemned: but he who does not BELIEVE is condemned already, because he has not BELIEVED in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
But to the one who does not work, but BELIEVES in Him who justifies the ungodly, his FAITH is reckoned as righteousness
Therefore being justified by FAITH, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by FAITH without the deeds of the law
Then they asked him, What must we do to do the works God requires?
Jesus answered, The work of God is this: to BELIEVE in the one he has sent.
(Jesus Christ said) He who BELIEVES in me has everlasting life.
BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved
Every one who BELIEVES in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
(Jesus Christ said) I am the resurrection and the life. He who BELIEVES in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and BELIEVES in me will never die. Do you BELIEVE this?
A few helpful resources:
Gospel Wars - Part 1 (paper)
by Dr. Robert L. Dean Jr.
Gospel Wars - Part 2 (paper)
by Dr. Robert L. Dean Jr.
What Is Wrong with Lordship Salvation? (article)
by Dr. Andy Woods
The Free Grace Alliance
offers dozens of free papers examining problems with so-called Lordship Salvation:
Why should we believe this man’s interpretation of what God and Christ mean when they speak? Scripture is the only data. This author has expressed mere opinion. The reason I bring this up being today’s general, and in many cases proper, disbelief in any authority. Authority has shown itself venal and corrupt filled with secret unstated goals and “policies!”
I want to know one thing. What purpose does all this anti-Protestant junk serve? It seems like y’all are trying to convince yourselves you are right. I have never seen so many threads about you are right and everyone else is wrong.
Quote: “With God, to believe means to obey. God does not desire a lukewarm, vague belief in Him, but a devoted life in His service. This is evidenced later in the chapter. John 3:36 reads as, ‘He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.’”
Helpful notes from Dr. Robert L. Dean Jr.’s verse-by-verse series on the Gospel of John:
John 3:36 NASB He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
The conclusion to the whole chapter.
Notice it doesnt say, he who believes and is baptised, he who believes and joins the church, he who believes and is circumcised, he who believes and follows the Mosaic Law, he who believes and commits himself.
Incidentally, one of the big problems today is that faith is defined by many people as commitment.
That is absurd.
Faith is not commitment; faith is to trust, to believe, to accept something as true.
Commitment has to do with things in the spiritual life, it has nothing to do with salvation.
Notice the shift in words: but he who does not obey.
This is a very important shift.
The one who believes has eternal life but the one who is disobedient, the one who does not obey -
Notice is doesnt say the one who does not believe.
Why is that?
Because it is a command.
What is the command?
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
If you obey the command (to) believe you will have eternal life.
The issue here is not obedience to the Law, obedience to every mandate in Scripture.
The issue is one particular mandate,
Acts 16:31 NASB Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved...
Through FAITH alone in Christ alone.
The majority Protestant position is that only faith is absolutely necessary for salvation. That’s why I said we should not count on it to “save” us. I didn’t say that Protestants don’t also say that obedience and good works are an outward sign of our faith — because they do — but many will reluctantly admit that, strictly speaking, they’re not absolutely necessary for salvation. I think the typical Protestant position usually just ends up being lip service to, but not actual belief in, the importance of works. That’s what I was denouncing.
Well, if the Pontiff, who as I understand it is the Vicar of Christ, is saying athiests can attain Heaven by listening to their conscience, then I think anything that comes from Rome needs to be re-evaluated.
Christ said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.”
No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, Know the Lord,
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,
declares the Lord.
For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.
And - why did Jesus die? And - Why were those who wanted to continue the old ways of circumcision and such to "help earn their way" said to be fallen from Grace?
Where does the Bible say that priests have the innate ability to cause transubstantiation at will, Sunday-after-Sunday (and other days too)?
I believe the enemy will use Any argument to distract the Believer.when a Protestant recalls that certain Catholics have in times past claimed that Protestants almost are Christian also. ( Or whatever that Pope said) and whenever Catholics point to Protestants ,as has been attempted here—it is nothing but the enemy using whom so ever he will.does not the Holy Writ declare “There is one body and one spirit,just as you were called in one hope of your calling:one Lord, one faith,one baptism;one God and Father of all,who is above all,and through all,and in you all.” (Nelson Study Bible;The Companion Bible) In my opinion This passage affirms my doctrine—that whenever anyone is pointing a finger at any other part of the body of Christ and suggesting that because they are not the same finger-or hand— or foot—because they have not looked through that dark glass in quite the same way that their believing is somehow less—be time you got the log out of your own eye
before you speak of a splinter in another’s?I can no more fault all Catholic because I am not Catholic Nor all Jews because I was born an American Christian and once was taught false doctrine myself. On this journey I would rather stand with a brother or sister in Christ than I would waste my time only with those who think or who were schooled in the same school.
5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, `You must be born anew.' 8 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit." 9 Nicode'mus said to him, "How can this be?" 10 Jesus answered him, "Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand this? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life." 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. 17 For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. 18 He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.
“This cleansing is done through Christ, of course, but meriting it requires a little more than a belief in Him.”
This goes to show the absolute biblical confusion of the Catholics. While it is certainly true that a faith without works is dead, it is not true that works merit grace, or that a quantity of works saves, as the scripture directly says that Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt (Rom 4:4). And again, by grace ye are saved (Eph 2:5). This is because whoever seeks to be justified by doing good works must do them perfectly, as the scripture declares, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them”(Gal 3:10). In fact, keeping the law perfectly is our duty which we must do as the minimal standard, as Christ declares:
“Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”(Luk 17:9-10)
Catholics have a tendency, then, to downplay the heinousness of sin, and to puff up the righteousness of man, in order to get beyond these difficulties. So they build up degrees of sin, even though all are fatal, since, in reality, even just one sin puts you under the guilt of the entire law, as the scripture says, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (Jas 2:10). And again, “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek 18:4). And as touching the righteousness of man, he is utterly empty of any of it. A man has no righteousness of his own. What passes as our righteousness, as the scripture declares, “are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isa 64:6). And again, “there is none that doeth good, no, not one”(Rom 3:12). Therefore we must conclude with Paul that, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God” (2Co 3:5).
It is for this reason, then, that we do not glory in our alleged meriting of grace, or of a righteousness of ourselves that is worthy of salvation, but instead we must glory in Christ whose righteousness is imputed onto us by faith only, as Paul says:
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” (Rom 4:5-8)
When we speak of faith being dead without works, therefore, we speak not of a quantity of works which merit grace. The Papists, occasionally, imagine a scale in heaven with their good and evil works weighed against each other. For example, from the ‘Secrets of the Rosary” endorsed by Pope John Paul the second:
“One day the King fell seriously ill and when he was given up for dead he found himself, in a vision, before the judgement seat of Our Lord. Many devils were there accusing him of all the sins he had committed and Our Lord as Sovereign Judge was just about to condemn him to hell when Our Lady appeared to intercede for him. She called for a pair of scales and had his sins placed in one of the balances whereas she put the rosary that he had always worn on the other scale, together with all the Rosaries that had been said because of his example. It was found that the Rosaries weighed more than his sins.
Looking at him with great kindness Our Lady said: As a reward for this little honor that you paid me in wearing my Rosary, I have obtained a great grace for you from my Son. Your life will be spared for a few more years. See that you spend these years wisely, and do penance.
When the King regained consciousness he cried out: Blessed be the Rosary of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, by which I have been delivered from eternal damnation!”
This is a wholly blasphemous view of salvation which must be rejected. There is no weighing of good works for your salvation, as if you had any. According to the scripture, there isn’t a single man who is good. Not even Paul, as we see in Romans 7, was free of sin. Instead, he lamented that he sinned so greatly, and did not do all the good that he would. John, in his epistle, declares that anyone who says the have no sin, is a liar. In reality, if anything is measured, it is the quality of the faith which a man has that shall either damn him or justify him. Not the quantity of works, but the living faith, as opposed to the mere belief of devils (who all believe in God, but are damned), which produces good works the way a pregnant cloud produces rain.
Though this would still be an imperfect way of speaking, because faith also is the gift of God, and we cannot imagine that anything given by God is of dubious quality. Perhaps it is better to say, that the faith of the elect, which is from God, is always perfect; whereas the dead faith of evil ones is always found wanting. Hence why Paul says that we are not sufficient for anything, and this includes our faith, which is given to us by the Holy Spirit when we were yet unwilling and dead in our sin. As the scripture says, “no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (1 Co 12:3). Again, “no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father” (Joh 6:65). And again, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Php 2:13).
Thus both faith and good works must bow to grace, which provides liberally for both for all those predestined before the world began; not according to our works, or our foreseen goodness and faith, but according to His good pleasure and purpose.
Theres your problem right there. You think you know what the Protestants mean. So you "think" you know it's only lip service ey? Well, danounce all you want with your suppositions. It looks disingenuous from here.
John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
It’s so very clear.
Christ, the eternal Son of God tells us to believe in Him.
The one who believes in Him has eternal life.
But the one who does not obey Him, the wrath of God abides on that person.
In context, what is it that has just been said that must be obeyed if one is to have eternal life?
We must believe in Him.
That’s what was just said in the previous sentence.
Believe in Him.
That’s what He said that must be obeyed if one is to have eternal life.
” It seems like yall are trying to convince yourselves you are right. I have never seen so many threads about you are right and everyone else is wrong.”
That’s exactly it. The Papists on this forum have been getting whipped in just about every thread they have started, and so this causes, as a consequence, even more threads from them. It is a sign of their desperation.
It’s a good thing, as it gives us more opportunity to drive them all mad, as well as opportunity to provide retorts filled with sound doctrine for those who are ignorant of these things.
At their ordinations. Read 1 Timothy about presbyters.
Yes, and evidence of salvation is the good works that result. Good works are the fruit of salvation. They are not the root of salvation i.e. can never earn salvation.
You've got the cart before the horse in thinking differently.