5/25/2015

lens

Saturday June 6th, John 3:  16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. This is one of the great memory verses in all of scripture.  It is a message of comfort and joy to many.  On the other hand I have seen this well-known text used as judgment, used to say that everyone who does not believe in Jesus the way I do is condemned.  Verse sixteen by itself can be and often is misused.  Taken alone it is a pat on the back and a stroke of the ego.  Verse 16 by itself often is viewed as being about me and my beliefs.   But taken with the next verse it is a gift from God.  Jesus came into the world to save the world, not condemn it, and that is what gives verse 16 its meaning.  Hold onto verse 17 as a qualifier for the way you view scripture.  It is the lens that helps us see the family of God rather than a single lonely path.  It is the lens that helps us see grace.  

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