"Growing together for the Glory of God"
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not parish, but have everlasting life."
No doubt you've seen this Bible reference on a large poster held high in the end zone of a football stadium.
But what in the world does it mean?
John 3:16 is the clearest verse in the Bible telling us how we can know for sure that we have eternal life. These words were spoken by Jesus, in the middle of the night, to a man named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
Jesus was trying to explain that eternal life comes by faith in Christ, not by good works or going to church or religious deeds.
We all understand that physical life is the result of a physical birth. But eternal life comes as the result of a second birth—a spiritual rebirth. And Jesus stressed the extreme importance of this second birth: "except a man be born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of God".
But how, exactly, is a person "born again"? That's where John 3:16 comes in. Jesus not only told Nicodemus why he needed eternal life, but he also told him how he could have eternal life. Listen closely:
"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."
In order to be born again, and receive eternal life, you need to believe the following four basic facts of the gospel:
The Bible says all have sinned (Rom. 3:23). You must agree with God that you are a sinner.
The Bible says that the judgment for sinner is eternal death, or separation from God (Rom. 6:23). You must accept the fact that your sin, unforgiven, has consequences—God's judgment.
The Bible says God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die in your place as a perfect sacrifice for sin (Rom. 5:8). You must realize Christ loved you enough to die for you—He paid the price of blood in order to give you eternal life.
Finally, the Bible says all you need to do is believe in, and receive, Jesus Christ as your personal Savior (Rom. 10:13). You must, by faith, receive the gift of God, which is eternal life through Christ.
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