Jesus died for all the believing ones (John 3:16). John 3:16 is speaking of God’s saving love.
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 HCSB)
How did God love the world? By giving His Son.
Why? So that everyone who believes will not perish but have eternal life.
Therefore, God gave His son for “everyone who believes.” We see in this same section that this is not for everyone, as verse 18 tells us “anyone who does not believe is already condemned.”
The chain of redemption is explained by Jesus Himself in John 6, particularly John 6:35-45.
- The Father elects some for eternal life and gives those elect to the Son. The ones the Father elects absolutely will go to the Son. See Verse 37: “Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out.”
- All those elected by the Father will be saved, none will be lost and all the elect will be resurrected for eternal life. See verse 39b: “I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day.”
- The Father’s will is for all who are given, thus believe, to have eternal life. See verse 40: ” For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
- Because of the depravity of man, no man will believe and no man will go to the Father unless they are elect (given by the Father to the Son). See verse 44a: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.”
- God restates His irresistible grace in verse 45b: “Everyone who has listened to and learned from the Father comes to Me.”
When Jesus died, he did not make salvation possible, rather, when he said “It is finished” (John 19:30), he was referring to the complete salvation of the saints.
This doctrine is stated plainly throughout scripture, but I will conclude with just one more. I leave you with Romans 8:28-30, without comment, I’ll allow the plain reading of this scripture to defend itself:
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.”
Predestined -> Called -> Justified -> Glorified.