What I’m Thinking: God’s Intentions


John 3:16 deserves its place as a well-loved, well-remembered verse. But it can be, and has been, used to exclude. It’s important to read John 3:17 as well.

Here’s a transcript:

The gospel lesson for this coming Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent, is found in the third chapter of John, and it includes one of the most famous verses in the entire Bible. It’s the one that… the reference is written on signs and held up at sporting events. You’ve seen it. 

It’s John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that whoever believed in him might not perish, but have eternal life.

The problem with John 3:16 is that it can be read to include some and exclude others, and frequently – despite it’s being such a wide open declaration of the love of God – frequently that’s exactly what it’s used for.

So I urge you to also read John 3:17: that God sent not the son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved.

The intent of God is not condemnation, but salvation; not exclusion, but inclusion; not thrusting away, but embracing and welcoming.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking, so please leave me your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on March 4, 2018

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