Get to know Jesus
Have you ever been around someone who was curious about Jesus, but not yet convinced about Him? Maybe that’s where you are in your faith journey. If you are a committed Christ-follower, chances are good that you know someone who doesn’t yet believe. So how can you answer their “unbelief?”
In John 3, Jesus offers us answers to unbelief during a conversation He has with a man who was curious, but not yet convinced. The man’s name was Nicodemus, and he was no “ordinary Joe”; he was a member of a Jewish ruling council called the Sanhedrin. It would have been very unusual for a guy like that to have any interest in Jesus; but Nicodemus did! He wanted to meet Jesus and really get know Him. In Nicodemus’ visit with Jesus, we learn two vital truths…
Truth 1 - If you’re curious about Jesus, get to know Him! (John 3:1-2) Nicodemus didn’t just keep an eye on Jesus from a distance, he went to visit and got to know him. Some people never even give Jesus a chance, and as result they miss everything that He has to offer! Get to know Him!
Truth 2 - Being clean in God’s eyes requires more than a bath. (John 3:3-8). Jesus knew that Pharisees (Sanhedrin) followed strict cleansing rituals, but He wanted to make clear that being “spiritually” clean involved far more than being physically clean. Spiritual purity comes from being “born again.” This phrase literally means, “born from above.” It’s a spiritual rebirth that happens when we surrender to Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Nicodemus was still confused with what Jesus meant about being born again, so Jesus shifted the conversation to offer explanation and in the process gives us: Five Answers To Unbelief:
1) Open your heart and mind to Christ. (John 3:11-12)
Jesus wasn’t just addressing Nicodemus’ unbelief at this point; He was addressing the Pharisees in general because they did not accept the testimonies they were hearing about Him. They were skeptical, closed minded, and unwilling to give Jesus a chance. The first answer to unbelief is to open you heart and mind to Jesus.
2) Accept the salvation Jesus’ offered on the cross. (John 3:13-15)
After Jesus makes clear that He is the only One Who is able to offer heavenly wisdom and offers a prediction of HIs death on the cross. In verse 14, He references a narrative from Numbers 21:5-9 where God sent poisonous snakes to plague the ungrateful Israelites during their journey to the promised land. After they relented and asked Moses to pray for them, God offered an “antidote” to those who had been bit by one of those snakes. Clearly, it was a veiled reference to what Jesus would ultimately provide for all who look upon the cross and believe.
The truth is, we are all plagued by sin. It poisons us and leads to spiritual death. But God provided the ultimate solution, not just a snake on a pole, but a Savior on a cross, Who offers us life! (Col. 2:14; 1 Cor. 1:18)
3) Believe that Jesus came to save you from condemnation. (John 3:16-17)
There are many who don’t yet believe who wrongly think God sits on his high heavenly throne wagging His finger at us and judging us for all that we do wrong. To be clear, judgement is real; but God doesn’t want to condemn anyone. In fact, He went to great lengths, not to condemn us, but to save us! He loves you dearly and wants a relationship with you. He wants you to spend eternity in His heaven, with Him. (James 2:13)
So how can you be saved from condemnation or separation from God for eternity? Believe! Believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay your sin’s penalty.
4) Commit your life to Christ as Savior and Lord. (John 3:18)
The bad news is that condemnation is the tragic result of unbelief. But the good news is, when you place your faith in Jesus and commit your life to Him, you will not be condemned. Jesus has already suffered the punishment for your sin. But, to be clear, if you choose to reject Jesus as Savior, you will bear the full penalty of your sins.
The phrase in John 3:18, “Whoever believes in him” literally means more than an intellectual assent to the claims of the gospel; it implies commitment to Christ as Savior and Lord. To believe is to fully commit to Christ.
5) Move out of the darkness and into the Light! (John 3:19-21)
In life, we are either living in darkness or light. It is your choice. When you choose to commit your life to Christ as Savior and Lord, you move out of the darkness and into the light. Later in John 3, John the Baptist continued his testimony about Jesus and made clear to those closest to him… 30 He (Jesus) must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30
Would you make that a commitment for 2022 and beyond in your life? What would that look like for you? If you are not yet a Believer, why not invite Jesus to be your Savior and Lord? For much more, click here to listen to: Light in the Darkness - Part 3 - Answers To Unbelief.