Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A short note on John 3:36

John 3:36 has always confused me:

"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him."

Now, why does John (inspired by the Holy Spirit) say, on the one hand, believing the Son will result in eternal life while disobeying the Son keep the wrath of God on someone? I thought it was a matter of belief or disbelief... or is there more to it? To be perfectly honest, it sounds religious and scary. While it is scary because eternal destinies are being explained in just one sentence, it is not religious, actually. The word in the Greek (one word in Greek is translated "does not believe" in English) carries with it the idea of a rejection, a non-compliance with, a disobedience that is caused by a disbelief. So it is not merely breaking rules that John threatens us with here - it is the decision that we've all initially made to disobey God - to not believe in his Son, to not believe he alone is Life, he is the provider of everything we need for eternal life. We've all rejected him - those who continue to do so will continue to be under the (righteous and just) wrath of God. Those who believe in Christ - wholly trusting in his name for our eternal life and the source for us receiving God's mercy - have eternal life. We have, as our current "possession", eternal life! God's Spirit lives within us, filling us and causing a new birth that will result in an eternal dwelling with God in heaven. Praise his name.

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