Gene Cunningham - May 28, 2022


When considering the Gospel of John, you may as well start at the first place that you probably would think of, and that is in John Chapter three. John chapter three is often referred to as the most loved gospel text, the best-known gospel text around the world. You know, I've traveled in somewhere over 50 or 60 countries, and I can tell you an interesting thing. No matter where we go, no matter we're in a big city someplace or whether we're in a remote village. Here's an interesting thing that you may not know. The verses that are most popular over here are the same ones that are popular over there. Verses that everyone all over appreciate and rely on are the same: Romans 8:28, Genesis 50:20, Proverbs 3:5-6. Everywhere we go, those same verses are the verses that people know and love. John 3:16, of course, is also known throughout the world. The tragedy is that so few take the time to really understand and believe it. Most people can quote, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Did you know that the word “believe” is used almost 100 times in the Gospel of John? There are 98 times where the answer to "how to have eternal life" is given, and it's given in one word, "BELIEVE." This is the word. It means to trust. The power is not in how strong your faith is. People say, I just don't have strong enough faith. It's not how strong your faith is. It's how strong the object of your faith is. If your faith is in Jesus Christ, who is omnipotent God your faith is strong enough. And it's in that context that Jesus now says, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. You know why this verse is so loved? I'll bet you can even guess the most loved Psalm. Anybody know the Psalm that is loved around the world more than any other? Psalm 23. It's a no brainer. What about the greatest parable? There's a parable that is loved, known, and loved all over the world. You can guess, it's "The Prodigal Son." So why Psalm 23? Why The Prodigal Son? Why John 3:16? Because they're all something a little child can understand, right? They're so simple. And they reach the little child that is in us.

From Series: "The Simplicity of the Gospel"

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 All little children begin the learning process in life the same way. They learn by faith. Because they know that they don’t know, they are humble. They have never seen an elephant, or a whale, but if you show them a picture book, they learn to identify whatever they are shown. If they are told, “This is an elephant,” they don’t argue and say, “No, I think that is a chicken.” They believe what they are told because it is in their child-like nature to trust. Only as we grow do we begin to assume a level of knowledge, based on what we have learned by faith. As adults we turn more and more to reason (rationalism) and science (empiricism), where we learn by trial and error. Gradually, we begin to turn away from the faith we had as little children. Here, Jesus is telling His disciples that they need to “turn around, go back” to being like little children. They need to come to Him in simple, child-like faith if they would enter into His heavenly kingdom. The same point was made on another occasion (Mark 10:13–16). When we return to the simplicity of child-like faith, we come to Jesus through His Word in humility. And Peter, the leader of the disciple band, assures us “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Pet. 5:5b). It is time for us to turn back to the simplicity and humility of little children and hear the voice of our heavenly Father!

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