1.       JOHN 3:16 – Most popular verse about salvation (to most)


2.       Look at the context


     A.      Explain the beginning of the chapter – Nicodemus came to Jesus


     B.      Read John 3:14-21


     C.      Read Numbers 21:1-9




John 3:14  "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;…..????


Serpent’s Bite - Num. 21:6

The LORD sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. 


                                   - Malady -       Man’s Helplessness


1.       Picture their helplessness

          A.      In desert – no protection – snakes all around

          B.      Try to kill all you can – hold them at bay – they keep coming

          C.      Friends dying – they’re on you before you know it

          D.      Death all around – stink – bodies to bury

          E.      Had to come to the conclusion – they were helpless


                                   Sin:   Rom. 6:23

Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death,

2.       Picture OUR helplessness

          A.      People want to do it themselves

          B.      Can’t be “good enough” – can’t “make up” for what we have done

          C.      Men’s denominations can’t do it – being religious isn’t enough

          D.      Must come to the conclusion – we are helpless


                        Lifted Bronze Serpent - Num. 21:7-8

(7)  So the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned, because we have spoken against the LORD and you; intercede with the LORD, that He may remove the serpents from us." And Moses interceded for the people. 

(8) Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live." 


                                                  - Remedy -  God’s Grace

          A.      Only followed by their coming to repentance

          B.      Not just a “form”-“complying with law” – heavy hearts realizing what they have done

          C.      God provided a way to be saved – picture of God’s Grace

          D.      Seemed foolish – took faith –

          E.      Don’t look at the ground (where the serpents were)

          F.      LOOK UP!


                                                Lifted Christ:  Phil. 2:6-9; Acts 4:11-12

Philippians 2:5-9  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,  (6)  who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,  (7)  but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  (8)  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  (9)  For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,


Act 4:10-12  let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead--by this name this man stands here before you in good health.  (11)  "He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone.

(12)  "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."


1.       Jesus lifted up in two ways ---- by cross ---exalted by God

2.       Salvation provided by God’s Grace



        Believe and Look - Num. 21:9

(9)  And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.


                 - Appropriation (i.e. how is this remedy obtained?) – Man’s Faith

1.       Do you suppose you would understand the instructions?

2.       Suppose you chose not to look?  Would you die?

3.       Would you think that your “looking” saved you?  That you earned it?


                                                Belief & Baptism: Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38


Mark 16:16  "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.


Acts 2:38  Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.


1.       Does that mean that you earned your salvation?

2.       That you saved yourself?

3.       That’s what denominations are teaching about baptism


They Lived - Num. 21:9

(9)  And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.


                                      - Blessings –   God’s Salvation


1.       The end result of their faith (doing what God said – not just believing)

2.       See Hebrews 11 if time

3.       See James 2 if time

4.       The Hebrews who could go on from there were saved by “grace through faith”

5.       All others died!


                                      Saved:  Acts 2:47; Rev. 2:10

Acts 2:47  praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.


Rev 2:10  'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.


Eph 2:8-10  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  (9)  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  (10)  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.


THAT IS WHAT JESUS MEANT BY John 3:14  "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up


Is Christ Lifted in Vain for You?


(to the Jews who were seeking to kill Him…..)

John 5:38-40  "You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.  (39)  "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;  (40)  and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.