He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.(John 3:36)
The final words this chapter on the new birth, are given to the one Jesus designated as “greatest man born of a woman”, John the Baptist. Jesus had spoken to Nicodemus of the necessity of the new birth, the fact that “born from above” is an Act of God,the Holy Spirit.
Jesus also gives the teacher of Israel,(and us) the scriptural warrant for it , for this is the giving of a new tender heart spoken of in the prophet Ezekiel( chap 36). Our Lord also revealed and the basis for this gift of God’s grace to sinners, none less than the sacrificial offering of the “only begotten Son”.
But John the evangelist included as a second witness to the new birth, the testimony of John the Baptist. His emphasis was on the person of Christ himself. He is the “Son who descended” from heaven to bring bankrupt men this grace. The Father has committed everything, salvation and judgment into His hands.
God cannot be known apart from Jesus. He is the only mediator between man and God. Each and every person’s eternal destiny is determined by the acceptance or rejection of the Son of God. He is the “judge of all the earth” and He, Jesus is the standard by which we shall be judged.
For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. (John 5:21-17)
The Son quickens whoever He wants… Jesus is the author of the new birth, He gives new life, a communion for all who believe in the Divine nature. The Son of God is the judge, whom he justifies is justified indeed, whom he condemns is condemned forever. This judge first gave His life as the substitute for those summoned before His majestic and awesome bar. to satisfy the Divine claims of justice.
All men are already condemned. The Divine sentence has already been passed, “The soul that sinned shall surely die“, Holines and justice must be satisfied in God’s moral universe.
The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.(Psalm 11)
Every day between now and that condemnation is a gift of grace. Estranged from God, men and women pass their brief time on this earth, dead to what they were created for, insensitive to their Creator, distracting themselves with vanity, dying even while they live, and hurtling towards a final judgment.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
But through the din, comes the voice of Jesus, calling us out of the tombs of our own sin, unrighteousness, God rejection and even hatred.
I heard His voice when I was 19 years old. Not physically, but morally and certainly. I had read the sermon on the mount, and instantly knew that what I was reading was truth.
I was gripped by the conviction of my sin, for about three months. I had never gone to any but our local catholic church, but I began attending an evangelical, pentecostal church in the college town where I had been living.
All was alien to my experience of religion. There were no candles, robes or liturgy, the trappings of religion were absent. But the people lifted their hands and sang and wept and literally cried out to One who was obviously on the receiving end of those heartfelt prayers.
Every time they held an “Altar call”at the end of those services, I rushed forward, to try to loose myself from the conviction that I had broken the law of God and was going to go to hell.But to no avail, for I had no faith, no reason to believe that I could be saved.
Finally after about three months of this I was depressed and in despair. I knew that I was a sinner, so far from God and so hopeless to live the right kind of life.
One day in the depths of my deep sorrow, I realized I was reading the same sentence of the Bible, and not even comprehending one syllable of what I was reading. In my distraction I had just been “looping” the same verse over and over again.
It was then that a clear thought penetrated my gloomy frame of mind…”look at what you are reading and understand…” the text was 2 Corinthians 5:21
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
I can’t explain it other than to say with Jesus, I HEARD the voice of the Son of God. For I “saw it”, instantly. God had made Jesus to become Sin for me, He became my substitute on the cross, He took my place in judgment, that We who are sinners and fully know sin, might be “made” (By God, not ourselves) the Righteousness of God.
It was then that saving faith came into my heart, I then “believed on the Son of God”, and entered into everlasting life. He that believes on the Son has everlasting life…He that hath the Son hath the life…Jesus said,I am the way, the truth and the Life… .
But what of those who refuse to believe? The only other way is to Stay where they are, under the wrath of God that Jesus died to shield us from, and that the very God of wrath against sin, sent Jesus to deliver us from.
he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him
How dreadful! That one could come alive to God, be forgiven of their sins, and be guaranteed an entrance into the coming Kingdom of God… but should opt instead to remain right where they are, condemned, doomed, alienated from God, and from meaning. To choose to continue on as the object of God’s anger and Holy hatred of sin and all that is false… Why? Pride? Rebellion? Refusal to admit that you are wrong?