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John 3:15–17 ‘For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.’ (v17)

Verse 16 of John chapter 3 is so famous that we can easily forget the verse which follows. But verse 17 underlines for many sceptical about the Christian faith what God is really like.

Many assume God is indeed keen to ‘condemn’, but John is clear that the opposite is true. Yes, we are faced with the challenge of our sinful humanity which requires judgement and condemnation.

But the whole of Scripture outlines God’s redeeming plan which centres on the coming of Jesus. Peter had listened to his Master and reminds his readers: ‘He [God] is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9b).

But this ‘will’ is not something God enforces, and here we see the divine mystery of God allowing humans to choose their own way. As C.S. Lewis said: ‘If we don’t say “Your will be done”, then finally God says to us “your will be done”’.

So, we have some work to do in helping those who are confused about who God is and what He is like. Our role is to share the love, goodness and grace of God, and His willingness to be our friends and lead us in abundant living.


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A Prayer To Make:
‘Thank You, Lord, for Your good purposes for me and all humanity. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Think of the times when you have assumed that God was looking to condemn you or others. Replace that thought with the truth of John 3:17.

Scripture To Consider:
Exod. 15:1–18; 2 Sam. 22:1–20; Luke 4:14–21; 1 John 3:1–10

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.