Have you seen the guy standing In the end zone bleachers of a televised football game as the extra point is kicked holding a sign with “John 3:16”? It has caused a lot of internet searches to find out what that means!
One of the most well-known verses in the Bible and most searched for Bible verses on the internet is John 3:16. It is the gospel summed up in a single sentence.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 NKJV
But one of the lesser known verses and seldom searched for verses is “First John 3:16.”
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
1 John 3:16 ESV
If we believe John 3:16, then 1 John 3:16 gives the staggering implications of such a radical belief. That is, “we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
The apostle John wrote two books in the New Testament, The Gospel of John and The Revelation, and three letters, First, Second, and Third John.
According to John’s writings in First John, chapter 3, here are some of those implications of believing in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.
- Love one another. (verse 11)
- Get rid of any evil attitude. (verse 12)
- Don’t be surprised that unbelievers hate you. (verse 13)
- Loving fellow believers indicates you are a believer in Jesus. (verse 14)
- Hate is an attitude that precedes murder. (verse 15)
Believers in Jesus Christ literally have His Spirit living in them. Since Jesus laid down His life for us, then laying down our lives for each other will be a supernatural result of Him living in us.
On the negative side, if you or I claim Jesus Christ as Savior and yet hold bitterness, grudges, anger, or even hate toward a fellow believer, then we need to question whether or not Christ really dwells in us.
On the positive side, if you or I claim Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, then we will reach out to fellow believers to help them, forgive them, and minister to them, even to the point of dying for them.
Following Jesus is not only a radical commitment to Him, but to each other. Unless the supernatural presence of Christ is in you and me and we die to ourselves, then these actions are not possible.
Is your “sign” John 3:16? If so, then the flip side must be 1 John 3:16.
What’s your sign?
Our Father, thank-you for sending Your Son who laid down His life for us. Fill us and use us to love others with the same self-sacrifice.