Friday, October 08, 2010

Bad Kool-Aid: Jn 3:36 Only The Obedient Will Be Saved

If you don't know what "Bad Kool-Aid" means please visit the series introduction.

The Lordship Salvation preacher will say that he doesn't add obedience to the Gospel, but that the belief the Bible calls for includes an obedient life. He will then quote the single verse John 3:36 from the ESV or perhaps the NASB in order to assert that only those who are submitted to the mastery of Christ and so live out their obedience can be Eternally Saved.

From the ESV the verse starts with "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life;" The preacher may insert the word "but" at this point, or he may state that the verse then explains this kind of belief, or what falsifies a claim to this belief. He will then continue quoting the rest of the verse from the ESV "whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him." 

This is Bad Kool-Aid because the verse is not about an obedient life style but about refusing to believe the testimony of Christ.

Jn 3:36 is just part of John the Baptist's explanation to his disciples, and the Jews about believing the testimony of Christ. The full passage is Jn 3:22-36. Speaking about the things that Jesus is saying about Himself; what it means to not believe and to believe. As rendered in the NKJV,  John tells them "And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no on receives His testimony.  He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true." John tells them that to believe Christ is to certify that God is true. Believing Christ is believing God.  The NKJV renders the last of John's teaching as found in verse 36 as "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." Notice first that the NKJV says "who does not believe" instead of "who does not obey." Then notice that according to the context of what John is speaking those who do not believe Christ's testimony are certifying that God is not true, that God is a liar. Thus they have not "believed" the testimony of Christ.

They do not lack Eternal Life because they fail to live obedient lives, it's because they refuse to believe the testimony of Christ.

You can see the Greek behind the English of John 3:36 by clicking here.

The word which the ESV renders "does not obey" and the NKJV renders "does not believe" can actually be translated both ways. It is apeitheo, click here to see how Strongs defines it. The context of the disobedience is to refuse to believe. The ESV does not do great damage to the Text, because to "obey the Gospel" is to believe it. It is the preacher who changes the context of what John is teaching that does damage to the Scriptures.

Link To This Answer!

If you encounter someone spreading Bad Kool-Aid by claiming Jn 3:36 proves only those who live lives of obedience will be saved call them on it! Tell them it's Bad Kool-Aid and link them, and their audience to this post. Here's a TinyURL you can use:

No comments: