JOHN 3:16

A) INTRODUCTION

[Jn 3:16]:

(v. 16) "For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

B) GRAMMATICAL CONSTRUCTION = MAIN & SUBORDINATE CLAUSES OF JN 3:16

According to Greek grammar rules, this verse contains a main clause:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son..."

and a subordinate one:

"that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

This is evident in English too.

Furthermore, Greek grammar rules require that the subordinate clause which is begun by hina = "so that" to have its verb(s) in the subjunctive mood, a mood of objective possibility.

There is no rule of Greek grammar, however, that insists that every subordinate clause be interpreted as having its action indefinite, remaining objectively possible and never actual. Objective possibility can and often does result in actual action depending upon the context.

As a matter of fact, the context determines the outcome of the action in most subordinate clauses to be actual especially when the sovereignty of God is behind the purpose of the action in the main clause that controls what happens in the subordinate clause as in Jn 3:16. So when an individual does believe in God's Son being given for him he can be sure that God will at that moment provide him with everlasting life.

[] on Greek grammar

C) MAIN CLAUSE OF JN 3:16 = "FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONE AND ONLY SON..."

"houtOs gar EgapEsen ho .Theos ton kosmon hOste ton Huion

"So ........for .loved ........the God ...the world ...that ...the Son

Hautou ton monogenE edOken"

His ......the .unique ......He gave"

1) PHRASE #1 = "For God so loved the world" =

a) "FOR" = "gar" = introduces a reason for the thing previously said, because.

The conjunction "For" = because, ties what is previously presented in vv. 1-15, especially vv. 3, 5-6 and 14-15, directly into v. 16; namely being spiritually born from above in the realm of the spiritual resulting in eternal life in the kingdom of God through faith in the Son of Man's sacrifice for sin while being lifted up on the cross.

Let's take a look at these verses again to verify this context:

i) [Jn 3:3]:

"In reply, Jesus declared, 'I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.' [lit: born from above]"

ii) [Jn 3:5-6]:

(v. 5) "Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water [the Holy Spirit] and [out of the realm of the] spirit."

(v. 6) Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the [realm of the] spirit gives birth to spirit."

iii) [Jn 3:14-16]:

(v. 14) "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,

(v. 15) that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.

(v. 16) For [= because] God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."

b) "GOD" = The Triune God as presented throughout the Bible, more specifically, God the Father as the verse has God Who gave His one and only Son in view

[ on the Trinity]

c)"SO LOVED THE WORLD" = "houtOs gar EgapEsen ho .Theos

........................................................."so .........for .loved ........the God

ton kosmon"

the world"

i) "SO" = "houtos" = Str. # 3779, thus, in such a manner, so. Due to it's first position in the verse, even preceding the connecting preposition "gar" = "for" which one might expect to be the first word in this verse, which first position is a highly emphatic one, "houtos" because of this position in the verse emphasizes the particular view of God's love for the world as exceptional, remarkable. And certainly it is an exceptional love considering God's giving of His Son for the sins of the world.

ii) "LOVED" = "EgapEsen" = verb, aorist, active, indicative mood [= statement of fact], 3 pers. singular. The aorist indicative denotes a simple act motivated by God's love occurring and completed in past time.

Considering the context and the punctilear action of the aorist tense this clause portrays a completed action in the historical past. It refers to God's giving of His Son for the world once in the historical past for all time. This clearly refers to that specific love which God expressed when He sent His Son in the world to die for us on the cross. It is in the historical past because our Lord was speaking at the time of this event before He was crucified as if it had already taken place.

iii) "THE WORLD" = "ton kosmon" = all mankind.

The world has available to it a number of meanings which are to be considered for application here, with all but the correct one being ruled out as the context is considered.

1 ) A particular world of geographical connotation including non-human life and inorganic objects.

2) All mankind living at the time these words were penned.

3 ) All mankind who ever lived and who ever will live.

4 ) Conclusion re: "world" = "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him" =

The text is presenting something that God has done because of His love for the world - with no stipulated restriction of time or place. Furthermore, "whoever believes" can only refer to human beings because they are the only beings in view who are capable of believing certainly animals or mountains cannot trust in Christ as Savior. Therefore, every human being who ever lived is in view.

d) SUMMARY: "FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD" =

This first part of the main clause of Jn 3:16 continues a train of thought from the previous verses due to "For" and has God the Father in view demonstrating His great love in a particular event which He is to have performed for every one who will ever live.

C cont.) MAIN CLAUSE OF JN 3:16 = "FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONE AND ONLY SON..."

2) PHRASE #2 = "THAT HE GAVE HIS ONE AND ONLY SON"

hOste ton Huion Hautou ton monogenE edOken"

that ...the son......His .......the unique .......He gave"

a) "THAT" = "hOste" = introduces the one time completed action produced as a result of God having so loved the world.

b) "HE GAVE" = "edOken" = Verb, aorist active indicative, 3rd person singular paralleling the aorist verb, "loved" = "EgapEsen" and pointing to a completed action by God, in the historical past = a future event spoken of as if it has already occurred of the Son being given for the whole world.

This is a once for all time event due to the aorist tense and context of the Son being given for the whole world to resolve the problem between man and God, i.e., since man has a sin problem the context points to the sins of the whole world being paid for on the cross. This is an event that does not need to be repeated as the verse's verbs and context both indicate.

Since the context of the passage of Jn chapter 3 identifies Jesus Christ as "the one and only Son of God,

and since the passage portrays a conversation between Nicodemus and our Lord, set in the time before our Lord was given for the whole world,

it is concluded that the phrase "He gave His one and only Son" is set in the historical past tense portraying the future event as having occurred of God giving His one and only Son for the world.

The use of the past tense to relay events that will happen in history in the future is used in modern English today:

Someone asks you to take care of their home while they are away next month. You respond in the present: "It is done"

Here is an example from the bible:

i) [Eph 2:6-7]:

(v. 6) "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus

[Notice what is in view: believers 1) who have been saved, 2) who are physically alive at the time and 3) who are declared as having already been raised up with Christ in resurrection and seated with Christ in heaven, Yet number 3 has not occurred yet]

(v. 7) in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus."

Notice that the future is presented here - in the future God w+ill 'show the incomparable riches of His grace' as a result of having 'raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus'. Yet in verse 6 this is presented to us in the past tense as if it has already happened - while the believers being addressed were still physically alive in their mortal bodies.

ii) [Compare Jn 3:14-15]:

(v. 14) "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up [on the cross to pay for sins, 1 Jn 2:2; Heb 9:27-28],

(v. 15) that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life."

The point of the yet future event in Jn 3:16 of God giving His one and only Son is established by the context of the previous two verses which refer to the Son of Man being lifted up [on the cross] which was yet future at the time of the conversation between Nicodemus and our Lord in John chapter 3.

Notice that the exact same phrase appears in verses 15 and 16: "that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life" with the exception that in verse 16 the phrase "shall not perish but" is inserted in the middle.

This ties the two events together as one: the Son of Man being lifted up [on the cross] with God giving His one and only Son.

The Son of Man being lifted up so that all who believe in Him [being lifted up to provide for eternal life] should have eternal life is tied directly to the bronze snake which provided for the physical salvation of life of those Israelites who were bitten by a deadly poisonous snake which the Son of Man being lifted up provides for the eternal life of whoever believes in the Son of Man:

"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. For [because] God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son [to be lifted up on the cross] that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life"

So the context of the previous two verses, (14-15), refers to believing in our Lord being lifted up as on a cross to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world such that one is then born again (lit. from above) and will thus see the kingdom of God and have eternal life, (vv. 3 & 5-6):

iii) [Compare 1 Jn 2:2]:

(v. 2) He [Jesus Christ, (v. 1)] is the atoning sacrifice - the propitiation [= the satisfaction] for our [all believers', (v. 2:1)] sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."

iv) [Heb 9:27-28]:

(v. 27) "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment [notice: a once for all time context which is to be further applied]:

(v. 28) so [in the same once for all way] Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people...[the whole world = many]....

2 cont.) PHRASE #2 = "THAT HE GAVE HIS ONE AND ONLY SON"

c) "HIS ONE AND ONLY SON" =

...."ton Huion Hautou ton monogenE" =

...."the Son.....His........the unique, i.e., one and only"

i) "The Son of God"

The term 'the Son of God' is a technical term established in other passages in Scripture for the Being Who has the attributes of God and therefore must be God, hence God the Son Who is God was given once for all time for the world by God the Father Who is God.

This was previously examined in detail [{short description of image}]

ii) "monogEne" = "unique" = "one and only" =

"monogEne" is an accusative, singular, masculine adjective consisting of the Greek prefix "mono" = "one" and "genE" from the Greek verb infinitive "ginomai" which means to cause to be. The stem of this word "monogEne" is "gEne" = "One Who is". So "monogEne" = the only one who is, i.e., the "one and only".

Notice: only one "n" occurs in the verb "ginomai" and only one "n" occurs in the form of this verb which the Apostle John uses in this verse: "genE". "GenE" is not derived from the Greek verb "gennao" - to procreate, beget. Notice the two "n"'s in this verb. One verb, meaning to cause to be, (unique), has one "n" and the other, meaning to beget has two. So the word "monogenE" means "the only One Who is" or "the unique One"

d) THE INCARNATION OF OUR LORD IS NOT IN VIEW

i) THE INCARNATION OF OUR LORD BEGAN IN THE PAST BUT IS EVERLASTING AND WOULD NOT BE PORTRAYED ONLY AS AN ACTION THAT WAS COMPLETED IN THE PAST

The event of giving in Jn 3:16 is not portrayed as ongoing as is the Incarnation but an event in a specific period of time that has a beginning and an end which the aorist tense portrays in that verse.

Furthermore, the related action in the previous verses of Christ being lifted up, (vv. 14-15), which is paralleled to God giving His one and only Son is not recognizably attributable to the Incarnation but to the Cross - an event with a beginning and an end.

So the Incarnation cannot be what is being referred to here by the phrase, "He gave His one and only Son", (aorist tense = completed action) since the Incarnation is an everlasting condition of our Lord that will never cease. Christ is the GodMan forever.

ii) SCRIPTURE NEVER PORTRAYS BELIEVING IN THE INCARNATION AS SUFFICIENT IN ORDER TO HAVE ETERNAL LIFE

Nor is the Incarnation portrayed in Scripture as sufficient in and of itself for men to believe in, in order to resolve the problem of sin between God and man so that an individual can have eternal life. But the payment for sins, i.e., redemption through Jesus Christ is, (Ro 3:21-26).

iii) SCRIPTURE NEVER PORTRAYS THE INCARNATION AS GOD GIVING UP HIS SON

One would not describe the event in Jn 3:16 as God giving up His Son to add to Himself humanity, i.e., the Incarnation. It is at the cross where giving up is in view when "God made Him Who had no sin to be sin for us" (2 Cor 5:21a) at which time God forsook His Son in His humanity: "About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mt 27:46).

iv) THE INCARNATION COULD NOT BE IN VIEW IN JN 3:14-16 BECAUSE IT IS NEVER REFERRED TO IN SCRIPTURE AS "THE SON OF MAN SHALL BE LIFTED UP"

Note that this could not refer simply to the incarnation since the incarnation of the Son of God is not referred in Scripture as a lifting up, (v. 14). Nor could it refer to a completed action since the incarnation is an ongoing forever existence of our Lord as the GodMan.

e) SUMMARY: "That He gave His one and only Son" =

In view is a once for all time completed event of the one and only Son of God being given due to the aorist tense (= completed action) and indicative mood, (= statement of fact) of a completed once for all time action of the Son being given for the whole world (= those who will ever live).

D) SUBORDINATE PURPOSE CLAUSE OF JN 3:16 = "THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT SHOULD HAVE ETERNAL LIFE."

"hina pas ........................ho ..pisteuOn .....eis ..auton mE

"that everyone [who is] the..believing one on .Him ..not

apolEtai .........all' .echE ............zOEn aiOnion"

should perish..but .should have .life ....eternal"

1) PHRASE #1 = "THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM"

"hina pas ..........................ho ..pisteuOn ......eis .auton"

"that .everyone who .[is] the. believing one on .Him"

a) "THAT" = introduces the subordinate purpose clause: God gave His one and only Son [for the purpose] "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but should have everlasting life."

[The Language of the New Testament, Eugene Van Ness Goetchius, Chas. Scribner's Sons, N.Y., 1965, pp. 96, 270-271];

[pp. 270-271]:

"The subjunctive is used in subordinate clauses [such as in Jn 3:16] introduced by hina, opos and me, and sometimes in clauses introduced by eos, achri(s), andmechri(s)...

...Hina means that, in order that, so that. Clauses introduced by hina usually indicate the purpose of the action expressed in the main clause, but may indicate its result or content...."

b) "WHOEVER BELIEVES" = nominative present participle = "pas ho pisteuon" = "everyone who [is] the believing one" = "whoever is the believer"

i) "WHOEVER BELIEVES" IS A NOMINATIVE PRESENT PARTICIPLE = A SINGLE MOMENT OF BELIEVING AND NOT A CONTINUOUS ONE

i_a) "PAS HO PISTEUON" = "WHOEVER BELIEVES" IS A NOMINATIVE PRESENT PARTICIPLE

The phrase "whoever believes" in Jn 3:16 = "pas ho pisteuon" = relative pronoun "pas" = "everyone who" with a definite article "the" = "ho" + the present participle verb functioning as a noun, lit. "everyone who is the believing one".

["Syntax of New Testament Greek", Brooks & Winbery, 1979, University Press, Lanham, Md, pp. 144]:

"The Substantival Participle

The participle, like an adjective, may be used in the place of a noun or other substantive. The participle itself then functions as a noun. Its case, gender, and number are determined by its use in the sentence. It may be used in most of the ways in which a noun is used, e.g. as a subject nominative, as a dative of indirect object, as an accusative of direct object, etc. It may be used with or without an article. It always stands in the attributive position [following the article]."

[The Language of the New Testament, Eugene Van Ness Goetchius, Chas. Scribner's Sons, N.Y., 1965, p. 173]:

"Present participles may be used substantively [as a noun]... In the translation of such constructions into English one must usually resort to paraphrases of the types illustrated... Ro 12:7 o didaskon the teaching one (= 'the one teaching, the one who is teaching, the one who teaches")

i_a_mk6v14) [Compare Mk 6:14]:

'''King Herod heard about this, for Jesus' name had become well known. Some were saying, "John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.'''

"John the Baptist" = "iOannEs ho baptizOn" =

"ho baptizOn" = "the baptizing one" = present, active, participle as a noun = "the Baptist"

Just as John the Baptist was still considered the Baptist even while he was in jail, (Mt 14:8), and the one who baptizes, even after he was beheaded, (Mk 6:14);

and just as Paul referred to the Corinthians as "sanctified in Christ Jesus", (v. 1:2), "in Christ", (v. 3:1) yet they were not acting continuously faithfully at all, (3:3),

so a believer is a believer from the moment he trusts in Christ for eternal life.

[Dr. Robert Wilkin states, The Grace Report, Monthly Report of the Grace Evangelical Society, Irving, Tx. ges@faithalone.org, Mar 1999, Notes and Letters, p. 4]:

'''The articular participle (=the article "the" [='ho'] plus a participle [ex. pisteuon = believing] functions as a verbal noun. Thus ['ho pisteuon' =] 'the one who believes' does not mean ''he who keeps on believing and believing and believing' but means 'the believer.' [i.e., one who at some time exercised a single moment of faith alone in Christ alone]. Anyone who comes to faith in Christ is from that moment forward 'the believer.' '''

In other words, the nominative present participle has in view one who at some moment in present time exercised a single moment of faith in whatever is specified, in this case, trusting that God gave His one and only Son for one as a believer.

So "pas ho pisteuon" in Jn 3:16 = "everyone who is the believing one", i.e, everyone who is the believer at the moment one begins believing.

Thus a believer is legitimately referred to as a believer from the moment he trusts in Christ for eternal life, at which moment he receives possession - continuous and forever - of eternal life because possession of eternal life is forever.

The nominative present participle is thus referring more to the person than the act of believing, and therefore it is clear that the focus is on momentary action rather than continuity.

i_b) "PAS HO PISTEUON" = "WHOEVER BELIEVES" DOES NOT CONVEY CONTINUOUS ACTION

The phrase "whoever believes" in Jn 3:16 is not a simple present tense as some contend in order to demand that one maintain a constant state of believing so that one will continue to possess eternal life otherwise lose it; rather, as previously indicated, it is the relative pronoun "whoever" with the definite article "ho" = "the" and the present, active nominative participle verb "pisteuon" = "pas ho pisteuon"= "everyone who is the believing one" = a noun.

Consider the individuals who are found guilty of various offenses before a magistrate in a court in the times of the ancient Roman Empire - New Testament times. The magistrate declares before the group of guilty people in koine Greek, the language of the New Testament, in a statement that directly parallels the second half of Jn 3:16, 'Whoever pays his fine shall not perish in jail, but have freedom to go, with his life.' Does the present tense of 'Whoever pays' demand continuous - uninterrupted payment of the fine in order for an individual to 'have freedom to go, with his life?' The answer is obvious, the present tense does not always demand continuous uninterrupted action in the present. Just as the payment of the Magistrate's fine was to be done once in present time such that it results in freedom - the payment not having to be continuous; so the believing in Christ as Savior, when it begins in present time, immediately results in the aorist tense completed action of never perishing and the present tense reception of eternal life such that the believing need not continue in order to keep the result of never perishing and possession of eternal life continuous because the never perishing is a completed action and the eternal life by its very nature once received is continuously eternal.

Furthermore, even if the simple present tense were the verb in the original Greek text - and it is not - a special context and/or additional words such as "diapantos" = continually, must be inserted into the text in order to convey the idea of continuous believing. The Greek present tense by itself does not convey such an idea - nor does its counterpart in English. Simple present tense action in the absence of qualifiers demands a singular action in the present moment without requiring that it continue into later moments in any language. No first century Greek reader or hearer was likely to get a meaning such as 'continue to believe' without the necessary additional qualifiers to the simple present tense.

[Compare Hebrews 13:15]:

"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name."

"anapherOmen ..thusian .aineseOs diapantos"

"we should offer sacrifice of praise continually"

Notice that "anapherOmen" = "we should offer" is present tense. Yet in order to emphasize continual action the word "diapantos" = "continually" must be inserted.

In addition to this, the appeal to force the simple present tense to mean continuous action would lead to havoc in many passages in the New Testament. For example, 1 John 1:8 reads, "If we [born again believers] say that we have no sin [="ouk echomen" = present tense] we deceive ourselves". If this verse is rendered in the continuous mode, it would be read, "If we say that we do not continuously have sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." This indicates that in spite of becoming born again believers there is no time in the believer's life that he can claim not to be living a lifestyle of continuous, unadulterated sin - no time for anything else!!!

Since eternal life is immediately received at the first instant of believing according to numerous salvation passages whereupon it is also established - often stipulated, that a believer has an absolute assurance of his eternal destiny in heaven, (ref. 1 Jn 5:9-13);

and since eternal life once received by definition is continuous and everlasting for that individual believer without interruption or cessation from then on no matter what,

then to insist that continuous believing is thereupon required in order to continue to have eternal life is nonsensical, contradicts normative rules of language and violates the doctrine of assurance, i.e., eternal security.

In the final analysis "whoever believes" = "pas ho pisteuon" in the Greek, the form of the verb to believe in Jn 3:16, is not a simple present tense form at all; but it is actually a nominative, singular, masculine, present active participle, i.e., a participle acting as a noun indicating "one who believes" [in Christ as Savior], i.e., a believer. The participle acting as a noun does not require a perfection of continuous action such as continuous believing in order for an individual to be qualified as a believer.

ii) A CONTINUOUS STATE OF BELIEVING IN CHRIST IS NOT POSSIBLE WITH MAN

According to Scripture, a continuous and perfect state of believing in Christ is not possible with man which would necessitate sinless perfection. For any sin a believer commits reflects a degree of unbelief and no one can claim to be without sin, nor maintain a perfect state of continuous faith:

ii_a) [1 Jn 1:8, 10]:

(v. 8) "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

(v. 10) If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."

No believer can claim to maintain a perfect, uninterrupted record of faith in Christ as he is bound to commit acts of unbelief throughout his life.

ii_b) [Compare 1 Jn 4:7-12]:

(v. 7) "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

(v. 8) Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."

[Notice that "whoever does not love does not know God" in the sense of being out of fellowship with Him for the moment, acting as one who does not know God, an unbeliever. Since sin is an act of not loving, and since all believers sin, then at those moments they do sin, they do 'not know God', i.e., their faith in Him is imperfect]

Can an individual express saving faith in Christ as Savior continuously - without any interruption all his life even during moments when he is asleep - completely in unconscious sleep?

Suppose while in a deep sleep with your active mind unconscious, you no longer are continuously maintaining faith in Christ as Savior, you die in your sleep and then because of this unconscious lapse, wake up in Hell - after a long life of faithful service to God!!!!

Can an individual maintain perfect, uninterrupted saving faith in Christ as Savior throughout his waking day? Consider an accountant who is in deep concentration, keying in figures on a spread sheet making sure of his accuracy. Can he also be maintaining a deep concentration on trusting in Christ as Savior without interruption?

Have you ever lost your salvation during the moment when you are considering what to have for lunch instead of continuing to believe in Christ to save you - as your thoughts are not for the moment on Jesus Christ but on the Tuna Melt sandwich on the menu?

What do you then need to do to get it back? Is it really eternal life if you keep losing it every time your mind wanders to some other subject? Wouldn't it be better to call it 'For the Moment Life' rather than eternal life? And how do you get eternal life back after your momentary lapse?

D cont.) SUBORDINATE PURPOSE CLAUSE OF JN 3:16 = "THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT SHOULD HAVE ETERNAL LIFE."

iii) IF THE PHRASE "WHOEVER BELIEVES" WERE PRESENT TENSE, (AND IT IS NOT - IT IS A NOUN), THE CONTEXT WOULD DEMAND THAT IT BE IN THE AORISTIC PRESENT IN VIEW OF THE AORIST TENSES OF "GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD", "THAT HE GAVE HIS ONE AND ONLY SON", AND "SHOULD NOT PERISH"

The aoristic present tense presents the action as a simple event or as a present fact without any reference to its progress.

The phrase "should not perish" in Jn 3:16 is in the aorist tense providing a completed state of never perishing at the moment in the present one becomes the believer.

This is all as a result of the aoristic future tense in both verses of God having so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son. Since all of the above actions are completed action moments, the aoristic present "whoever believes" would be in view if "whoever believes" in Jn 3:16 were in the present tense.

BELIEF, FAITH & TRUST DEFINED AS MENTAL ASSENT

iii_a) ENGLISH DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF FAITH

[Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary]:

ftp://ftp.uga.edu/pub/misc/webster/

faith \Faith\, n.

1. Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting solely and implicitly on his authority and veracity; reliance on testimony. 2. The assent of the mind to the statement or proposition of another, on the ground of the manifest truth of what he utters; firm and earnest belief, on probable evidence of any kind, especially in regard to important moral truth. Faith, that is, fidelity, -- the fealty of the finite will and understanding to the reason. believe

\Be*lieve"

\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Believed; p. pr. & vb. n. Believing.]

To exercise belief in; to credit upon the authority or testimony of another; to be persuaded of the truth of, upon evidence furnished by reasons, arguments, and deductions of the mind, or by circumstances other than personal knowledge; to regard or accept as true; to place confidence in; to think; to consider; as, to believe a person, a statement, or a doctrine. "

trust \Trust\, v. t.

1. To place confidence in; to rely on, to confide, or repose faith, in; as, we can not trust those who have deceived us. I will never trust his word after. --Shak. He that trusts every one without reserve will at last be deceived. --Johnson. 2. To give credence to; to believe; to credit. Trust me, you look well. --Shak. 3. To hope confidently; to believe; -- usually with a phrase or infinitive clause as the object. I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face. --2 John 12. We trust we have a good conscience. --Heb. xiii. 18. 4. to show confidence in a person by intrusting (him) with something. Syn: Confidence; belief; faith; hope; expectation"

iv_b) NT GREEK DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF FAITH

The New Analytical Greek Lexicon which is a dictionary of the koine Greek language of the Bible, (Wesley J. Perschbacher, Editor, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Ma; 1992, p. 329), states as the meaning of the word pisteuo which is translated believe in the English Bible translations as follows:

"(4100)... [pisteuo] 1 pers. sg. pres. act. indic., fut... [pisteuso] ...to believe, give credit to, Mark 1:15; 16:13; Luke 24:25; intrns. to believe, have a mental persuasion, Matt. 8:13; 9:28; James 2:19; to believe, be of opinion, Rom. 14:2; in N.T. [pisteuein en, eis] to believe in or on, Matt. 18:6; 27:42; John 3:15, 16, 18; absol. to believe, be a believer in the religion of Christ, Acts 2:44; 4:4, 32; 13:48; trans. to intrust, commit to the charge or power of, Luke 16:11; John 2:24; pass. to be intrusted with, Rom. 3:2; 1 Cor. 9:17"

Note that the Greek word used in the Bible which is translated into forms of the verb 'to believe' is also defined according to the Greek dictionary to mean a trust in the information presented, i.e., a mental assent - devoid of additional actions on the part of an individual other than the moment of mental agreement.

In the case of Jn 3:16, one is to trust in the information that God gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Objectors who insist that the word believe relative to salvation takes on more than the normative meaning must consider here in this conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus in John chapter 3 that our Lord did not redefine or specially define the word rendered believe relative to salvation here in His conversation with Nicodemus; and that certainly would have been the most opportune time, the Son of God knowing that this would be the verse most often quoted and memorized - and which is an instruction on how to have eternal life.

D cont.) SUBORDINATE PURPOSE CLAUSE OF JN 3:16 = "THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT SHOULD HAVE ETERNAL LIFE."

2) PHRASE #2 OF THE SUBORDINATE CLAUSE = "SHOULD NOT PERISH"

"should not perish" = "me apoletai" = aorist tense, 3rd pers. singular, subjunctive mood, middle voice = The believer receives a state of completed action of not ever perishing if God's purpose is fulfilled - and God being absolutely capable and sovereign, it will be fulfilled.

a) THE AORIST TENSE AND THE SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD

i) [SYNTAX OF NEW TESTAMENT GREEK, James A. Brooks, Carlton L. Winbery, University Press of America, Lanham, Md., 1988, pp. 98, 118-120, 111-112]:

[p. 98]

"The aorist tense expresses punctiliar action. Indeed the word aoristos [aorist] means without limit, unqualified, undefined - which of course is the significance of punticiliar action. Only in the indicative mood [as in both verbs in Jn 3:16 main clause] does the aorist also indicate past time."

So the aorist is said to be "simple occurrence" or "summary occurrence", without regard for the amount of time taken to accomplish the action. This tense is also often referred to as the 'punctiliar' tense. 'Punctiliar' in this sense means 'viewed as a single, collective whole,' a "one-point-in-time" action, although it may actually take place over a period of time. In the indicative mood the aorist tense denotes action that occurred in the past time, often translated like the English simple past tense.

[p. 118]

"The subjunctive expresses action or a state of being which is objectively possible."

ii) THE LANGUAGE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

[The Language of the New Testament, Eugene Van Ness Goetchius, Chas. Scribner's Sons, N.Y., 1965, pp. 96, 270-271]:

[p. 96]:

"The Greek aorist very frequently refers to action which has been completed in the past..."

[pp. 270-271]:

"The subjunctive is used in subordinate clauses [such as in Jn 3:16] introduced by hina, opos and me, and sometimes in clauses introduced by eos, achri(s), andmechri(s)...

...Hina means that, in order that, so that. Clauses introduced by hina usually indicate the purpose of the action expressed in the main clause, but may indicate its result or content...."

Consider the following passage which has a subordinate clause introduced by hina with a verb in the subjunctive mood just as Jn 3:16 does

ii_a)[Compare Phil 2:27]:

"Indeed he [Epaphroditus] was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy upon him...and me, in order that I [Paul] might not have sorrow upon sorrow."

Notice that this in fact came true yet the subordinate clause's verb is in the subjunctive mood. God's sovereign mercy did prevail and the resulting action was that Paul did not have sorrow upon sorrow - he was left not with objective possibiltity and thus continued sorrow upon sorrows but with the opposite: great joy that Epaphroditus lived to serve with Paul. So the subjunctive mood does not necessarily signify that the action stipulated as indefinite or remaining potential and never actual. The outcome of whether or not the action is actual depends largely upon the context of the passage.

On the other hand if one maintains in Jn 3:16 that a state of never perishing and having eternal life is still potential and in question as having been attained for "one who is believing", i.e., a believer as stipulated in that verse then one must be consistent and say that Paul did not avoid having sorrow upon sorrow even though God did have mercy and healed Epaphroditus.

iii) WUEST'S WORD STUDIES

[Kenneth S. Wuest states, (Wuest's Word Studies, Vol. 3, 'Great Truths To Live By, Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich., 1992, p. 67)]:

[So, relative to Jn 3:16]:

"In the words, 'should not perish, but have everlasting life,' there is a radical change in tenses, from the aorist which speaks of a once-for-all act to the present subjunctive which speaks of a continuous state. The contrast is one between the final utter ruin and lost estate of the unbeliever, and the possession of eternal life as an enduring experience on the part of the believer"

2 cont.) PHRASE #2 OF THE SUBORDINATE CLAUSE = "SHOULD NOT PERISH"

b) COMPLETED ACTION OF NEVER PERISHING = POSSESSION OF ETERNAL LIFE

THE AORIST TENSE "SHOULD NOT PERISH" PROVIDES AN INDIVIDUAL WITH A STATE OF NEVER PERISHING AT THE MOMENT HE BECOMES A BELIEVER. IT IS NOT AFFECTED BY WHETHER OR NOT THE BELIEVING CONTINUES ON AFTER THAT

Notice that "should not perish" is in the aorist tense providing a completed state of never perishing at the moment one becomes the believer. A completed action of never perishing is thus not effected by whether or not the believing continues on after that. Furthermore, a completed action of never perishing is another way of saying one is in a state of having eternal life which immediately follows in parallel in Jn 3:16 after the connective word, "but" = "whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life". The two are inseparable, you are never perishing when you have eternal life.

One would then ask the question, 'Why would a continuous state of believing be necessary if a completed action of the aorist tense of 'never perishing' resulted at the moment one becomes a believer?' Answer: it is not necessary.

If continuous believing were necessary to provide one with a state of not perishing then Jn 3:16 must be changed to read "whoever continuously believes in Him will [future] not perish but will [future] have eternal life."

c) SUMMARY OF PHRASE #2 = "SHOULD NOT PERISH"

Considering the use of the aorist tense twice in the main clause of v. 16 to indicate with the context: God's completed action of love in His giving His one and only Son once for all time completed action of paying for the sins of the whole world, we can therefore conclude that the aorist tense in "me apoletai" means a completed action resulting in a condition of never perishing as a result of the application of God's once for all time giving of His one and only Son upon the one who believes, the believer. Since this action of God is a completed action and has been appropriated by the individual at the moment he became "ho pisteuon" = "the believer", then we may conclude that the state of the believer not perishing is permanent. Thus the subjunctive mood of the verb "me apoletai" in this clause expresses action which is objectively possible for the whole world and which becomes a reality for the "pas ho pisteuon" = the one who is believing, i.e., the believer considering the context and especially considering the unfailing capacity and sovereignty of God in fulfilling His declared purposes. The subjunctive mood allows for the assumption that there is some doubt as to the outcome depending upon the reliablity of the One acting for the purpose stipulated. Since God is absolutely reliable then the outcome in the subordinate clause for the believer is actual and not potential.

[]TO GRAMMATICAL CONSTRUCTION OF JN 3:16

[] TO "LOVED" = "EgapEsen" = verb, aorist

3) PHRASE #3 OF THE SUBORDINATE CLAUSE = "BUT SHOULD HAVE ETERNAL LIFE"

"but should have life .....eternal"

"all' .echE ...........zOEn aiOnion"

a) "BUT" = "all' " sets Action #2 in opposition to Action #1: from the condition of once for all never perishing opposite to Action #2: the once for all condition of having eternal life forever.

b) "SHOULD HAVE" = "eche" = lit., may be having, present tense, 3 pers sing., .subjunctive mood = objective possibility, active voice. The active voice of the verb "eche" = "may be having" indicates that the individual directly causes the results of his commencing to having eternal life as a result of his believing in the Son being given for him when he becomes a believer, i.e., "one who is believing".

[Dr. Robert Wilkin states, Grace Evangelical Society, Irving, Tx. ges@faithalone.org]:

"The verb 'echo', to have, only occurs in the NT in the middle passive in participles. It has two active uses, transitive and intransitive. Transitive uses deal with having something. Intransitive uses aren't even translated as 'have,' but convey the idea of being or being in a certain situation. This use is transitive. That is, it takes an object, eternal life. 'Having eternal life' refers to something someone who meets the condition possesses. In order to find out how they came into possession of it, you must go back to the condition, not the voice.

Let's say the sentence read, 'For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever follows His selfless example and lives a godly life should not perish but have everlasting life.'

In that case the having would require active effort on the part of the person obtaining the life. In this case, the condition is merely 'believing in Him,' which is passive reception. Thus while the verb is active voice (as are all NT uses of echo except in the participle), the means of having eternal life is clearly passive."

This second action, "but should have eternal life" has already been touched upon and it works similarly to Action #1:

i) THE BELIEVER WILL ASSUREDLY RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE FOREVER

Because of the absolute sovereignty, trustworthiness and capacity of God the believer receives a guaranteed present tense = immediate possession of eternal life as the fulfilled purpose of God at the point he became "the believing one", i.e., a believer, (Ref. Eph 1:13-14). So the objective possibility of the sujunctive mood indicated by "should have" becomes a certainty because God is absolutely sovereign, capable and trustworthy and will fulfill His promise of providing eternal life at the instant one expresses a moment of believing in the Son being given for him. This is established in the previous two verses as well:

i_a) [Compare Jn 3:14-15]:

(v. 14) "Just as Moses lifted up the [bronze] snake in the desert [on the pole], so the Son of Man must be lifted up [on the cross],

(v. 15) [so] that everyone who believes in Him["pas ho pisteuon = everyone who is a believer in Him] may have eternal life."

So to review verses 14 & 15, once an Israelite is bitten by the snake and then makes one single look of faith at the bronze snake on the pole then that Israelite is saved from physical death from that particular snake bite.

This is paralleled in Jn 3:15 to the concept that once one becomes a believer by a moment of faith in the Son being given for him unto eternal life then one has eternal life, becoming born again in order to enter the kingdom of God once for all time, (v. 3, 5-6).

ii) AN UNCERTAIN OUTCOME CANNOT BE IN VIEW UNLESS ONE CHANGES THE ORIGINAL TEXT

An uncertain outcome cannot be in view without changing the original text of John 3:16 considering the absolute capacity and sovereignty of God the Provider of eternal life to deliver on the promise of present tense possession of eternal life to the one who believes in His Son.

iii) SINCE A MOMENT OF FAITH IS THE ONLY REQUIREMENT IN VIEW, OTHER REQUIREMENTS CANNOT BE ADDED INTO THIS VERSE TO MAKE ETERNAL LIFE DEPENDENT UPON OTHER THINGS BESIDES A MOMENT OF FAITH

Since faith in the Son being given is the only requirement in view in this passage which says that God provides eternal life the moment that that requirement is begun to be met,

then modifying words cannot be inserted in order to stipulate that God's decision to give eternal life is dependent upon something else in addition to a moment of faith in the Son being given for one. This cannot be done and still maintain the integrity of God's Word.

iv) THE AORIST SUBJUNCTIVE VERB "SHOULD NOT PERISH" IN THE PREVIOUS PHRASE CONVEYS CERTAINTY SINCE GOD, THE PROVIDER OF THE ACTION, IS ABSOLUTELY TRUSTWORTHY AND CAPABLE OF DELIVERING ON HIS PROMISES

The aorist subjunctive verb "should not perish" = "me apoletai" cannot be changed to some other form of the verb to portray something uncertain. As it stands, the phrase conveys the certain-completed-action of not perishing since God is absolutely trustworthy and capable of following through on His promises and provide the believer with a state of never perishing and present possession of eternal life forever. Notice that once the individual becomes a believer with the aorist tense and God as Provider, no further requirement or time is needed to fulfill the promise of never perishing and having eternal life forever.

v) THE PRESENT TENSE VERB "SHOULD HAVE ETERNAL LIFE" CONVEYS CERTAIN PRESENT POSSESSION OF ETERNAL LIFE FOREVER SINCE GOD THE PROVIDER OF THE ACTION IS RELIABLE, AND ETERNAL LIFE IS FOREVER

The change of the present tense verb "should have eternal life" = "echE zOEn aiOnion" cannot be made to some other form of the verb to portray something uncertain. As it stands the phrase "should have eternal life" conveys the certain present tense possession of the believer at the moment he becomes a believer for the duration of that possession which is eternal as stipulated in the phrase "zOEn aiOnion" = "eternal life"

vi) GOD MUST BE PORTRAYED AS UNFAITHFUL AND UNJUST IF THE CONTEXT IS TO FIT UNCERTAINTY IN JN 3:16

If the context of Jn 3:16 is to be changed to one of uncertain results for the believer, then a completely different picture of God must be portrayed from the one John portrays as One Who so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him is given eternal life...

to a God Who may decide to give eternal life and then again He may not for anyone who believes in His Son being given for them. This is a different picture of the God of the Bible - a different God Who is whimsical in His giving of eternal life to some and cruel in His holding back of eternal life from others despite the fact that all of those in view have trusted God's promise to provide eternal life for them when they believed. But some just don't get it - for no reason stipulated in this passage, and some do.

3 cont.) PHRASE #3 OF THE SUBORDINATE CLAUSE = "but have eternal life"

c) "ETERNAL LIFE" ONCE RECEIVED IS FOREVER

"Eternal life" = "zOEn aiOnion" = lit., 'life forever' = When an individual expresses a moment of belief in the Son being given for him, according to Jn 3:16, he receives possession of life with God forever.

Since eternal life has a unique characteristic about it of being everlasting in duration; then such a life will not cease once it has begun to be the possession of the individual at the beginning moment of faith when he became "ho pisteuon eis auton" = the believer in the Son of God being given up for him. Otherwise eternal life would not be called eternal life, it would be called 10 year life or 10 minute life as the case may be. So if the believer does not maintain a continuous state of believing in the Son after that first moment of faith, the duration of the believing will not have an effect on the duration of the eternal life since the latter has begun to be the forever possession of the believer.

d) ETERNAL LIFE ONCE RECEIVED IS AN INTRINSIC PART OF AN INDIVIDUAL WHICH CAN NEVER BE LOST

i) LIFE IS AN INTRINSIC PART OF AN INDIVIDUAL

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary [G & C Merriam Co., Springfield, Mass, 1980]:

Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary defines life as "a principle or force that is considered to underlie the distinctive quality of animate beings; an animating and shaping force or principle." Hence, this principle is inherent in the individual, an intrinsic part that animates every part of ones being.

ii) ETERNAL LIFE CANNOT EXIST SEPARATELY FROM THE INDIVIDUAL - BEING ETERNAL, ONE THUS WILL NEVER LOSE IT

In the same way, eternal life once received becomes an intrinsic part of the individual when he believes in the Son of God and receives it.

[Jn 3:16]:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Notice that eternal life becomes the present possession of the individual the moment he expresses believing in the Son being given for him.

[Compare Jn 6:53-54]:

(v. 53) '''Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no [eternal] life in you.

[Notice that the word life refers to eternal life, (v. 58), and the context leading up to v. 53. This eternal life once received is described here as "in you", implying an intrinsic part of you]

(v. 54) Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

Since eternal life once received is "in you" inferring an intrinsic part of you for eternity, then it is not portrayed in the Bible as occupying space in a particular part of your anatomy such that it can be removed and lost from within you and then recovered again.

Furthermore, the concept of eternal life existing outside of an individual is comparing apples and oranges. The concept of something cannot be compared to the possession of it. The concept of eternal life is one which is forever, everlasting, without end, of course; but the eternal life of a particular individual does not exist until he believes, at which time the eternal life cannot go out of existence because of some infraction and must by definition be an intrinsic part of that individual's existence forever. An individual's eternal life cannot be measured apart from the individual any more than an individual's physical life can be measured apart from the individual's physical existence. The concept of life can be discussed in general but that discussion does not apply to an individual who does not yet possess physical life or eternal life.

Finally, even if it could somehow be lost, it could not be described as eternal life - but life for the duration of time that it was an intrinsic part of that individual. Thus eternal life is eternally secure because it is defined as an intrinsic part of the individual for the duration of eternity.

But let's do a hypothetical test of this, assuming one can lose one's salvation, repent and recover it again:

A man lost his salvation ten years after he got saved. Later on he repented and regained eternal life, (if that were possible and it is not), at which time he dies. Hence is the length of his eternal life one eternity + ten years!?!

Consider that once physical life begins an individual exists. Once it leaves an individual, the individual ceases to exist as he originally began to exist, hence he is destroyed. Portions of that creation may and do continue to exist, but in a totally different format wherein the physical body is a mass of matter, dead, lifeless no longer containing a soul or spirit which the latter entities occupy other space. The context of the argument does not permit entering into this any more than you can say that water can lose its oxygen. Just as the oxygen is intrinsic to the existence of the water and losing it would destroy the water, albeit change it into something else which no longer functions as water, so taking away physical life from an individual destroys that individual such that he no longer exists as originally created. In the same way, once eternal life is received the individual is a new creation that cannot exist without that eternal life, it being an intrinsic part of that individual forever by definition. So it is not a viable argument to say one can lose something intrinsic as eternal life as if the individual would not be destroyed, no longer in existence and go back to the point he did not have eternal life as part of his intrinsic makeup. Recall that one is forever intrinisically in Christ, intrinsically part of His indestructible body at the point of faith in the gospel, sealed by the intrinsically indwelling Holy Spirit, (Eph 1:13-14). So how can one lose the life in Christ apart from destroying Christ? How can the eternal body of Christ be lost? How can the permanently indwelling Holy Spirit in one be destroyed?

Further details on eternal life is an intrinsic part of the believer {short description of image}

e) OTHER PASSAGES STIPULATE A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE FOREVER IN VERB FORMS THAT CORROBORATE A MOMENT OF FAITH IN JN 3:16

i) [Mk 16:16]:

"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."

"believes" = "ho pistEusas" = the one believing, nom, sg, m. aor. active participle. "whoever does not believe" = "ho de apistEsas" = nom, sg, m. aor. active participle [Notice: aorist tense signifying a punctilear moment of faith in order to be saved]

ii) [Jn 3:18]:

"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."

A) A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE PROVIDES A PERMANENT STATE OF NEVER BEING CONDEMNED; AND NEVER HAVING BELIEVED KEEPS ONE UNDER GOD'S WRATH UNTIL THE MOMENT ONE DOES BELIEVE

"ho .........pisteuOn eis auton ou .krinetai ....................ho ........de ..mE pisteuOn

"The one believing in .Him ..not is condemned ...........the one but .not believing

.................V_PAPNSM ................V_PPI3S ..............................................V_PAPNSM

Pres. Active Part nom sing masc .Pres. Passive Indic 3rd Sing ..............ditto 1st verb

EdE ......kekritai .....................hoti ......mE pepisteuken .....eis .to ..onoma tou

already has been condemned because not he has believed in ..the name ..of the

..............V_XPI3S .........................................V_XAI3S

...............perfect pass indicative 3rd sing ....perfect active indicative 3rd sing

monogenous ....huiou tou theou

unique...............Son ..........of God.

one and only

"Whoever believes" = "ho pistEuOn" = nom. sing. masc. pres. act. part. is identical to the phrase rendered "whoever believes" in v. 16 and portrays an individual who expresses a moment of belief in the Son being given for one, (v. 16), whereupon he is declared as the believing one, who is not condemned as well as having possession of eternal life, (v. 16), at the moment he becomes the believing one which possession of eternal life is forever by definition and which individual also begins a permanent state of no condemnation - permanent because the permanent possession of eternal life is mutually exclusive of condemnation by definition.

"But whoever does not believe" = "ho.de mE pisteuOn", lit., "the same form as the first verb in 18a with the negative "mE" = "not": a nominative participle = a noun, portraying an individual who has not yet expressed a moment of belief in the Son being given for one, which may be rendered 'But whoever is the unbeliever'.

"But whoever does not believe stands condemned already" = "EdE kekritai" = lit.,"already has been condemned", perfect tense portraying a completed condition in the past of being condemned with ongoing present results of being condemned because of the primary clause in this phrase, "But whoever does not believe", i.e., "whoever is not the believer", or whoever has not expressed a moment of belief in the Son to become the believer. So one who has never expressed a moment of belief in the Son has been condemned from the beginning, implying such a condition from conception, and stands condemned until he expresses a moment of belief in the Son being given in order to become the believer.

"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already [lit., already has been condemned] because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God" =

"hoti mE pepisteuken", perfect tense portraying a completed condition in the past of not having ever believed with an ongoing present condition of continually choosing not to express a moment of belief in the name of the Son of God which causes one to be in a completed action state of condemnation from the beginning with ongoing present results of continually under condemnaiton until such time as the individual expresses a moment of belief in the name of the Son of God.

On the other hand the reverse is not true. One cannot say, "Just as continued unbelief in the Son of God results in continued condemnation and lack of possession of eternal life, so continued belief in the Son of God results in a continued state of not being condemned and continues possession of eternal life. Nor can one say that any interruption in continuous belief will cause interruption in the possession of eternal life, causing a return to the state of condemnation. It is false conjecture and incorrect logic to maintain that since a negative is true, then the reverse/positive must also be true. So the reverse of 18b namely "Whoever has believed has eternal life" portraying a completed action of believing with ongoing believing in the present in order to have possession of eternal life is not true, nor present anywhere in Scripture. Finally, the idea of maintaining an ongoing faith in the Son in order to continue a possession of eternal life is falsified by virtue of the contexts of vv. 16 and 18. The practical impossibility of man to maintain ongoing faith in the Son of God corroborates this.

Parallel, practical, temporal example:

Whoever satisfactorily answers the complaint on his property that the back taxes were not paid will not have his property condemned, but whoever does not satisfactorily answer such complaint, his property is condemned already because he has not answered the complaint.

Notice that a continual answer to the complaint is not in view, a one time answer of paying the back taxes is. Furthermore, the negative perfect tense phrase, "because he has not answered the complaint," represents a completed action of not having paid the back taxes resulting in an ongoing condemnation of ones property until such time that the back taxes are paid, i.e., ongoing condemnation in the present. In the same way, the negative perfect tense phrase in Jn 3:18 , "because he has not believed," represents a completed action of being condemned with ongoing condition of condemnation until such time that one expresses a moment of faith to become the believing one. So the loss of eternal life is not in view when one has interrupted ones faith with the negative perfect tense phrase; but the continued lack of it until one believes is.

If one pays the back taxes, a completed action of relief of the condemnation with ongoing results in the present will result without the necessity of an ongoing effort of paying the back taxes over and over. In the same manner, from the moment of belief in the name of God's one and only Son the result will be a completed action of removal of condemnation with ongoing present results in the present without the necessity of providing an ongoing faith.

Notice that it is belief alone which provides for an individual a state of no condemnation; and verse 18 states that it is not ever having believed which gives one such a tragic status of being destined for the Lake of Fire.

Dr. Robert Wilkin states, [The Grace Report, Monthly Report of the Grace Evangelical Society, Irving, Tx. ges@faithalone.org, Mar 1999, Notes and Letters, p. 4]:

'''Look at John 3:18. The Greek has articular participles in both cases:

"ho pisteuon eis auton"

"he that believes on Him'

lit: "the believing one in Him"

and

"ho me pisteuon eis auton"

"he that does not believe on Him'

lit: "the not believing one on Him"

The articular participle (=the article "the" [='ho'] plus a participle [ex. pisteuon = believing] functions as a verbal noun. Thus ['ho pisteuon' =] 'the one who believes' does not mean ''he who keeps on believing and believing and believing' but means 'the believer.' [i.e., one who at some time exercised a single moment of faith alone in Christ alone]. Anyone who comes to faith in Christ is from that moment forward 'the believer.' Oppositely, ['ho me pisteuon' =] 'the one who does not believe' refers to 'the unbeliever,' someone who has never believed in Christ." '''

iii) [Acts 16:29-31]:

(v. 29) "The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.

(v. 30) He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

(v. 31) They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household."

[Eternal Life, By John W. White

http://www.gracebiblechurch.us/tracts/eternal.html]:

'''In Acts 16:30, 31 is the only place in the Bible where saved is in the question and saved is in the answer.

"... Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."

Paul used the aorist tense of the verb 'believe' and not the present tense. The aorist tense is graphed by using a dot, an event. The present tense is graphed by using a line, which expresses continuous action. You believe one time and you are saved and you do not have to continue to believe to stay saved, as would be the case if the present tense of the verb 'believe' were used.'''

D cont.) SUBORDINATE PURPOSE CLAUSE OF JN 3:16 = "THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT SHOULD HAVE ETERNAL LIFE."

4) SUMMARY OF SUBORDINATE PURPOSE CLAUSE: "THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT SHOULD HAVE ETERNAL LIFE."

Not only has eternal life begun within the individual at the instant that he believes in the Son of God being given up for Him, but the verb "me apoletai" = "should not perish" in the previous clause is in the aorist tense which speaks of a once for all time exclusion from perishing in the Lake of Fire; which condition is also begun at the moment of believing - as God is sovereign and will deliver on His promises.