The Clear Word 

A Ministry Of Mid-State Ministries  



THE DOCTRINE OF REGENERATION

J O H N    3 : 1 - 2 1
PART 4:  VERSES 15-18
by
Carl  Whorley,  Lewistown,  Montana



JOHN 3:15-18


[15] That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
[16] 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.
[17] For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
[18] 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.
 
Welcome to part four of this paper.  Should you wish to have parts 1-3 of this paper please feel free to let me know and it will be sent to you immediately upon request.
 
The purpose of this paper is to examine the Biblical Doctrine of Regeneration and it's surrounding ramifications.  The Doctrine of Regeneration is one which is in totality, inexhaustible.  For our discussion, we have used the text of John 3:1-21. 
 
In part four of this paper, we now come to the most important part of our discussion.  That being John 3:15-18.  For it is here in these verses, which our Master brings this discussion to it's climatic culmination.  That being, after hearing all that has been said and taught on the matter of regeneration/born again, a definitive decision must be made.  That being, what is the Gospel hearer going to do about it?  When it comes to verses 15-18, the subject matter of regeneration/born again, then becomes a matter of decision time.  Do we say yes to Jesus and be saved, or no and spend a real and literal eternity, in a real and literal place called Hell?
 
Over the years, I have heard so many different theories about the reality of Hell and especially the literalism concerning the flaming fires of Hell. For some time I was deeply confused on this point and finally I wanted one definitive answer.  Is Hell a real and literal place?  Is the fire in Hell real and literal fire?
 
Therefore, in 1983, I did an in-depth analysis on this one subject.  Is Hell real and is the fire in Hell real?   At the end of the research and analysis on the subject matter at hand, after doing deep research into the subject, I came to a final conclusion about Hell and the fire therein.  Hell is very real and very literal.  The fire therein is very real and very literal.  And unregenerated sinners who make the conscious choice to die without Jesus Christ are assigned there for all eternity.  Therefore, when we preach, teach or lecture on the matter of Hell, we must do so with an esteemed confidence.  Knowing that of which we speak, is real and literal.  Therefore, we must speak so with a profound confidence.
 
As we will see later on in this paper in John 3:18, every human being on this planet must make a definitive yes or no decision about the Salvation for which our Savior died.  And that one decision will decide your destiny for all eternity.  Oh my friend, the power of one decision.
 
BELIEVE
In order to fully understand John 3:15-18, we will now have to do a study of the English  word believe.  In these four verses, the English word believe is used a total of six times in various stages of application.
 
In the Greek New Testament, the English word believe comes from the Greek word pisteuw/pisteuo.  Believing is a reaction, not an action, on that which the mind/heart perceives as factual truth.  If a person truly believes the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then that person will react to this belief by repenting of their sins and receiving Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.  By reverse logic, should a person not believe the Gospel when hearing it, they too will react.  Their chosen reaction will be to walk away in a rebellious disbelief and let their eternal destiny unfold, come what may.
 
As stated before, believe is not a word of action, but a word of reaction.  Belief or disbelief is what transpires in the logic of the Gospel hearer upon hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  As we will see in John 3:18, upon hearing the Gospel Plan of Salvation, it then becomes incumbent upon the Gospel hearer to make a conscience choice, or reaction.  Either to accept or to reject.  Believe or disbelieve.
 
In this particular application, believe is a reaction of alignment.  That being, when a repentant sinner hears the Gospel Plan of Salvation, they will then react by bringing their logic into alignment with that of the Heavenly Father and His Holy Written Word, the Bible, and not the other way around.  We call this reactive alignment true heart felt repentance.  For without repentance there can be no Salvation. 
 
Jesus Himself taught repentance.  Luke 13: 3 & 5...I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 
 
In this particular section of Scripture, if repentance is important enough to our Savior, to bring it up not once but twice, it should then be incumbent enough upon us to take special notice of that.

Even the inhabitants of Hell understand the importance of repentance unto salvation.  Luke 16:30...And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

Our Heavenly Father's desire is to love the unsaved world unto Himself.  However, we can never loose sight of the fact that, in all theological reality, repentance is not optional.  It is a command of God Himself.  
 
Acts 17:30...And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 
 
Repentance is not an option for regeneration/born again.  It is a genuine mandate from God our Heavenly Father Himself.
 
We have a model of repentant alignment in Acts 9:1-16.  This being the conversion of Saul of Tarsus.  These sixteen verses takes us through the entire process of believing or the reactive alignment of repentance. 
 
In these verses we see Saul of Tarsus continuing his rampage of arrest and murder of all Born Again Believers.  Then in verses 3-4, Jesus reveals Himself to Saul in the full light of His Shekinah Glory.
 
In verses 5 & 6, Saul immediately refers to Jesus as Lord.  Just moments before, Jesus, in the mind of Saul of Tarsus, was an impostor and a deceiver who deserved to die for His crimes.  But now the repentant thinking of Saul of Tarsus has been instantaneously realigned to coincide with that of Jesus. 
 
Notice, one of the results of true heart felt repentance is that the thinking of the repentant aligns with that of the Heavenly Father, not the thinking of the Heavenly Father to align His thinking with us.  That is important.
 
This reactive alignment of repentance is an act of the power of Jesus Himself.  For no man can do this nor would he do it if he could.  Repentant alignment has to be a divine act of God Himself. 
 
Therefore, believing, believe, belief is a word of reaction.  It is the reaction when a repentant sinner hears the Gospel Plan of Salvation, and then feels compelled to realign his logic with that of the Heavenly Father.  It is that moment when the repentant sinner comes into full agreement with God the Father and His Holy Written Word the Bible.  And from that moment on, the repentant's life and actions demonstrate this repentant alignment unto Salvation.  It's called the changed new life in Jesus Christ.
It is called regeneration/born again.  Please note here II Peter 1:4.
  
Once again, without full heart felt repentance on the part of the sinner in toto, there is no Salvation.
 
It will always remain beyond me, as to how a person can hear a clear and comprehensive presentation of our Heavenly Father's Gospel Plan of Salvation, and then to not only reject the love of our Heavenly Father, but then in open defiance and rebellion, walk away blindly impervious to it at all.  I can never comprehend in my mind, how that an intelligent and logical person, can hear such a presentation of eternal love and care such as God's Gospel Plan of Salvation, and still make the conscious choice to walk away in total disbelief.  I will never understand this. 
 
JOHN 3:15
[15] That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
[15] ina paV o pisteuwn eis auton mh apolhtai all ech zwhn aiwnion
 
In the block of verses known as John 3:15-18, John 3:15 is the primary verse.  In the Bible, the very best commentary on the Bible is the Bible itself.
 
Jesus is now making a very bold statement to Nicodemus.  He is now giving Nicodemus direct answers about His being the Messiah.  And not only the Messiah, but the catalyst by which all mankind can have eternal life in Heaven with God the Father.
 
Jesus Christ descended from Heaven to earth to bring and pay for the very salvation which the Heavenly Father would wish to offer to all mankind.
 
Matthew 7:14...Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it
 
John 3:36...He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
 
John 6:47...Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
 
God's salvation is for all whosoever will come and receive.
 
Notice John 3:15 opens with the English word That.  Jesus is stating to Nicodemus the reason for the crucifixion. 
 
John 5:24...Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
 
John 6:37...All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
 
I Timothy 2:3-4...For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
 
II Peter 3:9...The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
 
Revelation 22:17...And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
 
Now we need to examine the English word perish which comes from the Greek word apollumi/apollumi.  This Greek word means to be consigned to the tortures of Hell for all eternity, should that be what the Gospel hearer in question chooses.  Hell is not an assignment.  Hell is the choice on the part of the unrepentant sinner who refuses to believe the Gospel Plan of Salvation.  Our Heavenly Father has never sent anyone to Hell.  Those who are in Hell right now chose that.  In reality, when you look at the cross, you see that our Heavenly Father did everything possible to keep all peoples out of Hell. 
 
John 10:28...And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
 
Does the Bible ever say why people perish and spend eternity in Hell?  The answer is yes.   II Thessalonians 2:10...And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
 
JOHN 3:16
[16] 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.
[16] outwV gar hgaphsen o qeoV ton kosmon wste ton uion autou ton monogenh edwken ina paV o pisteuwn eiV auton mh apolhtai all ech zwhn aiwnion
 
You would think that perhaps there is very little new to say about John 3:16 that has not already not been said.  It is a verse of Scripture which has been preached, taught, proclaimed and written about for two millennia.  Yet this verse still, to this day, and for always shall remain inexhaustible.  John 3:16 presents our Heavenly Father in such a passionate love for His own creation, mankind, that He wants all mankind to spend eternity in Heaven with Him. 
 
However, there is the alternative.  That being, eternity in Hell.  In an effort to avoid this, God freely gave His only child, His Son, Jesus Christ, as a substitutionary sacrifice on the cross, in order to pave mankind's way into Heaven, and, to avoid eternity in Hell.
 
John 3:16, is the pivotal verse of the entire Bible.  It is the message of the Bible in one single phrase.  John 3:16 sums up every Old Testament sacrifice.  John 3:16 is what the entire Bible is about.
 
Here is a thought.  Sometime, do a 3:16 study of the entire Bible.  Start with Genesis 3:16 and follow the 3:16's of the Bible all the way through to Revelation 3:16.  You will find that to be a very interesting study.
 
John 1:13-14...Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
 
God loved the lost people who make up the kosmoV.  This love was great enough to move God the Father to sacrifice His only begotten Son in providing a complete salvation through Him.  That by believing on the Son as Savior, the lost of this kosmoV might not perish but have everlasting life.  It is quite apparent that God's deep desire for the salvation for kosmoV is motivated by His deeply embedded love and compassion for kosmoV.
 
Isaiah 9:6...For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
 
Titus 3:5...Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
 
Romans 5:8...But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 
I John 4:9...In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
 
It would be quite possible for a Bible preacher, teacher or expositor, to speak on John 3:16 and find it's text, in toto, inexhaustible.  John 3:16 is one of those Bible verses which prove infinite in content.
 
The message of John 3:16, however, remains constant.  That being, that God our Heavenly Father, loves His creation humankind, to the point the He willingly gave up and sacrificed His one and only Son.  This being so that whoever would freely come to Him for eternal Salvation will not be turned away, but right readily received to live with God our Heavenly Father in Heaven forever.
 
JOHN 3:17
[17] For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
[17] ou gar apesteilen o qeoV ton uion autou eiV ton kosmon ina krinh ton kosmon all ina swqh o kosmoV di autou
 
Verse 17, is an extended explanation of verse 16.  God did not send Jesus to this world to be a voice of condemnation.  Man's sins had already done that.  God sent Jesus to be God's voice of hope, love and acceptance.  Jesus came to be God's catalyst for mankind to spend eternity in Heaven.
 
Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world but to love the world.  Jesus did  not come into the world to bring condemnation, but to give mankind the hope of eternal life with God the Heavenly Father.
 
Luke 9:56...For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
 
Romans 5:8...But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 
I John 4:14...And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
 
John 3:17, provides for us a definitive definition for the advent of Jesus Christ.  That being, Jesus came into the world to love the world, not condemn the world as the Mosaic Law and the religiosity of Israel had already done.
 
The purpose for the advent of Jesus Christ, was to show the love of the Heavenly Father for His own creation,  mankind.  And the will of the Father for all mankind to be in Heaven with Him.

JOHN 3:18
[18] 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.
[18] o pisteuwn eiV auton ou krinetai o de mh pisteuwn hdh kekritai oti mh pepisteuken eiV to onoma tou monogenouV uiou tou qeou
 
In this verse we see the summation of God's Gospel Plan of Salvation.  That being, those who believe on Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior will spend eternity in Heaven and not Hell.  But, to say no to Jesus, is self-condemnation now and in eternity to come.
 
Why do people spend eternity in Hell?  John 3:18 answers that question.  ...because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
 
John 6:40...And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
 
John 6:47...Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
 
Romans 8:1...There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
 
The name Jesus means "Savior."  The unsaved sinner who would refuse to acknowledge Jesus as their "Savior," will suffer the eternal condemnation of their own rebellion.  This is not the will of God.  It is the will of God our Heavenly Father for all people to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and spend eternity in Heaven with God the Father.
 
I Timothy 2:4...Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
 
John 3:18 is a verse of decision.  After hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and God's Plan of Salvation, the person then must make a decision.  That decision is whether or not to say yes to Jesus and be saved, or no to Jesus and then spend eternity in a real and literal hell.

The hearer will react into a definitive decision either way.  But the hearer must chose carefully and wisely.  For what ever they choose on this day, they may never again have a day whereby they can change their choice.  Therefore, the Gospel hearer needs to say yes to Jesus today.  The Gospel hearer needs to make the wise choice now.
 
II Corinthians 6:2...(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
 
Thank you and may God bless you.
 
The next part of this paper, part 5, will be the final conclusion to this paper.
 
Psalms 122:6...Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
 they shall prosper that love thee.
 
 
God Bless You Very Much
Carl Whorley,
Lewistown, Montana