Introduction: You undoubtedly have opinions on many things. I know I
do. On some issues I think my opinion is important because I know a
lot about the subject. On other issues I know very little and want to
learn more from those who are knowledgeable on the subject. On many
issues, what I think doesn’t really matter. On a few issues, my
opinion can change things. What is the most important issue on which
we can have an opinion? I think it is the question of eternal life.
Who is most informed on that subject? Jesus! What He did changed the
course of human history. Let’s jump into our study of the Bible and
learn more about Jesus’ opinion on salvation!

  1. Salvation’s Source

    1. Read John 8:12. “Light of life.” What a great phrase!
      What do you think it means?

      1. What is the advantage of light normally? (You can see
        what to do. I think the “light of life” means that
        Jesus shares with us what to do. Following Jesus
        gives us the secret to a better life.)

    2. Read John 8:13. What kind of objection is this? (This is a
      lawyer’s objection.)

      1. What logical point are the Pharisees making? (A
        person is motivated to slant the truth to favor
        himself. In an American court, that would be grounds
        to argue bias, but it does not invalidate the
        person’s testimony.)

    3. Read John 8:14. What is Jesus’ argument about the validity
      of His testimony? (He says that he has first-hand
      information about who He is. The Pharisees know nothing
      about the subject. Jesus has the most informed opinion.)

    4. Read John 8:15-18. What other reason does Jesus argue for
      the validity of His testimony? (He has two witnesses, His
      Father and Himself.)

      1. Read Deuteronomy 17:6 and Deuteronomy 19:15. This is
        the legal rule cited by the Pharisees. What problem
        do you see with applying this rule to the testimony
        of Jesus? (This is a witness rule for convicting
        criminals, particularly where death is the penalty.)

        1. What does this say about the view of the
          Pharisees about Jesus’ teachings? (Either they
          are misstating the legal rule, or they
          understand that Jesus is teaching about very
          important matters – matters of life and death.)

    5. Read John 8:21-24. What is Jesus teaching about? (He is
      teaching about life and death matters.)

      1. What is at the heart of our salvation? (Believing
        that Jesus is God. Believing that Jesus is divine.
        Believing that Jesus can take away our sins.)

    6. Read John 8:25-26. Do you think “Who are you?” is a
      serious question?

    7. Read John 8:27-30. What does this say about the state of
      mind of the listeners? (They did not clearly understand
      what Jesus was telling them.)

      1. How will Jesus being crucified (“lifted up”) help
        them to understand His divine nature? Doesn’t that
        confuse the issue? (Truth will dawn on them as they
        see His crucifixion and remember what He said. More
        important, this gets to the heart of salvation. The
        sacrificial lamb in the sanctuary service represented
        Jesus. It is Jesus’ life, death and resurrection
        that, as Jesus clearly stated ( John 8:24), is the
        only way to eternal life.)

    8. Read John 8:31-33. Have you ever been in a debate and the
      person on the other side is seriously deluded? (Abraham’s
      descendants were taken captive by the Babylonians, and
      they are now subject to the rule of the Romans.)

      1. What kind of slavery (“truth will set you free”) do
        you think Jesus means?

    9. Read John 8:34-36. Jesus makes clear here that He is
      talking about the slavery of sin. But, He goes on to talk
      about slaves, sons and being permanent members of the
      family. This raises several questions:

      1. What family is He talking about?

      2. What does sin have to do with being a son in this

      3. Why does sin control how long you are a member of
        this family?

    10. Read Romans 6:23. What does sin bring? (Death. The slave
      to sin will not be a part of the family of God. The slave
      set free from the penalty of sin becomes a permanent
      member of the family of God.)

      1. When do we secure a permanent place in the family of
        God? (When we accept the light of truth: Jesus is the
        only way for us to be saved and enter into eternal

    11. Read John 8:37-38. What claim is Jesus making? (That He
      has been in the presence of God the Father. This is a
      clear claim to be the Messiah.)

      1. Who is the father of those who want to kill those who
        disagree with them theologically? (Satan.)

    12. Read John 8:39-41. Do these religious leaders know about
      Jesus? (Yes. Notice the insult, “we are not illegitimate
      children.” They are talking about Jesus’ human birth. I
      suppose they did not appreciate Jesus’ statement that they
      were the children of Satan.)

    13. Read John 8:42-47. Do you think Jesus is clear in what He
      is saying? Do you understand it? (Jesus unambiguously says
      God the Father sent Me to share the truth of salvation
      with you.)

      1. Have you been in a debate with a pagan who seems to
        be unable to think clearly, who cannot understand the
        most basic truth?

    14. Read John 8:48-51 and John 8:58-59. What is Jesus’ claim?
      (Read Exodus 3:14. Jesus is unambiguously saying that He
      is God – and the listeners understood exactly what He was
      saying because they were going to stone Him for saying it.
      Jesus tells us that if we keep His word, the word that He
      is the God who died for us, we “will never see death.”)

  2. Salvation’s Motive

    1. Nicodemus, an important religious leader, and Jesus are
      having a conversation. Let’s listen in by reading John
      3:13-15. Why would Jesus compare himself to Moses’ snake?

    2. Let’s consider this history. Read Numbers 21:4-5. What do
      you think about the people’s complaints?

    3. Read Numbers 21:6-9. What was the key to surviving snake
      bite? (Looking at the snake.)

      1. What is the logic of this? (I think it represented
        the people looking at their sin and its

      2. How is this like Jesus being raised on the cross?
        (When we consider the agony of Jesus’ crucifixion, we
        look upon our sin and its consequences. It is a
        sobering view.)

    4. Read John 3:16. Why would God the Father and Jesus the Son
      go through such a horrific thing for us? (He loved us!)

    5. Read John 3:17. I feel terribly condemned and guilty when
      I consider what my sin did to Jesus. Is that how Jesus
      wants me to react? (The point is not simply to make us
      feel badly. The point is that Jesus’ death saves me from
      my sin. Just like looking at the serpent in the
      wilderness saved the people from certain death from
      poisoning, so Jesus saves us from the certain death of

    6. Read John 3:18. What is the key to salvation? (Belief in
      Jesus. Consider how many times we have read that same
      statement in the various Bible texts we have studied in
      this lesson.)

    7. Read John 3:19-21. Recall that we started this study with
      a discussion of light ( John 8:12)? Why would anyone reject
      Jesus’ offer of eternal life? Why would anyone bitten by
      the snake not look at it? (We don’t want to leave our sin.
      We don’t want to live a transparent life.)

    8. Friend, Jesus is the only way to eternal life. It is a
      free gift. Will you ask the Holy Spirit to help you to
      want to live in the light, face the sinfulness of your
      life, and accept Jesus’ free gift of salvation?

  3. Next week: How to Be Saved.