Keys to the Storehouse – God So Loved the World

John 3:16 is a scripture known throughout the Christian world and likely well beyond it.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Whoever believes in Jesus does not have to die, because He sacrificed Himself so that all who could accept the gift of everlasting life might have it.

It is also true that Jesus accepts us as we are, with no expectation, but the idea that “as we are” stops there is not supported by Scripture.

I’m often frustrated by the fact that we pay so little attention to verse 17, particularly given the amount of conversation regarding acceptance and tolerance in terms of how the world uses “what would Jesus do” as a defense to continue living in sin.

“God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Jesus accepts us, but He doesn’t leave us the way He found us. He doesn’t save the world in its sin; He would save every human being out of the world from their sins. This is accomplished once a person realizes that he or she is a sinner in need of a Saviour. They repent from their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Forgiveness is given and the life is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit enabling them, moment by moment, to choose not to sin anymore. (See Acts 3:19; 2 Peter 3:9; Matthew 9:13; Ezekiel 18:32.)

Jesus accepted sinners, but He never tolerated sin. Example after example is given in the Bible of this principle. The Samaritan woman. Mary Magdalene. David. Peter. Saul who became Paul. Judas.

“… Looking upon men in their suffering and degradation, Christ perceived ground for hope where appeared only despair and ruin. Wherever there existed a sense of need, there He saw opportunity for uplifting. Souls tempted, defeated, feeling themselves lost, ready to perish, He met, not with denunciation, but with blessing.

“… He declared that those were blessed who, however great their need, would receive His light and love. To the poor in spirit, the sorrowing, the persecuted, He stretched out His arms, saying, ‘Come unto Me, … and I will give you rest.’ Matthew 11:28.

“In every human being He discerned infinite possibilities. He saw men as they might be, transfigured by His grace … . Looking upon them with hope, He inspired hope. Meeting them with confidence, He inspired trust. Revealing in Himself man’s true ideal, He awakened, for its attainment, both desire and faith. In His presence souls despised and fallen realized that they still were men, and they longed to prove themselves worthy of His regard. In many a heart that seemed dead to all things holy, were awakened new impulses. To many a despairing one there opened the possibility of a new life.” Education, 79, 80

This is how Jesus saves. No one will be able to retain their sinfulness and then somehow miraculously be changed at the last moment to make them worthy of heaven.

Our dear Saviour, help us to believe that You do accept us as we are, but that You will raise us out of our despair and ruin, and that through Your grace You will give us a new life, free from sin, changed into Your likeness.