Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:13, 14 NKJV

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

"If I am lifted up"

For God so loved the world,
 that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believes in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

This is a very well known verse, in fact, many people are familiar with this verse even if they are not really into reading and studying the Bible. And that is a good things, except when the knowledge is left there. Sometimes when a verse is very well known we skim over it without truly understanding its meaning. My intent today is to share with you some more information that will help you with a better understanding of this verse and several others.
An important way to study your Bible is to look at context and in order to do that we need to read more than just once verse- its good to read the whole chapter - sometimes even more is needed to e read in order to have a full look at the context and meaning of the verse. In the case of what I am presenting today we are going to look at John 3:14-17. 
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."
John 12:32
(If you want to read more about Moses lifting the snake up in the wilderness read - Numbers 21:4-9)

I have to be honest. What I am sharing with you today is from a little booklet called ~ "John~ God Became Flesh" by Elizabeth Viera Talbot
"Jesus spoke of His death as being "lifted up" John 12:32. Everyone who looks at the cross and believes in HIm has eternal life. Whoever, everyone, each person who understands that they have been bitten and then chooses to look up, will live." pg. 18
We have been bitten by sin.
So the question is asked: "Why would Jesus identify Himself with a snake? Doesn't the serpant represent the devil, evil, and sin? Oh Yes! That's the beauty of the typology:
"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21
I had never truly understood that verse as I do after reading this book and putting these verses together.
"People use the word gospel ("good news") for many things and it becomes confusing. The gospel is outside of use, and it happened two thousand years ago. Jesus saved the world; He is the Antidote!
What the Holy Spirit does in us, transforming us, changing us to  desire the law of God is not the gospel; it is the outcome of understanding and accepting the antidote. We have assurance of salvation because of what Christ has done for us. What he does in us is not what saves us; that's what He does after we accept His Salvation. He will help us to live ourlives for His glory, to attract others to His kingdom, to live healthily for our own happiness." pg 18-19
Now let's review our original verse- this time read it very slowly and insert your name for "the world" and "whoever"
For God so loved ________,
 that He gave His only begotten Son,
that _______ (who) believes in Him should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
John 3:16
Isn't that beautiful? Once I read about that and understood it better - I just had to share, I hope that you were blessed as much as I have been!!


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