What a wonderful Book, this “Gospel According to John!” We know that all scripture is “given by inspiration of God” or “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16), and this book is certainly no exception! John was a close disciple of Jesus and knew Him very well, but even he admits that it was only after Jesus rose from the dead and sent the Holy Spirit that he and the disciples remembered everything and had proper understanding in order to write the New Testament books (7:39, 3:22). According to John, Jesus had predicted this would be the case (14:25, 16:4).
The Gospel of John tells us so much about Christ and His message to mankind while He was on this earth, but John has to point out to the reader (as he was led by the Spirit, of course) that Jesus did many other things that were not recorded in his gospel account. At the close of his gospel, John writes,
"And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written."
But he explains in 20:30-31 why he has included these particular "things which Jesus did:"
And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
So we see that John is concerned about souls trusting in Christ and being saved. This should be our concern as well! For this reason, the book of John is a great book for us to learn and memorize. It is no wonder then why one of the first verses we all learned in Sunday School was John 3:16,
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
So first of all, before we discuss the miracles of Christ, recorded in this book, we should take a quick trip through the book to see what else is said about believing in Christ and having eternal life.” What exactly did Jesus teach was the way to Heaven?
1:12 Receive Him/Believe on His name
3:15-18 Believe in the Son of God
3:36 Believe on the Son
4:14 Drink this "Water" (metaphoric for believing/receiving Christ)
5:24 Hear Jesus' words/Believe in the Father Who has sent Jesus
5:39,40 Come to Jesus of Whom the Old Testament testifies
6:27-29 Believe on Him of Whom the Father sent
6:35, 40 Come to Jesus/Believe on Jesus
6:47 Believe on Jesus
6:51 Eat (consume) Jesus (metaphoric for believing/receiving)
6:54 Eat Jesus' flesh/Drink His blood (see previous)
8:12 Follow Jesus for spiritual "light of life"
8:51 Keep (believe/receive) His sayings (in context, that He is. An implication made in the chapter that He is the "I am" of the Old Testament)
10:27,28 Hear Jesus' "Voice"/Follow Him
11:25,26 Believe in Jesus, that He is the Christ, the Son of God
14:6 Jesus is the Way to the Father (and "life")
15:6 Abide in Jesus
17:2,3 Know the only true God and Jesus Whom He sent
20:31 Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God
Many other passages could be added from John's gospel, but these are the absolute clearest about salvation. It's pretty simple--believe in the Jesus of the Bible and receive Him as the Savior of your eternal soul! Unfortunately, there is much confusion out there that needs not to be there. Let me say just a few things to clear up some of the confusion.
1. This "believing" and "receiving" is manifested by our actions. The Bible is clear that we cannot do anything (works) to merit our salvation, but "works" are an evidence that we truly believe. If you believe Jesus, you will try to follow His instructions for your life.
2. Repeating a prayer is not necessarily believing. However, a "confession'" to Jesus and to others, that you believe Jesus and trust Him for your salvation is one of those "works" that is the physical evidence that you have truly "come to faith" in the Lord.
3. Don't be confused about the matter of baptism (the word means to be immersed, or "covered" in something). Some refer to salvation as "baptism of the Spirit," but when we talk about "water baptism," this is not salvation. Again, it is a manifestation of your faith and obedience in following Christ.
I hope this is as clear to others as I think it is in my own head. I pray that God will bless His word. Any comments or questions are surely welcome.