John 3:14-18




The Bible says in John chapter 3 verses 14-15, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” In these particular verses Jesus was speaking of the sacrifice He would make by dying on the cruel Roman cross.  During the time of Jesus’ ministry He often spoke to His disciples and to others about the death He would die on the cross for the sins of the world. This is the reason that Jesus left His home in glory and came to the earth as a man, to die on a wooden cross and take the punishment for my sins and your sins. It is very important that those of us who are true followers of Christ keep a clear view of Calvary. It is the truth upon which all of Christianity revolves around. You should daily think about the sacrifice that Jesus made and thank God for your salvation. The reality is that you should always be thankful for your salvation. The greatest experience you will ever have with God in this life is when He forgives you of your sins. The greatest revelation of God’s love and His grace is found in the salvation that He so freely offers us. The greatest blessing of life is salvation, if you cannot be thankful for this, then you can not truly be thankful for anything. Do you want to be close to God? Do you want to have a lifelong motivation that will make you a zealous Christian and not a Laodicean Christian? Then look to God to help you understand and appreciate your salvation. Ultimately it is all about the grace of God. You and I are just sinners.


When speaking about His future crucifixion, Jesus referred to an evening that took place during the time of Moses and the 40 years that the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness.  The Bible says in Numbers chapter 21 verses 5-10, “And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that He take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 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.”


The Bible says whatsoever is not of faith, is sin. It is a sin to say anything against God, or His name, or His word. Whenever you sin you oppose the will of God, whether it be with word or deed. Whether it be obvious and gross outward sins such as fornication and drunkenness, or inward sins such as pride and self-righteousness. Sin is like a fiery serpent that stings the flesh and the spirit and ultimately brings death.


The things that God does in the lives of each of us, He does to teach us spiritual truths. The primary truth that God desires for us to learn about is salvation.  This is the reason that God had Moses to create the brass serpent. It is a physical illustration of a spiritual truth. When the children of Israel looked upon the brazen serpent and were saved from the deadly sting of the fiery serpents, they were not saved because of the serpent but because of their faith in believing the promise that God would save them. This is what salvation is all about. Looking to God and believing the promise that He has given you in His Word. That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The brazen serpent symbolizes Christ being lifted on the cross at Calvary.


Jesus said in John chapter 12 verse 32, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” When Jesus died on the cross and then rose from the grave the third day, He was lifted up indeed. Have you felt the deadly sting of that fiery serpent called sin? Does your conscience tell you that you are guilty of sin? The Bible says in Romans chapter 3 verse 23, ”For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Jesus said that the Spirit of God will reprove the world of sin. If you ever have felt guilty for doing something wrong, then the Spirit of God has touched your life and made you feel guilty for your sin. It’s a dangerous thing to resist the Spirit and oppose the will of God. It is the will of God that you repent of your sins. John the Baptist preached, “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.” Look to the cross of Calvary. When you see the blood that so freely flows from the nail pierced hands and feet of Jesus Christ, you will find that just as the blood of Jesus flows so too flows the grace and the love of God, to cleanse and wash away the stains of sin and remove the terrible guilt that plagues your mind and weighs heavy upon your heart.


The Bible says in John chapter 3 verse 16, “For God so loved the world, that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The devil wants you to believe that God hates you. But it’s a lie. It is the devil that hates you. God loves you. This is the reason He has given us His Word and such wonderful verses as this. This is the reason Jesus walked the road of shame and suffering and died on the cross, because He loves you. There is a judgment and the wrath of God fuels the flames that burn so fierce in hell. But you don’t have to be judged for your sins, just repent, for Jesus already paid the price. I don’t know about you, but as for me I am resolved to follow the Savior. I will follow Christ, because He forgives me of my sins. He restores my soul. He broke the chains of bondage that sin held over me. He lifts my heart and fills my spirit with peace, love and joy. These are not things that can be found in organizations or religions or through my own efforts. Peace, love, joy, satisfaction, hope, strength, such things as these are only found with Christ. They are the immediate and direct results of salvation.  It’s the wonderful and marvelous grace of God. God loves me and God loves you. Search your heart. There is emptiness there without Christ. Jesus said the truth shall set you free. The question is, do you want to be set free?


The Bible says in John chapter 3 verses 17-18, “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. 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.”   These two verses of the Bible teach us the two truths about condemnation. Those who have Jesus in their heart are not condemned and those who do not have Jesus in their heart are condemned. Whosoever has put his faith in Jesus Christ has all his sins blotted out and completely erased. The Bible says in Romans chapter 8 and verse 1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” If you are saved then you are forgiven of your sins and God walks beside you each moment of your life and in His eyes there is nothing but love. He does not look down upon you, He will never leave you nor forsake you, and there is nothing that you can do that will bring you under the condemnation of the law or the condemnation of God, condemnation which you eternally escaped when you were saved. There is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. This is contrary to what the world, the devil, and the heart of man would believe. The devil is the accuser of the brethren, and the world loves to condemn others, especially Christians. But be careful you do not confuse this idea of no condemnation with the philosophy of the world and the lie of the devil. The “no condemnation” which is found in Christ is not saying that God will not condemn anyone but that He will only not condemn those who have repented of their sins and placed their faith in Jesus Christ.


This is why the Bible says in John chapter 3 verse 18, “He that believeth not is condemned already.”  If you have not repented of your sins then you are in great danger of facing the wrath of God. There is a condemnation that awaits those who do not repent of their sins and turn to Christ. God is a Holy God and He will judge all sin. It is only because of the great grace of God and the love of His Son Jesus Christ that you are alive today with the opportunity to repent and trust in Jesus. Today is the day of your salvation. There may be no tomorrow. If you do not repent of your sins in this life, then when the iron hand of death snatches your soul, you will find that there is a condemnation that awaits you in the blazing fires of hell. When you are surrounded by the dark, black night of eternal separation from God and the agonizing screams of those burning in the fiery wrath of God, pierce your ears. You will realize too late that there is nothing greater than the forgiveness that is found only in Jesus Christ.



Copyright; 2001 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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