What Jesus Did! 'A Watershed Decision' — John 3:18

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"The person that believes in God's Son is not judged (condemned). But the person that does not believe is already judged. Why? Because that person has not believed in God's only Son."
— John 3:18
Illustration of John 3:18 — "The person that believes in God's Son is not judged (condemned). But the person that does not believe is already judged. Why? Because that person has not believed in God's only Son."

Key Thought

We don't fear judgment because we live trusting God's love for us, and that love casts out all fear (cf. 1 John 4:18). We don't face judgment, only life. However, this glorious future is not based upon our confidence in ourselves, but upon our trust in Jesus' sacrifice to save us. When people reject Jesus, their life is caught in the world of impending destruction. They have judged themselves by rejecting Jesus and refusing to trust in him. They have rejected the only source of lasting life in our world of destruction. The gift of Jesus is a watershed grace, and our acceptance or rejection of Jesus as our Savior and Lord means everything.

Today's Prayer

Glorious and righteous God, my Heavenly Father, thank you for the promise of a glorious future with you. Thank you that I do not have to fear that future. As I expectantly wait for that future to unfold, please use me to influence others to trust in Jesus. Never let my life be a stumbling block to someone seeking the answers that only Jesus can give him or her. In the name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord, I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

There was a man named Nicodemus. Nicodemus was one of the Pharisees. He was an important Jewish leader. One night Nicodemus came to Jesus. Nicodemus said, "Teacher, we know that you are a teacher sent from God. No person can do these miracles that you do without God's help." Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. A person must be born again. If a person is not born again, then that person cannot be in God's kingdom." Nicodemus said, "But if a person is already old, how can he be born again? A person cannot enter his mother's body again! So a person cannot be born a second time!" But Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. A person must be born from water and the Spirit. If a person is not born from water and the Spirit, then he cannot enter God's kingdom. A person's body is born from his human parents. But a person's spiritual life is born from the Spirit. Don't be surprised that I told you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wants to go. You hear the wind blow. But you don't know where the wind comes from or where the wind is going. It is the same with every person that is born from the Spirit." Nicodemus asked, "How can all this be possible?" Jesus said, "You are an important teacher of Israel (the Jews). But you still don't understand these things? I tell you the truth. We talk about what we know. We tell about what we have seen. But you people don't accept what we tell you. I have told you about things here on earth. But you do not believe me. So surely you will not believe me if I tell you about the things of heaven! The only one that has ever gone up to heaven is the One that came down from heaven—the Son of Man. Moses lifted up the snake in the desert. It is the same with the Son of Man. The Son of Man must be lifted up too. Then every person that believes in the Son of Man can have life forever. Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son. God gave his Son so that every person that believes in him would not be lost, but have life forever. God sent his Son into the world. God did not send his Son to judge the world guilty. God sent his Son so that the world could be saved through his Son. The person that believes in God's Son is not judged (condemned). But the person that does not believe is already judged. Why? Because that person has not believed in God's only Son. People are judged by this fact: The Light (goodness) has come into the world. But people did not want light. They wanted darkness (sin). Why? Because they were doing evil things. Every person that does evil hates the light. That person will not come to the light. Why? Because then the light will show all the bad things he has done. But the person that follows the true way comes to the light. Then the light will show that the things that person has done were done through God."

John 3:1-21

Related Scripture Readings

"I tell you the truth. If a person hears what I say and believes in the One (God) who sent me, that person has life forever. That person will not be judged guilty. He has already left death and has entered into life.

John 5:24

In the past, your spiritual lives were dead because of your sins and the things you did wrong against God. Yes, in the past you lived doing those sins. You lived the way the world lives. You followed the ruler of the evil powers over the earth. That same spirit is now working in those people who refuse to obey God. In the past, all of us lived like those people. We lived trying to please our sinful selves. We did all the things our bodies and minds wanted. We were {evil} people. We should have suffered God's anger because of the way we were. We were the same as all other people. But God's mercy is very great, and God loved us very much. We were {spiritually} dead. We were dead because of the things we did wrong against God. But God gave us new life with Christ. You have been saved by God's grace (kindness). And God raised us up with Christ and gave us a seat with him in the heavenly places. God did this for us who are in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:1-6

And so we know the love that God has for us. And we trust that love. God is love. The person who lives in love lives in God. And God lives in that person. If God's love is made perfect in us, then we can be without fear on the day when God judges us. We will be without fear, because in this world we are like him (Christ or God). Where {God's} love is, there is no fear. Why? Because God's perfect love takes away fear. It is {God's} punishment that makes a person fear. So {God's} love is not made perfect in the person who has fear.

1 John 4:16-18

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.