JOHN 3:16

John 3:16 NIV

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

These are the words Jesus spoke to one of the most religious men of his day (John 3:1-8). Nicodemus had come to Jesus one night to inquire about His new doctrine. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews. He believed in God, he prayed, fasted, tithed, attended worship services, read the Scriptures and tried to keep high moral standards. Yet, with all these credentials, Jesus told him he had to be born again in order to enter the kingdom of God.

The Word and the Spirit
Jesus said, "… Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."(John 3:3). "… Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). Later in the book of John he said, "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you" (John 15:3). Paul wrote that Christ gave Himself to sanctify and cleanse the church with the washing of water by the WORD (Ephesians 5:26). Peter wrote that we are born again "… not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, (1 Pet 1:23). The WORD is the seed that comes into your heart and causes faith to grow. Not only must you have God's Word in order to be born again, but you must have God's Spirit. It is "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the HOLY SPIRIT" (Titus 3:5). 

There are several ingredients needed in making concrete. You need sand, cement, and water primarily. There is plenty of sand in the desert, but concrete doesn't appear just because it's there. There is an abundance of water in the ocean and plenty of sand, but the ocean is not full of concrete. Likewise in order for you to be saved, the Word and the Spirit must be mixed with repentance and faith in your heart. Believe and Confess

"… The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you CONFESS with your mouth the Lord Jesus and BELIEVE in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one BELIEVES unto righteousness, and with the mouth CONFESSION is made unto salvation" (Rom 10:8-10).

Your faith in God's Word is expressed with your heart (believe) and with your mouth (confess). If you truly believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, there is no reason you should not be willing to confess him as Lord. The moment you believe in your heart upon Jesus and confess Him as your Lord and Savior, you are born again.

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, {even} to those who believe in His name," (John 1:12).

Saved by Grace through Faith
There is a mixture of God's grace and power with your will and faith. It is not just all of God, and certainly it is not just all up to you. It takes both GOD'S ABILITY and YOUR WILLINGNESS to bring about the new birth. "For by grace you have been SAVED through FAITH, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Eph 2:8-9).

We could never be saved except by the pure grace of God. Man is certainly undeserving according to his own merits. It is God's power working through His Word and Spirit that brings about the new birth. Yet without an attitude of repentance and faith, God's power will not work in a man's heart. Man's will must be obedient to God's will before he can receive God's blessings.

A New Creation
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Cor 5:17).

The new birth makes you a brand new creation. You are created after the image of Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:10). This is done by RENEWING THE MIND WITH GOD'S WORD, and submitting your body to the authority of that word (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:23-24).

Into God's Kingdom
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: HE HAS DELIVERED US FROM THE POWER OF DARKNESS, AND TRANSLATED US INTO THE KINGDOM OF THE SON OF HIS LOVE, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Col 1:12-14). When you are born again, you are taken out of Satan's kingdom of darkness, and you are placed into the kingdom of Jesus, the kingdom of light. It is not something you just hope or wish for. It is fact. The child of God does not have to be lorded over by Satan ever again. "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:36).

The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus
This new kingdom is a spiritual kingdom; but just because salvation is basically a spiritual rebirth does not mean that is has no effect on your body, mind, or everyday living. It can and should have a great impact on every part of your life.

In every society, there are certain laws that govern the actions of the inhabitants of that area. It is the same in spiritual life. There are laws for those in Satan's kingdom, and there are laws for those in God's kingdom. The new birth gives you a new law. "THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS Has made me free from the law of sin and death" Romans 8:2).

The law of life includes love, joy, peace, happiness, prosperity, abundance, health, contentment, and blessings. These provisions are made for the Christian in the New Covenant. It is law -- spiritual law. You must enforce it in your life. God will back you. His Word is true and unchanging.

Forgiveness---Remission of Sins
The day you make Jesus your Lord and Savior you are forgiven of all your sins; in fact you were legally forgiven when Jesus gave His life as a ransom for you. But you do not experience that forgiveness until you receive it by faith.

Although a person may have committed many sins, the chief sin of the unsaved is NOT BELIEVING ON CHRIST (John 16:9). When a person gets that straightened out, the root of the problem is solved. The blood of Christ cleanses the heart the moment a person believes and confesses Him as Savior. Thus all the past sins are remitted or taken away by the powerful cleansing work of His blood (John 1:7). "…We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (Eph 1:7).

Water Baptism
It is clear from the scriptures that water baptism is important to the believer. In the Great Commission Jesus told His disciples, "…He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:15-16). Matthew records these words of Jesus in the 28th chapter and the 19th verse: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" Jesus himself was baptized by John in the Jordan River (Matthew 3:13-17)

At the close of his message on the day of Pentecost, Peter told the Jews, "...Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38). Luke Records, "Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; (Acts 2:41).

Paul was baptized after his conversion (Acts 9:18). He later baptized the believers at Ephesus (Acts 19:1-6). Those at Cornelius' house were baptized after they had received the Holy Ghost (Acts 10:44-48). The Philippian jailer and all his household were baptized after they had believed on Jesus (Acts 16:31-33).

Assurance of Salvation
"And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God" (I Jn 5:11-13).

If you meet the conditions given in God's Word for salvation, you can know you are saved. God's Word says that you can know. That is what you must stand on - His Word - Not your feelings, emotions, church membership, high morals, or sincerity.

Pray this prayer out loud.
"Heavenly Father, in Jesus' name I repent of my sins and open my heart to let Jesus come inside of me. Jesus, you are my Lord and Savior. I believe you died for my sins and you were raised from the dead. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Thank You Father for saving me in Jesus' name. Amen"