Faithlife Sermons

"Believing" in John 3:16

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Personal Bible study.
He responded to my question by asserting that he knew John 3:16 very well and that John 3:16 was all the Bible he needed.
He seemed confident that he was saved by Jesus because he “believed” in Jesus.
Case closed. That’s it: “God is a loving God. And since I ‘believe’ in Jesus, I’m not going to perish, but will receive eternal life.”
Believed How
That He exists?
That He ever lived historically?
That he is God’s Son?
That believe but will nor confess? John 12:42-43
That one confesses but does not follow - Luke 6 46
That He is Lord? Must be followed. John 10:25, hear, follow obey Heb 5:8-9?


John 3:16 beautifully encapsulates the theme of the entire Bible:
I love John 3:16. It is from the mind of God.
It is true.
And it is a great summary of the Gospel of Christ.
But it is not the only verse God gave to man.
It is not the only verse the Holy Spirit inspired man to write.
It is not the only soul-saving truth that Jesus ever uttered or that John ever wrote.

Note this Emphasis throughout Scripture

“The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of your righteous judgments endures forever”
Psalm 119:160 ASV 1901
160 The sum of thy word is truth; And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever.
Paul wrote that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God”
2 Timothy 3:16 KJV 1900
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Jesus said that the Spirit of truth would guide the apostles “into all truth”
John 16:13 KJV 1900
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Which they subsequently preached and penned
Ephesians 3:1–5 KJV 1900
1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
Paul declared “the whole counsel of God”
Acts 20:27 KJV 1900
27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
Both Moses and John warned about adding to or taking away from God’s Word
Deuteronomy 4:2 KJV 1900
2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
Deuteronomy 12:32 KJV 1900
32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
Revelation 22:18–19 KJV 1900
18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

When a person emphasizes only one sentence of Scripture to the exclusion of all others, he is

disrespecting and rejecting everything else that God revealed for man’s eternal benefit, including many truths that help to interpret other divine statements correctly.
What father is pleased with his son who listens only to 1% of what he says?
What teacher will pass a student who completes only 1% of the assigned readings?
What employer will tolerate workers content with knowing only 1% of what they need to know—even if that 1% included the most fundamental knowledge of the business?

If John 3:16 were “enough,” why did Jesus teach so much more?

(in the Gospel of John, as well as 1, 2, and 3 John, and Revelation)?
And if the Holy Spirit was content with man only knowing John 3:16, why did He inspire men to pen thousands of other eternally beneficial statements
2 Peter 1:20–21 KJV 1900
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Both logic and the Bible demand more than a “one-verse Christian.”


One Word…Without Context?

In fact, according to Guinness World Records, “The word with the most meanings in English is the verb ‘set’, with 430 senses listed in the Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary… The word commands the longest entry in the dictionary at 60,000 words.”
The only way to understand words correctly is to understand them in their context.
Even very basic words, “know”Hebrew yada and Greek ginosko) is found well over 1,000 times in the New King James Version.
Many times it is used in the sense of merely being aware of something or someone.
At other times, it is used in the more intensified sense of being very informed about, and even experienced.
Sometimes it is even used to refer to sexual relations (Genesis 4:17; Matthew 1:25).
One simply cannot know what “know” means without context.
This approach is ignorant and dangerous...

One Verse…Without Context?

Matthew 7:1 KJV 1900
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Matthew 7:1–6 KJV 1900
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. 6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
To Not Believe is to DISOBEY
John 3:36 ESV
36 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.
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