Jesus’ Words On Salvation
Chapter 26 – John 3:16: Obeying Unto Christ Should Save?
When the English translations of the Greek New Testament were made in the 1526-1611 period, the “difficult Greek in which the New Testament is written…still held mysteries for” English scholars. (Nicolson: 224.) One of those mysteries was the Greek word pisteuo in John 3:16. In over 200 instances of pisteuo in the New Testament, not once did the King James Bible render it as obey. (See Strong’s Concordance.) However, scholars now realize obey was a common meaning of pisteuo in ancient Greek. Obey certainly was the meaning of pisteuo in John 3:36 (see page 448). Yet, this obedience salvation formula is identically repeated in John 3:16.
Besides John 3:36 helping, one can more easily accept pisteou means obeys in John 3:16 when one looks at Apostle John’s many quotes of Jesus about obedience. Jesus in John 8:51 says “whoever keeps on obeying (tereo) My Teaching should never ever die.”1 In John 15:1-10, Jesus says a “branch in me” that does not “bear fruit” is “taken away,” “cut off from the vine,” thrown “outside and burned.” 2
John likewise quoted Jesus saying in total accord:
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good [things], unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil [things], unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28-29 KJV).
We saw again that Apostle John was told that those who obey the commandments (plural) have the right to the tree of life. (Rev. 22:14.) John writes:
Happy [are] the ones doing His commandments, so that their right will be to the tree of life, and they shall enter by the gates into the city. (Rev 22:14)(ALT)4
We also saw Apostle John writing Jesus’ words to the Sardisian Christians. They are dead due to having “incomplete works.” They can prevent the Spirit leaving by repenting and obeying. Through John’s pen, Jesus tells them:
And to the angel of the assembly in Sardis write: ‘These [things] says the One having the seven spirits of God and the seven stars [i.e., Jesus is speaking]: I know your works, that you have a name that you live, and you are dead. (2) ‘Become watching [fig., Wake up], and strengthen the rest which you were about to be throwing out, for I have not found your works having been completed before My God. (3) Therefore, be remembering how you have received, and be keeping [tereo, obey] it, and repent. Therefore, if you will not watch, I will come upon you like a thief, and you shall by no means know what hour I will come upon you.” (Rev 3:1-3 ALT.)5
[The passage continues, KJV: (4) Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. (5) He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. – editor]
John another time relays Jesus as saying that lukewarm works by Christians at Laodicea will cause Jesus to spew them out of His mouth.
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. (16) So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Rev 3:15-16 KJV.)
Why is apeitheo in John 3:36 translated “not obey” in some versions and “not believe” in others? — Teachers claim that faith and obedience are separate, but God sees things differently • Belief cannot be separated from obedience
Who-Goes-To-Heaven Scriptures — Narrow is the Way | Who are the Children of God? — “There is therefore now *NO CONDEMNATION* to those who are IN CHRIST Jesus, who don’t WALK according to the flesh, but ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT”