Key Words: “Believe” and “Love”

Gospel of John

Key words : “Believe” and “Love”

The Gospel of John is rich in symbolic language. John uses common words with deep theological meaning. Some words also occur very frequently.

We will be covering two key words, namely, Believe and Love.

1) Believe

The Greek word for faith (pistis) always occurs in its verbal form (pisteuo) and is therefore translated: believe. It occurs more frequently in John than in any other biblical books.

It occurs 98 times in Gospel of John against 55 times in Romans (a book which has much to say about faith). Hence we can see that apostle John is obviously concerned with faith and considers it of prime importance. John records the many blessings that flow from “believe”. The most importance one is eternal life.

The key verse in this book is 20:31 – “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.”

When we look at the principal references to eternal life, we discover that there is a progress of doctrine. Each new reference reveals a further truth. In other words, we see a progression of disclosure.

Here, we highlight some examples:

  1. 1:4 “In Him was life, and life was the light of man.” The first thing is that this life is in the Son and that its first action upon the soul is to give light.
  2. 3:14-16 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” In this verse, we learn that life is imparted to us through faith in the Calvary work of the Saviour and that this life is eternal.
  3. 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life …” Here, we see that we receive eternal life the moment we believe.

2) Love

Throughout John’s Gospel, Jesus points to the closeness of the loving relationship which he himself has with his Father in heavenGod himself is love and is the source and measure of all love.

It is because God loves the world that he sends Jesus to be the Saviour of the world. And it is because of Jesus’ obedience to the will of God his Father that the Father loves him.

Examples of some verses/passages on love:

  1. Jn 3:16 – God loves the world. This is one of the most quoted verse to say that God is love. Jn 3:16 emphasizes the mission of Jesus in the evangelistic Gospel of John. It also shows that God loves all people. In fact, God so intensely love the world that he sacrifices his Son for it; and to know Jesus is to know God; to know God is to know love. This verse will be further elaborated by the next speaker.
  2. Jn 17:23 – God wants everyone to know how much he loves them.
  3. Jn14:21 & 15:10 – You love God when you obey him.
  4. Jn 5:20 & 10:17 – God loves Jesus his Son.
  5. Jn 14:31 – Jesus loves God.
  6. Jn 5:41 – 44 – Those who refuse Jesus don’t have God’s love.
  7. Jn 15:9 – Jesus loves us just as God loves Jesus.
  8. Jn 3:14,15 & 15:13 & 14 – Jesus proved his love for us by dying on the cross so that we could live eternally with him.
  9. Jn 17:21-26 – The love between God and Jesus is the perfect example of how we are to love others.
  10. Jn 10:11-15 – Jesus’ love extends to each individual.
  11. Jn 21:15-17 – Jesus wants our love to be genuine.