“…that whoever believes in him…”

Part Six in a series of nine posts on John 3:16.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him…

In the third post in this series, I wrote about what I think John means when he says that God loved the “world.”  Now John helps put some boundaries around the work of the Son as applied to that wider category.  No small amount of controversy has swirled about this text regarding who the Gospel is available to.

John is clear – whoever believes in Jesus Christ will not perish but spend eternity with him in the new heavens and new earth.  It is a glorious promise, and an uncompromising requirement.  Only those who call upon the name of the one and only Son will be saved.  By all means, the giving of the Son on the cross is a sufficient sacrifice for the whole world.  However, that sacrifice is only effective for those who – by grace alone through faith alone – believe in Christ alone. 

Sufficient for all, effective for some.

Friends, let us boldly proclaim the Gospel, that the elect may come to God.


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