Wednesday, December 12, 2012


One of the most hopeful and encouraging passages from the Bible--at least it should be--is the oft quoted John 3:16:

"For in this manner God loved the world, that he gave [His] one-and-only-unique son, so that everyone who believes in Him would not perish but would have eternal life."

God has heard our cries of despair, frustration, loss, grief, anger, confusion, and hopelessness.  He has provided the way back to dwelling with Him and Him with us, where our despair is turned to joy, our frustration to contentment, our loss to unending provision, our grief to solace, our anger to joy, our confusion to understanding, and our hopelessness to security.  And the way back is believing in God's Son, Jesus the Christ, whom He sent.

God is ready to deliver us from everything we lament (above) and the root cause of all our lamentations, which is death.  All we must do is accept the gift by believing in His Son.  But what does this mean, exactly?

Here, the Greek language, which was used to originally record the above verse, helps us to answer this question. The Greek preposition translated, in (highlighted in above translation) is actually the Greek preposition,εις. It is perfectly correct to translate this as, "in."  But εις differs from the Greek preposition,εν, which means in, on, or among, in that εν describes a static position, whereas εις means a movement from a position outside of something to a position inside the something; thus, εις is better translated, "into."  So we have, "...who believes into Him would not perish...."

Therefore, the believing--faith--trust--God calls us to is the same He has always required of us: a total surrender of ourselves into Him.  And this is not meant in the Eastern religion sense of becoming absorbed into the One by completely obliterating one's Self.  Quite the contrary,believing into God's Son means to surrender ourselves totally into Him through an unswerving trust He will bring us to being the very Self He created for us to be, as we respond and act in complete conformity with His will.  True believing is dynamic, not static.  This is what St. Paul meant when he wrote,

"...with fear and and trembling, work out fully the salvation of yourselves. For God is the one who effectively works within you both to desire and to work efficiently for the sake of [His] good pleasure."

Faith--believing--trust is not simply assenting to the fact Jesus is whom He claimed to be, as the English preposition, "in," can so easily imply.  Instead, we are to believe dynamically by fully investing all that we are, through both word and deed, into our Creator--who was, and is, and is to come--through His Son, Jesus the Christ.

To dwell together with God is to live life to the fullest forever in genuine rest.  God invites us to His rest because of the faithfulness of His Son, Jesus the Christ. All we must do is accept the invitation by believing into Him.