“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!” John 3:16
The verse written above is the most familiar verse in the Bible. Many have it memorized, some who do not make any claim of being a Christian! It comes at the end of a conversation between Jesus Christ and a man by the name of Nicodemus. During the conversation, Jesus tells this prominent man from the Jewish community that every person (no exceptions) must be born again in order to enter the kingdom of God! When Nicodemus misunderstands the meaning of this statement by saying, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus then explains there must be two distinct births, one a natural birth of water and a spiritual birth of the Spirit. Nicodemus then asked, “How can these things be?”
Jesus then expressed amazement that a man understood to be “the” teacher of Israel, obviously indicating Nicodemus had a reputation of being knowledgeable in the Scriptures, could not understand the necessity of two births, one natural, and one spiritual. Nicodemus then exclaimed, “How can these things be?” Jesus follows this question with His explanation of how one is born again in John 3:16 quoted above, requiring that one must “believe” in Jesus. The challenge lies in properly understanding the meaning of the word ‘believe’. Many have assumed that it means a merely intellectual transaction, but the demons in hell believe that much, and shudder (James 2:19)!
The New Testament word ‘believe’ means, “To trust in; To cling to; To rely on.”
1) To believe in Jesus that results in salvation means to trust in what Jesus has done for you! “Christ also died for sins, once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us unto God.” (1st Peter 3:18).
2) To believe in Jesus resulting in salvation means to cling to who Jesus is in you! “Christ in you, the hope of glory!” (Colossians 1:27). “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure!” (Philippians 2:13).
3) To believe in Jesus resulting in salvation means to rely on all Jesus has said to you! “It is impossible for God to lie!” (Hebrews 6:18).
Here is the question to be answered! Here is the question you must answer, if not today, then once you die. “It is appointed for men to die once, and after this comes judgement!” (Hebrews 9:27). Are you qualified to enter the Kingdom of God? Have you been born again?