At my high school youth group, my leader introduced a youtube video called The Father's Love Letter. It used Biblical passages to speak to us about how the Lord did all these things for us like formed us in our mother's womb and called us by name. When asked about any comments I had near the end of service, I told my group about how I wasn't sure if those verses applied to me. I didn't know if those words were meant for me. I don't know if I am loved personally and as an individual. I want to know the meaning of John 3:16.
ESV - 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
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You can believe what your youth leader said, absolutely. John 3:16 is such a popular verse because it is a verse that is free of ambiguity. it is very straight forward and clear. "the world" in this verse applies to every single human being. As humans, we are uniquely created by God. Why is it that only humans can create and appreciate art, music, stories. We can think and reason. We are created with the Imago Dei, we are created in the image of God. We are precious and valuable to God. But, as you know, sin entered the world through Adam. God had to allow this choice for Adam because unless Adam was free to choose to not love God, then he never could have been truly free to love God. Love is not love if it is forced, and therefore, we must be free to love God, or to love ourselves. Unfortunately, we have chosen selfishly. However, because God DOES love us, He came down to us - Christ came to earth, lived, experienced, and took our place on the cross. The only reason that Christ was on that cross and suffered like He did was because He loves you. That's it. He paid your penalty for sin, He took your place - because He loves you, and desires to have an intimate and personal relationship with you. So please know and believe - you are precious and loved by God.
God SO LOVED every single human being. Jesus paid for all the sin of every person when He willingly went to the cross. He judged sin completely at this time. He did not die for only certain sins but all the sins. For every person no matter what they have done or will do. We only have to Believe and receive the free gift of believing. Total forgiveness is ours we are washed clean and are white as snow and God remembers the sin no more. We are put in Christ when we believe and receive. Our part is to believe ( Cling to rely on and put total trust in) and receive this wonderful gift of redemption and salvation.
It's helpful to understand the context in which a passage appears. John 3:16 is not necessarily a passage about God's love for the individual. It's really an expression of God's love corporately. In other words, all of us who are sinners because all of us have sinned. It's essentially saying He sent His Son to the whole world so the opportunity could be given to believe in His Son, and thus be saved FROM YOUR SINS. Not just the penalty of your sins. The bible states very clearly that those who continue to practice sinning do not have their penalty paid for, but will reap what they sow. Those who live according to the flesh (sin), everlasting destruction. To those who believe and endure in their faith, eternal life. Rom 2:6 He will render to each one according to his works: Rom 2:7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; Rom 2:8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. Rom 2:9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, Rom 2:10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. Rom 2:11 For God shows no partiality. What you can take comfort,in and rejoice about is this...you can put your faith in Jesus Christ knowing this verse WAS meant for you. It is meant for everyone. If you live by faith, you will be saved. And faith means living a righteous life. Jesus promises this is an easy burden,and His Holy Spirit helps us accomplish it. But you have to want it. It's not an easy life of saying you believe and then living a life of sin. Remember, sin by the biblical definition, is an act of hatred that violates someone else's rights, and is unloving. Living righteously is the opposite...it's love. Christlike love does not sin against another.
In the Bible the word “world” (Greek, ko′smos) often designates unrighteous human society, which “is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) Because Christians comply with Jehovah’s standards and also heed the command to preach the good news of God’s Kingdom to the world, sometimes a difficult relationship has existed between them and the world. (2 Timothy 3:12; 1 John 3:1, 13) However, ko′smos is also used in Scripture to refer to the human family in general. Speaking of the world in this sense, Jesus said: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life. For God sent forth his Son into the world, not for him to judge the world, but for the world to be saved through him.” (John 3:16, 17; 2 Corinthians 5:19; 1 John 4:14) So, while hating the things that characterize Satan’s wicked system, Jehovah showed his love for mankind by sending his Son to earth in order to save all who would “attain to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9; Proverbs 6:16-19) Jehovah’s balanced attitude toward the world should guide his worshipers.
I believe it is not correct to over think a verse, storing faith alone like that if a child is your guide, children just believe.
I feel that the verse is saying, If you you believe in me...I shall live in you forever!!!
Know in this verse it says (God so loved the world) so we know that but what is this verse says John:17:9 I don't pray for the world If you love one you pray for one Now this is Jesus saying
The verse St John 3:16 must be taken as written: God does love you as a person and as an individual; but when it comes to the world, He does not love it anymore. The word that suggest that is "Loved", which is past tense. Also, remember God said in Isaiah 65:17 'For behold I will create new heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered nor come into mind.2 Peter 3:10 (paraphase) The heavens shall pass away, the earth and the works in it shall be burned up. Elder Lionel Grant
The term "the world" means each individual in the world --- at least it does to me. When I first read it, I thought who am I compared to all the people there have been in the past, are here now, and will be in the future? That made me feel very insignificant and caused me to doubt how much Jesus' death was really for me. The Lord revealed to me that this was a tool of Satan! Now I realize that it was like Jesus died a separate death for EACH of us. All my sins --- past, present, and future were paid for in full right then! That was how personal it was for Jesus and it should be that personal for YOU too. All that sin in the same place & the same time caused the entire area to become dark in the middle of the day. I realized that if I had been the only one alive then, Jesus would have been willing to die that same death on the cross just for ME. Believe me --- He loves YOU just as much as He does me. What a Wonderful Savior we EACH have! Accept Him and His forgiveness today!
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