14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:14–16, NKJV)
Like the serpent Moses lifted up in the wilderness to save Israel from deadly snakes, Jesus has been lifted up on the cross to save mankind from sin’s eternal death. When the Israelites were bitten by snakes, God required an action of faith on their part in order to live and not die. The bitten person would only live when he had faith to look at the serpent on the pole (Num. 21:8-9). Faith alone that God would heal the snake bite was not enough; they had to act in faith and look at the serpent on the pole. Likewise, belief in the Son of God as our Savior from sin requires more than a mere belief that He is the Christ, the Son of God (the demons believe as much, Jas. 2:19; Mk. 1:24, 34). Saving faith is an obedient faith. Without faith acting to repent of sins, confess faith in Christ and be baptized, one’s sins remain (read Acts 2:36-41; 8:35-39). Let us never forget that Christ is “the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Heb. 5:9).