Eleventh Day of Advent
“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. (John 3:16-18 NASB)
It has always been easy for me to define myself by my works. If you perform well one day, you have done well; if you perform poorly another day, you have not done well. This works-based thinking easily pours over into our spiritual lives if we aren’t careful. Have you ever felt further or nearer to God based on your works? I do, quite often. The gospel seeks to destroy a works-based lifestyle. John 3:16 will utterly ruin a legalist. Think about how the Pharisees (exemplary legalists) felt in John 6 when they simply wanted to know how to perfectly perform the works of God. To their inquiry Jesus essentially replies: “Believe.” That’s it?! All I have to do is believe? Reliance on your works will only get you so far. Reliance on His work will get you to heaven. It’s no longer about how faithful you can gather yourself to be; it’s about how faithful He is. It’s no longer about how hard you try to know Him, but about how much He knows you. If you change your perspective, then your entire life will change. You will find more freedom than you have ever found. Jesus’ answer is: just believe.
Re: Verse reading – John 3:1-21