John 3:16

(Part of the Election, Sovereign Grace, Will, Salvation bible study group.)

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved."

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  This is the most common verse of the Bible cited as an objection to the validity of "The Doctrine of Election," also called, Sovereign Grace Salvation.

  You will notice that the verse says "whosoever," or plainly stated whoever. It does not address who has the capacity to believe and it definitely does not state anyone can believe in Jesus Christ. To hold the belief that this verse means anybody can choose to believe in Jesus, the Christ, is not biblically sound. It would contradict several areas of Holy Scripture. If you refer to the verses, which deal with man’s spiritual depravity, you will find that Scripture teaches that there is no one who seeks God. In fact, Scripture teaches that man in his natural state is incapable of understanding and accepting the Gospel message, because it is a spiritual matter. It is for this reason that Jesus teaches that no one can come to Him unless the Father "draws;" or "gives" that person to Jesus (John 6:65). He also teaches in the Parable of the Sower & the Seed that it is possible for one to actually believe he has accepted the Gospel message for a time, but it has no saving effect upon him. Additionally, Scripture flatly proclaims in Ephesians 2:8,
- - "For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God"

  The verse John 3:16, forms the basis for the much proclaimed belief in free-will salvation. It is interpreted to mean that man can freely choose to believe in Jesus Christ. We have seen that the Bible, in Eph 2:8, proclaims otherwise. Additionally, other areas of Scripture disprove the contention of 'free-will' salvation.
- - "So then it is not of the one willing, nor of the one running, but of God, the One showing mercy."
(Romans 9:16 MKJV)
- - " So it depends not upon man's will or exertion,
but upon God's mercy."

(Romans 9:16 RSV)
- - "But as many as received Him, He gave to them authority to become the children of God, to those who believe on His name, who were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but were born of God. "
(John 1:12-13)
- - "He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit,"
(Titus 3:5)
- - "Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. "
(James 1:8)
The Bible proclaims that belief in Jesus Christ, and thereby salvation, is by the Will and action of God through His Grace, not the free will, choice, of man.
- - "-God chose (picked out, selected) what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God."
(1Co 1:27-29)

  The objection that John 3:16 proves the Doctrine of Election not to be a valid belief, is based on flawed human reasoning not on biblical teaching. Therefore it has no effect on the validity of the belief in salvation by God's Sovereign Grace & Will, also called the Doctrine of Election.

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John 3:16
page updated 03/19/2011.