1. In this verse Jesus made several comments about God as well as people. 2. In relation to God, Jesus mentioned: a. His love -- He "so loved the world" b. His gift -- He "gave His only begotten Son" c. His blessing -- "everlasting life." 3. In relation to people, Jesus mentioned our responsibility to "believe in Him." a. Belief in Christ is our response to God's love and His gift. b. Belief in Christ is our requirement for receiving God's blessing. 4. We conclude from this verse that belief is an important responsibility. 5. In our lesson we are covering a number of passages that emphasize the importance of "belief." 6. The first point we need to make is that . . .
I. "BELIEF" IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE PLAN OF SALVATION
A. In John 3, Jesus taught very clearly that "belief" is essential. 1. According to vs.14-16, those who believe in Jesus will be blessed with eternal life. 2. Jesus continued in vs.18 by showing that unbelief will result in condemnation (see John 8:24). B. Jesus included "belief" in the Great Commission (Mark 16:15-16). C. Paul told the jailer in Philippi to believe on Jesus to be saved (Acts 16:30-34). D. Paul also connected "belief" and salvation in Romans 10:9-11. E. Now that we know that "belief" is a requirement for salvation, let us turn our attention to . . .
II. WHAT THE LORD REQUIRES US TO BELIEVE
A. In Acts 8:35-38, the eunuch's conversion shows that we are to "believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." B. This is implied in the meaning of the word translated "believe" [Thayer: "A conviction, full of joyful trust, that Jesus is the Messiah - the divinely appointed author of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God, conjoined with obedience to Christ"]. C. Now that we know what we are to believe, let us consider some . . .
III. EVIDENCE THAT LEADS US TO BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS GOD'S SON
A. The testimony of God 1. God identified Jesus as His Son at His baptism (Matthew 3:16-17). 2. God also identified Jesus as His Son at His transfiguration (Matthew 17:5). B. The Scriptures (John 5:39) C. The miracles of Jesus (John 20:30-31; 2:23; 3:2) D. The testimony of John (John 1:32-34) E. The testimony of many other people; including: 1. Nathanael (John 1:45-49) 2. Peter (John 6:68-69; Matthew 16:15-16) 3. Martha (John 11:27) F. The resurrection of Jesus (Romans 1:3-4)
IV. BELIEVING IN CHRIST ALSO RELATES TO HIS FOLLOWERS
A. Believing in Christ is a great source of comfort (John 14:1). B. Those who believe on Jesus enjoy special blessings (1 John 3:22-24; 5:5, 13).
1. According to Acts 4:12, salvation is only found in the name of Christ. 2. Christ wants everyone to believe on Him (Matthew 11:28-30). 3. Have you accepted His invitation?