Here the apostle John summarizes the two events of chapter three, Jesus with Nicodemus and John the Baptist with his disciples. Jesus explained the meaning of “born again” to Nicodemus. Following God requires faith in Jesus as the savior. John the Baptist explained that his purpose was not to create a following for himself, but to point others to Christ.
Now, John the apostle as the narrator of the gospel summarizes with commentary. John the Baptist was a messenger from God with a message from God. Jesus is much more than just a messenger. He is the message. He is God.
John’s summation in verse 36 is the bottom line. There are two classes of people, those who have the forgiveness of Christ and those who are condemned. We do not live in some kind of neutral state until the end of life, then our lives are put in the scales and judged worthy or unworthy. We are born under condemnation. We deserve and face the wrath of God because of our sinfulness. Until we come to faith in Christ and receive forgiveness, we are already guilty and condemned.
This makes me think about people differently. I shouldn’t think of them with labels. I need to see them as saved or lost, having eternal life or under eternal judgment. Even many people in the church are really lost. They may say all the right things, but unless their hearts are aligned to God, they are not saved.
Article originally posted by Pastor Cliff on Monday, August 4, 2008.