Sunday, January 13, 2013

What is John 3:16?

People always quote it, it is on billboards, sides of buses and some guy will hold a sign up at the big game that says "John 3:16." What is the big deal?

The John 3:16 reference is to the third chapter of the Gospel of John and the 16th verse. These are some of the words that Christ spoke to a man who was looking for Heaven. The man, Nicodemus, spent his whole life looking to have the approval and blessing of The Lord. Even though he is considered old he had yet to find satisfaction in his search for meaning, purpose, and knowledge of God. It is to this man who is seeking that Jesus says. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16, NIV.

This one statement makes many points.
1. God loves you.
He already loves you, it is not something that will happen after you win or earn his love. He loves you now. In saying Our Father in Heaven loves the world is a measureless love, it implies that The Lord loves the worst human being you can think of because if God loves the world he loves us all no matter how bad we are.

2. God Acts.
His love moves God to act, he is not just sitting on a cloud full of warm feelings of good will toward mankind. He sees our greatest need (salvation from sins and judgment) and acts. If God does something it is done completely, no one can or need to add to it.

3. God Gave
He gives his one and only son, Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins. He gave is a past tense word, we do not need to look forward to a distant hope we have the substance in the cross of Jesus- it is done.

4. "Whoever" is an open invitation
The word whoever does not exclude any. Admittance is not earned by good deeds, payments or services, those who come do so empty handed. It is not the righteous, for none really are righteous but any who is a needy guilty seeker may come.

5. The requirement
We are only required to believe. We believe that God sent his son Jesus to die on the cross to pay for our sins by taking our punishment upon himself and arose the third day victorious over death and judgment.

6. Shall NOT
In some circles the word "Shall" is a soft word and is used in a way that is qualified, it has become synonymous with "possibly" or "likely;" but the way it was used in the ancient language is a definite, it means absolute and with no doubt. It is a certainty that those who believe in Jesus will not face damnation

7. Eternal Life
The Lord offers eternal life to those who believe. Not life for a while but eternal life without the fear of ever ending. Not just eternal existence but eternal life, the implication is a life of activity, service, joy, blessing, peace, love, and all the good things that God built in us to desire will be satisfied.

God does it all, he loves us, he sees our need, he pays for our sin, and gives eternal life to those who will accept it.

John 3:16 is a promise made by the Holy True God who is all-powerful. He will not make a promise he can't or won't keep. To accept the promise is to accept salvation and Jesus into your life; to reject the promise is an insult to a loving God and very foolish.

To learn more about the plan of salvation click on the tab titled The Gospel above.


Thank you for visiting this blog. I hope these thoughts are helpful for you.

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You can contact me through comments or the email link. If you live near Columbia MD I would be glad to meet you and discuss how you can know for sure that you may have eternal life.


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