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He came so we could live

John 3:16 is perhaps the most memorized verse in the entire Bible. I’ve seen “3:16” posted at football games, on the back of trucks, even on T-shirts and hats. I first learned it as a child in Sunday school: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

This famous verse was first spoken during a private nighttime conversation between a very religious individual and Jesus. Nicodemus was a Pharisee, one of the strict religious groups that existed in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus. He was also part of the Sanhedrin, the highest council in the Jewish government. Yet this very religious, important, and educated man was struggling to understand Jesus’ teaching that we must be born again. Certainly Nicodemus had a valid question. How can anyone be born a second time?

As a parent, I remember every single one of our children’s births. Our birthdays are listed on every important document. It is the moment that marked our entrance to this world. But what Jesus referred to here was a second birth, a spiritual birth. He said that unless you are born again you can’t see the kingdom of God.

Jesus challenged the belief that you could ever become good enough for God. Many still today assume that their religious tradition or even their respect for Jesus or the Bible will guarantee them entrance to heaven. But Jesus told Nicodemus, a respected religious leader, that he was missing something. Without a spiritual rebirth, “no one can enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). This rebirth is possible only through faith in the message about the Person and work of Jesus (John 3:16).

We are all sinners in desperate need of a Savior. Salvation comes only through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Because of who He is and what He has done for us, anyone who believes in Jesus Christ will have eternal life. God gave His only Son, His most precious possession, so that our sins would be fully paid before God.

God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, died and was resurrected so you and I could experience new life. He came for you. He came for me. He came so we could live. If you haven’t done so already, will you receive this most important gift today?

BY Dr. Mark Jobe, President, Moody Bible Institute

Mark Jobe is the president of Moody Bible Institute. He has served as the lead pastor of New Life Community Church, one church that meets at 27 locations. Mark earned a diploma from Moody Bible Institute in 1984, a master’s degree from Moody Theological Seminary, and a doctorate in transformational leadership from Bakke Graduate University. He is the author of Unstuck: Out of Your Cave into Your Call (Moody Publishers) and can be heard on Straight Talk, a daily program on Moody Radio. He and his wife, Dee, have three adult children.

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