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Volume 24 - Page 208 of 211 Index | Zoom | |
Words in Season.
Simple gospel notes on John 3: 16.
(4:) The essential link.
pp. 59, 60
John 3: 16 is divided into two sections: first the Godward, and then the man-ward.
This we have already shown in an outline for children in Volume X, page 78, but it may
be interesting enough to set out again here. The device is a simple one, but may serve as
a useful representation of an important fact:--
Here we have the word "gospel" formed by the important features of this verse, and
divided into its two sections. The hyphen that joins the two syllables together and makes
the complete word, represents faith. The gospel preached must be the gospel believed if
it is to be effective.
Whosoever believeth.--While the word "whosoever" suggests, like the word "world"
in the same verse, that there are no barriers here of race, colour or dispensation, we must
be on our guard lest we build upon the word more than it can in justice bear. Pas ho
pisteuon is "Every believing one". The "all" or the "every" is qualified. It is "all without
exception", if we keep it within the scriptural limitation of faith. It is "all without
distinction", because it is qualified alone by faith and not by creed, colour or caste. The
stress, however, must be placed upon the faith rather than upon the all; otherwise we
may overstep the boundary of truth.
The Gospel of John is particularly full in its presentation of faith, and it will be helpful
for us to notice some of its examples, observing what or whom is believed, and with what
"As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to
them that believe on His name" (John 1: 12).--Here "receiving" is placed in
correspondence with "believing" and partly explains the word. "Receiving Him" is
parallel with "Believing into His name". The result of this reception is the authority and
privilege of becoming children (teknon, not huios) of God.
"And they believed the scripture, and the word that Jesus said" (John 2: 22).--In this
passage faith is seen resting on the Scripture, and the word that Christ had said. In this
case it was not until after the resurrection of the Lord that they believed, and then because
"they remembered"--evidently in fulfillment of the promise of John 14: 26.