Today’s Scripture: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 20:31
One author writes about sitting in a class on soteriology (the doctrine of salvation) with Dr. Charles Ryrie as the teacher. Right at the beginning of the very first lecture, Dr. Ryrie gave the students only one minute to write as if they were sharing the gospel with a stranger. The sixty seconds flashed by. Then Dr. Ryrie said to have the student sitting next to them grade their paper. But rather than a grade or a “pass” or “fail” they were to grade by probable outcome, “Heaven” or “Hell.” Now that is pressure!
The gospel message is not a complicated message. While we may still need to explain to the person that we are all sinners, share more about who Christ is, or tell them that they need to respond in faith, the gospel itself is a simple message — Jesus Christ died for our sins and arose.
The Gospel of John has been called “the gospel tract to the world.” John uses pisteuō– believe – over 100 times. The purpose statement of the Gospel of John declares: “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John 20:31)
Here, pisteuōis used twice. Therefore, with overwhelming evidence from the one Book written expressly by God to save sinners, we find to receive eternal life, one must only believe (to have faith in; to commit to one’s trust) in Jesus Christ (Who died and arose).
The Greek preposition eisaccompanies the word believe. What we are talking about is more than just a historical belief. It is believing in Him to save. By placing one’s total dependence and trust in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life, they are receiving the gospel, and are forever saved from Hell, becoming a child of God through a spiritual rebirth (John 3:3; 1 Peter 1:3).
Devotional Jim Scudder, Jr.