Empty Cross Ministries
John Chapter 3
John 3:13 “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the son of man which is in heaven.”
Son of man is a messianic title. See (Daniel 7:13), for the Old Testament source. In the last lesson, Jesus was telling Nicodemus how to receive the kingdom of God. Jesus had just finished telling Nicodemus that he did not understand things of the earth, and how could he then understand things of the heavenly.
Jesus is telling Nicodemus, you haven’t been up in heaven, so you can’t understand. Jesus is speaking of Himself (in verse 13.)
This verse contradicts other religious systems’ claims to special revelation from God. Jesus insisted that no one has ascended to heaven in such a way as to return and talk about heavenly things. (2 Cor. 12:1-4). Only He had His permanent abode in heaven prior to His Incarnation and therefore, only He has the true knowledge regarding heavenly wisdom (Prov. 30:4).
He was in heaven with God and came to earth to save us. Jesus is the only one who truly understands the heavenly.
John 3:14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:”
In Numbers, it tells the provision that God made for the sins of the people to be forgiven.
Numbers 21:9 “And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.”
This is a veiled prediction of Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus referred to the story of (Numbers 21:5-9), where the Israelite people who looked at the serpent lifted up by Moses were healed. The point of this illustration or analogy is in the “lifted up.” Just as Moses lifted up the snake on the pole so that all who looked upon it might live physically. Those who look to Christ, who was “lifted up” on the cross, will live spiritually and eternally.
John 3:15 “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
This serpent was made of brass. Brass means judgment. This serpent and the brass is what you see on a doctor’s papers. This serpent lifted up on a pole is the very thing that happens to us with Jesus. Jesus was raised up, and we must look to Him to be saved.
In (2 Kings 18:4), you can read of the destruction of the brazen serpent on the pole. It was just a shadow of what wonderful thing would happen when Jesus should be raised and save us. If we look to Jesus, we will find deliverance.
This is the first of 10 references to “eternal life” in John’s gospel. The same Greek word is translated in some versions as “everlasting life.” The two expressions appear in the New Testament nearly 50 times.
Eternal like refers not only to eternal quantity but divine quality of life. It means literally “life of the age to come” and refers therefore to resurrection and heavenly existence in perfect glory and holiness. This life for believers in the Lord Jesus is experienced before heaven is reached.
This “eternal life” is in essence, nothing less that participation in the eternal life of the Living Word, Jesus Christ. It is the life of God in every believer, yet not fully manifest until the resurrection.
Notice salvation is for whosoever will. Believeth means continues to believe. The Him is Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Romans 10:9), goes into a little more detail about this belief. If we truly believe in our heart and confess with our mouth, we shall be saved and not perish. Believing in Jesus as Savior and Lord brings everlasting life.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
This is the most quoted Scripture in the entire Bible. You can easily see why; because it is full of so much hope. We need to take a very good look at it. “God so loved”; this is a love so far above anything man knows that we really do not understand.
The word loved here is translated from Agape which means to love much in a moral sense. This love goes way beyond the human ability to love. This type of love is not because, but in spite of. He loved us with this love so much, that while we were yet in sin, He sent His Son to die on the cross to save us: not because we deserved it, but because we didn’t deserve it.
The Son’s mission is bound up in the supreme love of God for the evil, sinful “world” of humanity that is in rebellion against Him. The word “so” emphasizes the intensity or greatness of His love. The Father gave His unique and beloved Son to die on behalf of sinful men.
Jesus came to save the lost. It is so simple and yet so hard. Believeth here again, means continues to believe. You see, salvation is a way of life. Every day when we get up we must remember all over again and believe. This is not something we do causally. This belief means to believe in God and love Him more than anything or anyone else.
(Matthew 22:37), tells us what this love and belief is: “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”
You see, if you really believe, you will practice the verse above. God will be first in your life, or He will not be in your life at all. There is no way to perish if you are in this right standing with God. He has prepared for us a place to spend all of eternity with Him.
John 3:17 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
This “sent here” shows that Jesus is on a mission to accomplish for forever. The name Jesus, as we have said before, means Savior or Jehovah Savior. The Word took on the name of Jesus Christ for His work of salvation.
There is a time, at the end of the age, when Jesus will be Judge and will determine each of our destinations, whether heaven or hell.
His mission to the earth, however, was to save all mankind who would accept it. The name of Jesus is very powerful. The only way to get to heaven is through belief in Him. So, through Him we receive eternal life.
John 3:18 “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Salvation is so simple. So many do not receive God, because they have pre-conceived ideas of how it is so hard to be saved. Faith in the name of Jesus Christ, speaking of this belief to others, and a love for God that surpasses all others is so intertwined that they are inseparable. To believe in Him truly and completely changes our life.
This phrase (Literally “to believe on him”), means more than mere intellectual ascent to the claims of the gospel. It includes trust and commitment to Christ as Lord and Savior which results in receiving a new nature (verse 7), which produces a change in heart and obedience to the Lord.
To believe on the name of Jesus thus causes us to keep His commandments. To believe on His name brings peace, joy, and hope. If we believe, we are assured of the resurrection.
We are not like those who have refused Him and have no hope. When Thomas asked Jesus how he could know the way, Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
We have spoken so much about the Light. This Light is Jesus. This Light gives everything the power to live. The best thing this Light does is do away with darkness. The great thing about this Light is that it shines into all the corners of life and makes manifest (visible), the works.
People, who have rejected the Light of Jesus, want their deeds to be hidden by darkness. They are ashamed to have them out in the open. I have said it before, but notice most crimes are done under cover of darkness. Where there is absence of light, darkness prevails.
Everything pertaining to darkness pertains to Satan and his crowd. Come to the Light and let this Light do away with all the darkness in your life.
John 3:20 “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”
We see here a contrast. The evil doer will hate the Light because it would reveal his evil conduct. This could have to do with the followers of Jesus (Light), and the followers of Satan (darkness).
Those who drink, swear, and do all sorts of bad things hate those who do good things. It gives the evil children of darkness a terrible guilt complex to be around those of truth and life. Comparisons are bound to come up, and those who walk in darkness fall way short.
Those who are living evil lives hate those who are following Jesus. Their sins make them feel guilty, and that causes them to hate.
John 3:21 “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
Truth, love, joy, peace, honesty, and happiness need no darkness to hide in. They are products of the Light. Those who live in the Light are eager to have any small things in their life that are not pleasing to God become know to them, so they can get rid of them.
They are growing constantly in honesty, peace, and truth. The Light reveals what is there. If they are good deeds, you do not want them hidden.
John Chapter 3 Continued Questions
1. What man hath ascended up to heaven in verse 13?
2. Why can’t Nicodemus understand?
3. Even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, who must be lifted up?
4. What was the serpent made of in Numbers?
5. What does that metal mean?
6. What do we see in doctor’s offices today that is taken from the Old Testament and points to healing?
7. If we look to Jesus we will find ________________________.
8. Who is salvation for?
9. What is the most memorized Scripture in the entire Bible?
10. What kind of love is spoken of in John 3:16?
11. What is the difference between God’s love and man’s love?
12. ________________________________ is a way of life.
13. How are we to love God?
14. God sent not his Son into the world to ____________ it but to __________ it.
15. What does the word send in verse 17 show about Jesus?
16. When will Jesus be Judge?
17. In verse 18, what does anyone need to do not to be condemned?
18. Why do men love darkness rather than light?
19. What is the very best thing Light does?
20. “For every one that doeth evil hateth the ____________________”
21. Why does he that doeth truth come to the Light?
22. Name six things that need no cover of darkness.