Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Do you know how to get to heaven?

One of the most quoted verses in scripture is found in John 3, verse 16. “For God so loved the world He GAVE (emphasis mine) his one and only son so that WHOEVER (emphasis mine) believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life.” (MSG)
I love this verse. It speaks to me of God’s love not just for me, but for WHOEVER (that means ANYONE, even the UNLOVEABLE) believes in Christ. The word “whoever” gives me a glimpse into the grace of God. Now, if we go back and look at the context of this verse we see that it is taken from a conversation Jesus is having with Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin, the highest governing body of the Jewish people. In this conversation Nicodemus is asking Jesus “how a person can be reborn?” (Basically, have eternal life.) Because Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin, he believed that a person worked out his salvation by himself (herself). Acting right; speaking right; hanging out with the right people, etc.
Jesus tells Nicodemus that one must be born from water and the Spirit. Our spiritual life comes from the Spirit. It is nothing we can do on our own. It is a gift. Going back to verse 16, God gave us “eternal life” in the form of His one and only son Jesus Christ. He loved us so much he GAVE Jesus so we could be free; full of truth and grace.
Nothing we can do by our own human hands will ever get us into heaven. We can’t do enough, serve enough. There is absolutely no way we can work out our own Salvation. We must only believe in the One God sent. No check the box rules; no secret codes or handshakes; no rituals - NOTHING. We just have to put our faith in Christ and believe.

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