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To Save the World
Sunday, March 27 2011

"For God so loved the world..."

One of the most common verses quoted from the Bible comes from John 3:16, and it says,

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life." - John 3:16 NAB

For many, this is a statement of our faith.  It describes, in one single verse, the whole essence of Christianity.  But, my personal favorite verse is the very next.

"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him." - John 3:17 NAB

In John 3:17, it sends an important message.  Christ did not come to condemn us; He came to redeem us.  Many Catholics, many Christians for that matter, see God through fearful eyes, but this verse reminds us of the love that He brings to us.  Like any parent, Our Father will occasionally reprimand or punish us, but it is only out of love.  What He really wants is for us to find redemption in His Son, Jesus Christ.

One important point that I would like to make about our study of Scripture is that we need to go beyond simply memorizing a few verses.  Only by reading the entire text would you come to John 3:17.  Years ago, when I first became Christian, I looked up John 3:16 after hearing it spoken so many times.  By continuing to read, I found a deeper truth that would not be there if I had simply read that one verse.

In the end, no one will be impressed by your ability to memorize a large number of individual Scriptures, including God Himself.  Instead, immerse yourself in the Bible.  Study and understand the deeper meanings of the Scriptures.  When you think that you have found an excellent verse to study, keep reading!


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