John 3:16–21 (ESV)
For God So Loved the World
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave
his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but
whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
John 3.16 is the most memorized verse in the New Testament. It is called the Gospel in a nut shell. This verse is pivotal in that it clearly states that we are saved by “faith” and not by works.
This is also clearly stated in Ephesians 2:8-9. You will see a someone holding up a sign that simply says “3:16” at every professional sporting event. It is pointing you to the fact that God loved so much that he gave his Son (Jesus)
to die for our sins... and whoever “believes” in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. What is even deeper is that to “believe” in him does not come from us, but is a gift from God. We try to often to take credit
for our faith, but if we were chosen before the creation of the world by God, how can we take credit for it (Eph 1:1-4). Again, in Ephesians 2:8-9 states: “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is
the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” It is God’s work in us. He is the one who creates faith in us... a true gift. Today’s reading focuses on believing. Go back and reread today’s
verse several times real slow and take in the meaning of what John is revealing.
I pray: O Lord, help us to believe, and to hate the darkness. Let our works reveal to others that we believe in
Jesus Christ. We are not saved by our works, but by faith... yet faith without works is dead. Make me and mold me according to your will. Forgive me when I chose darkness over light. Amen.