Daily Word

Most weighty decision | John 3:31-36

31 “He who comes from above is above all; the one who is only from the earth is of the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 What He has seen and heard, of this He testifies; and no one accepts His testimony. 33 The one who has accepted His testimony has certified that God is true.

34 For He whom God sent speaks the words of God; for He does not give the Spirit sparingly. 35 The Father loves the Son and has entrusted all things to His hand. 36 The one who believes in the Son has eternal life; but the one who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

Two themes

As we discussed yesterday, this passage is packed with theological truth. It’s John’s attempt so summarize what he’s said up to now into a “final punch”. There exist two major themes: review of Jesus’s identity (yesterday) and, a reminder of man’s decision (today).


Verses 32 and 33 harken back to John 1:10-13 (esp. 11-12) where John says the Word came to His own but they did not accept Him…but to those who did receive Him, He gave the right to become children of God. Here, John uses different words but the end result is the same: accept/believe=saved; reject/disbelieve/not obey (v36)=wrath. In both cases, John says “no one” accepts/believes like a hyperbole we use in English today. It doesn’t literally mean no one. It’s used to show emphasis on those who do believe.


When one believes, they are certifying that, for them, this is true. In this situation, they certify or testify that what Jesus has said is true. But it goes beyond a simple “stamp”, it’s followed up by faith and actively believing what they certify. This should be demonstrated by works, though strictly speaking that is not a requirement for salvation.

Abiding wrath

“The wrath of God abides: It abides in this world, because sin’s evil abides until the wrong of it is perfectly satisfied. It abides into the next world, because those who reject Jesus cannot offer a perfect sacrifice acceptable to God. The wrath of God abides until the perfect payment Jesus made on the cross satisfies the debt of evil and guilt.” (enduringword.com) To those who believe in the Son, the effect of this perfect sacrifice are applied; the wrath of God is appeased, they are purified of sin, and can enter God’s eternal presence. Those who don’t are still subject to God’s wrath…for eternity.

<- Reflection ->
  • Which camp are you in? The believing and obeying or the disbelieving and rejecting?
  • Is our profession of faith demonstrated with obedience and trust, with works of righteousness?
Decision time. Image from Pxfuel.com

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