John 3:13-18
John 3:13 (KJB)
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
Enoch and Elijah were two who had gone to Heaven without dying. What the Lord is stating in this verse is that no man hath ascended into Heaven to bring down the heavenly knowledge of Heaven and the way of salvation. The Lord Jesus Christ is the one who came down from Heaven for the purpose of bringing the doctrine of grace for salvation and that He will be the final sacrifice for sin. These things Elijah and Enoch did not do because they went to Heaven by the power of God but Jesus came in His own power to earth. If you notice in this verse, there is a description of the omnipresence of Christ. The words “is in” in the Greek are in the present tense. This means that Christ was both on earth and in Heaven. This verse is showing that although He was on earth, He never ceased to be God on earth and in Heaven at the same time. A great mystery but proof that He never ceased to be God.
John 3:14 (KJB)
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
(Num 21:8-9 KJV) 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. {9} 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. Here Jesus, once again, goes back to the history of Israel. The people had complained against the provisions of the Lord and stated they loathed the light bread the Lord gave them and they had no water or bread. So the Lord sent fiery serpents among them and then they repented. So they asked Moses what to do and the Lord told him to place a fiery serpent on a pole and those who are bitten as they looked upon it would live. Jesus is likening his upcoming crucifixion to this. Just as the serpent was lifted up in the midst of Israel, so Jesus would be crucified in the midst of Israel, for all Israel to see. In the time of Jesus, the Jews had complained about God’s way of salvation which was Jesus Himself and those who rejected Him died in their sins.
John 3:15 (KJB)
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
In the same manner that those who looked upon the fiery serpent in the wilderness and was bitten by it would live, those who believed in Christ would also live, but the life here is eternal life. Those who did not believe would die in their sins and perish in Hell. It must be kept in mind that belief is a work and since man is spiritually dead, then faith must be given to them by God so they can have faith to believe. (2 Tim 2:25 KJV) In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; Salvation is from the Lord and those whom the Lord has chosen for salvation, will receive faith as a fruit of the Holy Spirit enabling them to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
John 3:16 (KJB)
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.
Whosoever - Everyone, all, or each
Verse 16 opens with a conjunction which means it continues the thread from verse 15. Those who believe on Jesus will have everlasting life. Jesus now widens the information concerning Himself and His Father. He states that God loved the world, now God takes care of His creation by bringing sun and rain and bringing the seasons but here God’s love is qualified in that it is not speaking of the creation of the world and the universe but He is speaking about those Elect whom Jesus came to save that are in the world. This verse is an intimation that eventually Jesus would have disciples in every country and that God loves His children in all the countries in the world. Now since the blood of goats and bulls could not take away sin, the only one who could remove sin from the believer is God Himself. So God the Father sent God the Son into the world to die for His Elect. The term “begotten” means that Jesus had a very unique relationship with His Father, that He is the Son of God. Many of the modern versions change “begotten” into “one and only” which is error because God has many sons but only one begotten son. (1 John 3:1 KJV) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
This verse is used as a capstone for those who tout free will but the word “whosoever” does not mean that anyone at any time according to their will can become saved. That word “whosever” carries with it the meaning of “everyone or all.” It means those whom God has qualified to hear the Gospel and saves them by giving them faith to believe in Jesus and this happens to everyone who God saves. Man is spiritually dead and needs to be raised from the dead and that can only happen when God makes the first move, and that is salvation. We receive salvation before we can believe. (Gal 5:22 KJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, A fruit of the Holy Spirit is faith and only those who are saved will receive the Holy Spirit. When we are saved, we are given faith, and then we have the ability to believe. So verse 16 is a declaration that those who are the Elect of God will never perish but have everlasting life. It is not an offer of the Gospel because there is no such thing in Scripture. God applies salvation to the Elect. I know because I did not ask for salvation before I was saved. I was the Elect of God and therefore He applied grace to my life and I became saved.
John 3:17 (KJB)
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Condemn - Judge or punish
The first time the Lord Jesus Christ came to this world was for the purpose of dying for the sins of the Elect. He was not sent, at this time, to judge the world and condemn it. That judgment will happen at the second coming of Christ. (Heb 9:28 KJV) So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. The first time He came to bear the sins of many and the second time He will come to judge the sins of the rest. Now He will go to the cross, He will die and then be resurrected and then go back to Heaven and send the Holy Spirit to indwell the believers. Then the evangelization of the world will begin and that is what it means by the second half of this verse that the “world through him might be saved.” All those whom God named before the foundation of the world will become saved at some time in history. (Rev 13:8 KJV) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. When the last one named become saved, then the end will come and then Jesus will return to judge the unsaved of the world.
John 3:18 (KJB)
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.
Condemned - Judged or punished
Here Jesus makes a comparison between the Elect of God and those who are non-elect. First, Jesus states that those who believeth on Him are not condemned or judged. That is because when Christ went to the cross, He paid in total for all the sins of the Elect of God and removed them. They are never judged because they were judged in Christ at Calvary and found not guilty. Therefore, they will never face the judgment of God because their sins have been expunged. (Col 2:13-14 KJV) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; {14} Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Secondly, Jesus is stating that those who believe not have been condemned already, and that is because Jesus is the only way to God. There is no other way for a person to become saved. This group of people here are those who are not the Elect of God and they are under condemnation as if they have already been judged on the last day. These will not believe because they have not been qualified to believe. The amazing thing is not that God has not opened the spiritual eyes of this group but the amazing thing is that He opened the eyes of anyone to see. He could have let the human race go by attrition but instead He chose to save millions from eternal hell. (Heb 10:17-18 KJV) And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. {18} Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. God said He will forgive and forget the iniquities of the Elect because they were paid for on Calvary and beyond Calvary, there is no more sacrifice for sin because Christ was the final sacrifice. Many in this world want to get right with God, but on their terms and not His, and therein lies the biggest deception which will send billions to Hell.