“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.” John 3:16
We’ve all heard it. If we don’t know this verse by heart we know of it by the man at the football games in the far corner of the TV screen. I do love this verse because it sums up the idea of the life of Christ. It exemplifies the awesomeness of God that He can just send (def v: to order or instruct to go to a particular destination or in a particular direction) His Son in the blink of an eye to live to teach us and to die to save us. It explains the capacity of His love for us; that He would love us so much as to give up His Son for us. It explains the unbelievable truth that Jesus’ entire existence was for us to be free and have eternal life.
But then I kept reading, John 3:17 says “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” If trying to understand His love for me wasn’t hard enough to wrap my mind around, now to go outside of my mental grasp to see that His Son, Jesus, was here in this world, yet condemnation was not on His to do list. I have learned so much about God and His love, yet this condemnation thing always gets me.
Romans 8:1 says “Therefore, there is now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ.” I know this, I memorize this, yet I can’t help but feel condemnation every time my eyes turn away from Him just long enough to sin yet again. The bottom line is that God isn’t looking for us to sit in a pit of condemnation each time we fall. He wants us to get up, dust ourselves off, and fix our eyes back on Him again; all while praising Him for the ability to do so.
The idea that we don’t measure up, or can’t live up to the Christian expectation is about a big a lie as the Millie Vanilli’s vocal abilities. You can’t put something pretty in front of a lie and call it truth. Sitting in our little pits of condemnation and calling it humility is no better than lip-syncing to a skipping record album. If you are under thirty, you may have to ask a parent about this last paragraph.
So what about the ones that don’t believe? John 3:18 says “whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” Believing takes a step of faith. Hebrews 11:3 says “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” That’s a lot to absorb. Basically, believing means we can look at the sun, stars, and the world around us and know that God made them, even though we didn’t see Him do it. Does it make sense? Not at all, which is why it’s called faith my friend.
So, by faith, I will walk this journey with the knowledge that God created this universe. The belief that He sent His Son to die on the cross for my sins. I believe that I stand before God with no condemnation, just another opportunity to turn my gaze back to Him as I try once again to do it His way.