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How will You Believe

Remember these words of Christ, “If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12). It is very interesting how people will take Bible verses out of context to make them mean whatever they want them to mean and often times not realize what they have done. Most times when this is done, it is done parroting another who said it before. The most popular and most well known verse in the Bible is probably the most often miss used and miss quoted verse in all of scripture. Whenever you hear this verse quoted, it is most often quoted in and of itself not using the supporting scriptures that surround it, the book of Proverbs is a book of single one-liner quotations, the gospels are not. The gospels are a set of individual stories as a whole making a larger core story with a single theme in mind; the perfect sinless Lamb of God, the Son of God, God incarnate dying on a cross as a Man for the sins of man, being buried, and then three days later defeating sin and death proving who He is by rising from the dead, and that there is salvation from the wrath of God through Him.

A little over a week ago I was riding in a car with a friend of mine and the conversation over (The Doctrines of Grace) came up; he asked me a question about them because I am now attending (Sylvania Church) which is known to be Reformed Baptist. Now this friend of mine is a believer holding to the gospel; that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and three days later arose from the grave defeating sin and death. But, states that he has a problem with accepting (the doctrines of grace). Now while I love this friend of mine this does bother me, because weather he knows he is saying this or not, he is saying that God is not sovereign in all things. I personally except that God is in charge and in control of all things including; totally depraved men, the election of, atonement for, the drawing in of, and keeping those He has saved on the narrow path. God is in charge of it all, and I praise Him that I am not, because if it had been lift up to me this wretched man would still be lost; but for whatever reason known only to God, He saved me and I will continually be His, singing His praises.

This friend of mine said to me, “What about free will?” I told my friend, “God gave Adam free will to choose and he choose to sin, so all of mankind plummeted into depravity, because Adam sinned our nature is sinful, so you’re right, we do have free will, we have free will to choose what sins we will commit. Then he said to me, “What about John 3:16?” At this point we had reached our destination so the conversation had pretty much ended. So that poses the question, what about John 3:16, my friend had unknowingly answered his own question. Do you remember the words of Christ from the beginning of the page? “If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12). This question is the point of the passage, and the conversation that the Lord had with Nicodemus. The Lord first gives the answer to the question, then asks the question, then begins to tell Nicodemus and us the heavenly things. The answer to the question is what is needed in order for Nicodemus and us, to believe the heavenly things, John 3:16 is in those heavenly things. So what is the answer to the question, “How will you believe if I tell you heavenly things”? “Jesus answered and said to him. ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God’” (John 3:3). Then the Lord explains this to Nicodemus in more detail saying, “That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 6:6). In the eleven verses before Jesus poses the question, “If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things” (John 3:12), He describes in detail what it is that would cause a man to believe. The Spirit of God! So if anyone ever asks me this question again I will answer in the same way Jesus did, “Truly, Truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

“Repent and believe in the gospel” (Jesus)

Mike Peek a slave of Jesus Christ

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