John 3:16 Meaning

The Meaning of John 3:16

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John 3:16 Meaning
JOHN 3 BIBLE STUDY
John 3:14-15 Bronze Snake

John 3:16-21 Meaning

John 3:22-28 Judea
John 3:29-36 Bride and Bridegroom
JOHN 3:16  16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Why is John 3:16 the most famous verse in the Bible?
John 3:16 summarizes the Gospel - the good news of the Bible - in one verse.

Who is “God” in John 3:16?
God the Father.

Who is “His only begotten Son” (John 3:16)?
Jesus, who is God the Son (see John 1).

What is meant by “gave” in John 3:16?
God the Father told Jesus, who is sinless, to die on the cross to pay the death penalty due for our sins, and Jesus obeyed Him (see John 18).

What is the meaning of “so” in John 3:16?
ουτως (houtos), the original Greek word translated “so,” means “in this manner” and is actually the first word in John 3:16, a more literal translation of which would begin, “For in this manner God loved the world ...”

In what manner?
In the manner of what was described in the verse just before John 3:16 (see Bronze Snake).

What is meant by “the world” in John 3:16?
It does not mean the physical earth or plants or animals, but us human beings.

What is the meaning of “everlasting life” in John 3:16?
See everlasting life.

Who has “everlasting life”?
“Whoever believes in” (John 3:16) Jesus.

Believes what about Jesus?
That He is God the Son who loves God the Father and us so much that He came and paid the death penalty due for our sins, and that His substitutionary death cleared my path to heaven. To have everlasting life, we need to believe THAT about Jesus. Also see Father, forgive them.

What is meant by “perish” in John 3:16?
It does not mean dying or ceasing to exist. It means languishing forever in the fire of hell.

Who will go to hell?
All sinners whose sins have not been paid for by Jesus (see below).

“What if I don’t feel like a sinner?”
According to the Bible, a sinner isn’t just a murderer or a rapist. It’s everyone who fails to meet God’s standard of perfect holiness. The Bible declares, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is everlasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

JOHN 3:17-18  17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Did Jesus come to “condemn the world”?
John 3:17 says that He came to save it.

But how do those who don’t believe in Jesus end up?
“Condemned” (John 3:18).

JOHN 3:19-21  19 “And this is the condemnation, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light because their actions were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light and does not come to the Light, so that his actions may not be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the Light, so that his actions may be seen plainly, that they have been done in God.”

Why don’t people believe in Jesus?
Many who reject Jesus cite the presence of hypocrites among self-proclaimed Christians. When asked to bypass everyone except Jesus and asked why they don’t believe in Him, many of them then cite the supposed opposition of science to the Bible. When those objections are neutralized (see examples), most of them still don’t believe.

Why not?
Their objections are the excuses, not the reason, for their unbelief. The real reason they do “not come to the Light” (John 3:20) is that they love their sins, referred to as “darkness” and “actions” that are “evil” in John 3:19-20.

Are there any sins in your life, your love for which is making you turn away from Jesus?
 

How do you think Nicodemus felt as he left Jesus that night?
Probably somewhat overwhelmed.

Was this a missed opportunity for Jesus’ ministry?
Nicodemus was the equivalent of a modern day Senator, a state supreme court justice and a seminary president rolled into one. He had power, connections to even more power, and had sounded favorably disposed to Jesus. There were theological differences but if common ground could be found and a man like Nicodemus brought on board, it could take Jesus’ ministry to the next level...

Did Jesus demonstrate such modern day strategy for ministry growth?
Jesus relied on no man and forsook earthly power, money, and taught us to rely only on God, for, “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1).

What happened to Nicodemus hereafter?
We meet Nicodemus twice more in the remainder of the Gospel of John. In John 7:50-52, he stands up for Jesus in front of his peers, and John 19:38-39 records him as one of the two disciples of Jesus who cleaned and buried His crucified body in His tomb of resurrection (photo). So if you too are seeking the truth but feel overwhelmed at first, be encouraged.

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