135. If you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins (John 8:24).
Here is perhaps the clearest presentation of the Gospel for modern understanding. The necessity is to believe that Jesus is the One. Of course, there’s more involved than mere mental assent. Like the woman caught in adultery, we are caught in our own sin and must now go and sin no more. But here, Jesus elevates the idea of “believe” above all else. For John, “believe” means complete new direction for life. To believe is to reroute your direction and follow after Him. Makes sense, for if God is here, how could we sensibly choose any other path?