"He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness of what He has seen and heard, yet no one receives His testimony. He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without measure to Him." John 3:31-34
As John the Baptist testified, Jesus is from above. He is the very Son of God come into this world to save us. He bears witness to the truth and speaks the very words of God because He came from God and the Spirit was given to Him without limit or restriction.
Though the world rejects the testimony of Jesus regarding God the Father and His plan of salvation, certainly we want to hear and follow Jesus because of who He is and what He has done for us. His word is truth, and He alone is the way to be restored to fellowship with God the Father. Apart from Him, there is no way for sinful man to be acceptable to God or one with God.
And this brings me to a point I so appreciate: the simplicity of the Gospel.
"The Father loves the Son, and has placed all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life. He who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him." John 3:35-36
You can't get much more clear and simple than that! Jesus is the Son of God. The Father loves Him and has entrusted our salvation into His hands. Jesus went to the cross and paid the price -- He made full atonement for your sins, my sins, and the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:1-2; John 1:29). As the Scriptures promise in Psalm 130:7, "With Him is plenteous redemption."
The one who believes on the Son -- who looks to Jesus Christ and His cross in faith -- has eternal life. The one who doesn't look to the Son in faith "shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him."
This, of course, echoes the words of our Lord Jesus earlier in John 3. Jesus told Nicodemus: "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. ... 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" (John 3:16,18).
Both John the Baptist and our Lord Jesus called upon all to repent and look to Jesus in faith. They both clearly taught that we are justified, forgiven and made acceptable to God through faith alone in Jesus Christ. Apart from such faith, we are not justified and forgiven but remain dead in our trespasses and sins and under the wrath and condemnation of God (cf. John 8:24; Eph. 2:1ff.).
It is as the apostle John writes in His first epistle (1 John 5:11-12): "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." Or, as we read in the ending of Mark's Gospel (Mark 16:16): "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
This is why we look to Jesus and His life-giving Word for our salvation. It is why we trust in Him and His atoning sacrifice on the cross for our pardon and our forgiveness! There is no other way (cf. John 14:6; Acts 4:12)!
O gracious and merciful God, grant that we do not reject the Son or His testimony to the truth but repent of our sins and look to Him and His cross for pardon and forgiveness. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
[Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible. Devotion is by Randy Moll. He may be contacted by email at [email protected]. More of Moll's devotional writings are freely available at https://goodshepherdonline.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.]