The Most Famous Verse

26 July 2014

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
john 3:16

John 3:16 is commonly used as an offering of salvation to anyone who will believe. Those that do not believe are told that they are doomed to hell because they did not believe verse 16. This “decisional salvation” is probably the most dominant doctrine taught under the Christian umbrella today. However, it is wrong today just like it was wrong in Jesus’ day. That was the very thought process that Jesus rebuked in Nicodemus!

We have already seen that this most famous verse in all the Bible is a declaration of salvation for all of God’s elect not just the Jews. It is not a conditional offering of salvation if you choose to believe. Belief in this context is clearly shown to be an evidence, not a cause, of salvation.

If there is any doubt of my interpretation of this scripture, let’s take a look at the following verse which is a continuation of the point Jesus made.

“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:17)

Verse 17 tells us that Jesus did not come to condemn anyone. Therefore, verse 16 should not be used as a way to coerce belief with the threat of condemnation out of anyone!

John 3:16 is perhaps one of the most beautiful texts in the Bible. It tells us that God loves His elect children so much that He is willing to have His only begotten son die so that we could be saved. This is a glorious declaration of the love of God!

Why would we want to decrease the value of this wonderful verse by making Jesus look like a “potential savior” if the hearer will just believe? Why should we portray the King of kings and the Lord of lords as a poor beggar unable to save without our help?

No, Jesus is not a potential savior. He is the risen Savior! This verse is not God offering you salvation if you will just believe. Jesus offered Himself once, and it was not to you or me. Our Great High Priest offered Himself to God as the perfect Lamb of God!

To put it more simply, this verse is declaring to us why Jesus had to die. He had to die so that we might live!

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10th December 2017 20:16

Tags: atonement, doctrine, harmony_of_the_gospels, jesus, john, nicodemus, salvation

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Elder Bryce Lowrance

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