John 3:16

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NotmebutHim

Senior Member
May 17, 2015
1,560
166
63
#1
I've been thinking about John 3:16 recently, and I have a few thoughts (and perhaps questions) about it.

"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".

First, I was raised with the belief that this verse is part of the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. In other words, Jesus said this to Nicodemus directly.

However, I've heard some say that this verse is part of John's own commentary on the exchange between Nicodemus and Jesus. That is, they say that the Holy Spirit inspired John to write it, but it wasn't necessarily Christ's spoken words to Nicodemus.

To be sure, I don't see this difference as a doctrinal issue. But it is something worth looking into.

Another point is that in the John's Gospel, Jesus always referred to God the Father as "Father", as opposed to "God". What I'm getting to is that, if Jesus said this verse directly to Nicodemus, wouldn't He have said "For My Father so loved the world..........."?

Third, some have disagreed as to the meaning of the phrase "For God so loved the world". Does it mean that "God loved the world so much" or "God loved the world in this way (or manner)"? The second interpretation would be in light of the preceding verses.

I welcome your thoughts and input on this. And no, I won't come "biting back" if anyone disputes what I've said. That's what a Christian discussion forum is for, right?

:cool:
 

dcontroversal

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2013
30,510
1,510
113
#2
Well...the word for world is KOSMOS.....and means the whole order of things.....God was not only redeeming mankind, but also taking back the keys of life and death from the one whom Adam forfeited them to......just something to ponder....

For God so loved the whole order of things...........I.E>all of creation.......with man as the pinnacle of creation
 

OneFaith

Senior Member
Sep 5, 2016
2,114
277
83
#3
“Greater love has no one than this- that they lay their life down for their friends.” God is Love, so He loved to the ultimate level- to give His life for those He loves. Yes, He did it for the entire world (every person) but God loves even His enemies that are going to hell. So you have to look at “should not perish” - you should obey the gospel so that you do not perish. Belief alone does not get anyone to heaven- even demons believe.
 

dcontroversal

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2013
30,510
1,510
113
#4
“Greater love has no one than this- that they lay their life down for their friends.” God is Love, so He loved to the ultimate level- to give His life for those He loves. Yes, He did it for the entire world (every person) but God loves even His enemies that are going to hell. So you have to look at “should not perish” - you should obey the gospel so that you do not perish. Belief alone does not get anyone to heaven- even demons believe.
This post and the reference to demons misses the mark by about 100 light years....SAVING faith into the work of CHRIST is NOT the BELIEF in GOD that demons have and that which is referenced in JAMES......the best thing you can do is start paying attention to context...serious!
 

trofimus

Senior Member
Aug 17, 2015
9,661
459
83
#5
I've been thinking about John 3:16 recently, and I have a few thoughts (and perhaps questions) about it.

"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".

First, I was raised with the belief that this verse is part of the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. In other words, Jesus said this to Nicodemus directly.

However, I've heard some say that this verse is part of John's own commentary on the exchange between Nicodemus and Jesus. That is, they say that the Holy Spirit inspired John to write it, but it wasn't necessarily Christ's spoken words to Nicodemus.

To be sure, I don't see this difference as a doctrinal issue. But it is something worth looking into.

Another point is that in the John's Gospel, Jesus always referred to God the Father as "Father", as opposed to "God". What I'm getting to is that, if Jesus said this verse directly to Nicodemus, wouldn't He have said "For My Father so loved the world..........."?
Yeah, it seems its a commentary of a third person put into the text.

Third, some have disagreed as to the meaning of the phrase "For God so loved the world". Does it mean that "God loved the world so much" or "God loved the world in this way (or manner)"?
It means "in this way".
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
5,970
669
113
#6
However, I've heard some say that this verse is part of John's own commentary on the exchange between Nicodemus and Jesus.
There is absolutely no reason to suggest that the whole section from verse 3 to verse 21 does NOT in fact give us the words of Christ Himself. That is a record of His words, and this passage is too important and critical to be a "commentary". Only Christ could present these truths to us. So don't believe those who try to change the significance of the words of Christ. There is a natural termination of His words at verse 22. Then we have John the Baptizer's words from verse 23 to 36.
Another point is that in the John's Gospel, Jesus always referred to God the Father as "Father", as opposed to "God". What I'm getting to is that, if Jesus said this verse directly to Nicodemus, wouldn't He have said "For My Father so loved the world..........."?
Not at all. Jesus was establishing a UNIVERSAL TRUTH, not trying to show that God was His Father. The whole world was meant to hear that it was the one true God who "so loved the world".
Third, some have disagreed as to the meaning of the phrase "For God so loved the world". Does it mean that "God loved the world so much" or "God loved the world in this way (or manner)"? The second interpretation would be in light of the preceding verses.
Why can it not have BOTH MEANINGS? "So much" as well as "in this way".
 

Waggles

Senior Member
Sep 21, 2017
2,028
383
83
South Australia
adelaiderevival.com
#7
It is about sacrifice
the willingness to undertake a sacrificial atonement so that
millions and millions of people could be reconciled to God.

But John 3:16 also raises the issue of what it is that a person
believes - to believe Jesus is to obey his commandments.
And a few verses earlier Jesus is telling Nicodemus that a person
must [mandatory] be born new again by water baptism and by
Holy Spirit baptism in order to enter the Kingdom of God.
 

dcontroversal

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2013
30,510
1,510
113
#9
Baptism does not save, does not add to salvation does not top off salvation....it is a work of righteousness, the 1st act of obedience, is a picture and public testimony of what has taken place inwardly in Christ, states to the world that you are dead to the old man, buried with Christ and risen a new creation in Christ....

The contradiction in JOHN prior to verse 16 is the not about BELIEF and WATER immersion.....that which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of SPIRIT is SPIRIT............the inference is obvious......
 

Bladerunner

Senior Member
Aug 22, 2016
3,064
44
48
#10
It is about sacrifice
the willingness to undertake a sacrificial atonement so that
millions and millions of people could be reconciled to God.

But John 3:16 also raises the issue of what it is that a person
believes - to believe Jesus is to obey his commandments.
And a few verses earlier Jesus is telling Nicodemus that a person
must [mandatory] be born new again by water baptism and by
Holy Spirit baptism in order to enter the Kingdom of God.
What one has to realize that Mat, Mark, Luke and John were prior to the crucifixion. They were first still under the Law and were teaching to the Jews at this time.

After the Crucifixion, Burial, Resurrection + 40 days the Church Age was born. Through this period of time, we see the transition from the Law to the Church Age. This no more evident in the Book of Acts. Peter, John were teaching the Jews (First) and if they did not believe, then they were to take the Gospel to the Gentiles.... This is why you see the consolidation of different periods in first few chapters of Acts.

After Chapter 7 and Steven's death, the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:1-4) is being taught without the Baptism part or what I like to call --(with a twist). If you want a water baptism (mostly Jews ask for this), you are questioned about who do you believe Jesus to be first. Thus, when your answer is that Jesus is the Son of GOD you believe in his Gospel you are saved and receive the Holy Spirit and then get Baptized.

I believe there will be a huge number of people out of the various churches that are generally apostate toward the Gospel who will get saved before that apostasy comes into play. (WHY?---Example below)

Lets say, I am in a CoC church where Baptism is believed to be a integral part of salvation. At some point in time whether at church or in a hay field, I get called by Jesus and become saved. When I tell the Church of my being saved, they tell me that I have to have Baptism to complete the salvation. Here, I have been saved in spite of the CoC and their beliefs.

I believe all Churches in the world have a percentage of all seven problems noted by Jesus' letters to the churches in Rev. Each will have a different mixture of percentages but percentages they will have. Simply look to your church and it is easy to identify.

This I believe is the reason all the Lampstands (candle-sticks-KJV) representing the seven churches in Rev. 2,3 are in Heaven as we see in Chapter 1. of Rev.
 
Nov 19, 2016
258
6
0
#11
John 3:11 `Verily, verily, I say to thee -- What we have known we speak, and what we have seen we testify, and our testimony ye do not receive;

12 if the earthly things I said to you, and ye do not believe, how, if I shall say to you the heavenly things, will ye believe?


13 and no one hath gone up to the heaven, except he who out of the heaven came down -- the Son of Man who is in the heaven.


14 `And as Moses did lift up the serpent in the wilderness, so it behoveth the Son of Man to be lifted up,


15 that every one who is believing in him may not perish, but may have life age-during,


16 for God did so love the world, that His Son -- the only begotten -- He gave, that every one who is believing in him may not perish, but may have life age-during.


17 For God did not send His Son to the world that he may judge the world, but that the world may be saved through him;
 
Dec 28, 2016
5,455
172
63
#12
I've been thinking about John 3:16 recently, and I have a few thoughts (and perhaps questions) about it.

"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".

First, I was raised with the belief that this verse is part of the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. In other words, Jesus said this to Nicodemus directly.

However, I've heard some say that this verse is part of John's own commentary on the exchange between Nicodemus and Jesus. That is, they say that the Holy Spirit inspired John to write it, but it wasn't necessarily Christ's spoken words to Nicodemus.

To be sure, I don't see this difference as a doctrinal issue. But it is something worth looking into.

Another point is that in the John's Gospel, Jesus always referred to God the Father as "Father", as opposed to "God". What I'm getting to is that, if Jesus said this verse directly to Nicodemus, wouldn't He have said "For My Father so loved the world..........."?

Third, some have disagreed as to the meaning of the phrase "For God so loved the world". Does it mean that "God loved the world so much" or "God loved the world in this way (or manner)"? The second interpretation would be in light of the preceding verses.

I welcome your thoughts and input on this. And no, I won't come "biting back" if anyone disputes what I've said. That's what a Christian discussion forum is for, right?

:cool:
IIRC, one of my NIV's(2011) has a footnote stating that in some earlier mss, the quotation from Jesus ended at verse 15.
 

mailmandan

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2014
15,489
1,456
113
52
#14
This post and the reference to demons misses the mark by about 100 light years....SAVING faith into the work of CHRIST is NOT the BELIEF in GOD that demons have and that which is referenced in JAMES......the best thing you can do is start paying attention to context...serious!
Amen! In James 2:19, we see that the demons believe "mental assent" that "there is one God" but they do not believe/entrust their spiritual well being to Christ; have faith/reliance upon Christ for salvation.

In other words they do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and are not saved (Acts 16:31). Their trust and reliance is in Satan, as demonstrated by their rebellion in heaven and continuous evil works.
 
Dec 28, 2016
5,455
172
63
#15
I've been thinking about John 3:16 recently, and I have a few thoughts (and perhaps questions) about it.

"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".

First, I was raised with the belief that this verse is part of the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. In other words, Jesus said this to Nicodemus directly.

However, I've heard some say that this verse is part of John's own commentary on the exchange between Nicodemus and Jesus. That is, they say that the Holy Spirit inspired John to write it, but it wasn't necessarily Christ's spoken words to Nicodemus.

To be sure, I don't see this difference as a doctrinal issue. But it is something worth looking into.

Another point is that in the John's Gospel, Jesus always referred to God the Father as "Father", as opposed to "God". What I'm getting to is that, if Jesus said this verse directly to Nicodemus, wouldn't He have said "For My Father so loved the world..........."?

Third, some have disagreed as to the meaning of the phrase "For God so loved the world". Does it mean that "God loved the world so much" or "God loved the world in this way (or manner)"? The second interpretation would be in light of the preceding verses.

I welcome your thoughts and input on this. And no, I won't come "biting back" if anyone disputes what I've said. That's what a Christian discussion forum is for, right?

:cool:
Well, you asked, so I will chime in.

Yes, God loved the world, but what exactly does that mean? If it means He loves everybody the same, then electing love is not really that special, agape love that is. Now, at the end of chapter 3 we can read Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.[vs 36] So, then those who hold that God loves each and every person the same has a conundrum here. God loves them, yet His wrath abides on them.

Here is why I aver to never divorce one verse from the rest of the bible, neither pit scripture against scripture. In Romans 9, there are objects of wrath and objects of mercy. These two objects have never mingled together, meaning that one that is an object of God's mercy has ever been an object of God's wrath. Yes, I am aware of Ephesians 2:3, yet we were never the object of God's wrath in the same manner of those He chose to left in their fallen state.

As Paul so poignantly wrote when he quoted Hosea...“I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one."[Romans 9:25]