by Pastor Mark Jordan
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17, NIV)
Before Jesus came to share the heartbeat of haven, people had some differing views of God. Some saw God as distant at best, and at worst, an antagonist. Prophets tried for centuries to share their unique understanding of God with people, but it never seemed to stick. Jesus came to reveal the true nature of God, who is love and relentlessly wants to save his people. This is essentially why Jesus said what he did, that he came not to condemn the world, but that we might be saved through him.
This message might have seemed radical at the time. It might seem ordinary today. It is anything but, because it is extraordinary! God loves you so much that he sent Jesus to die for the penalty of your sin so you can live. You might feel like you’re too far lost, but that isn’t the case. Jesus came to find you…the last, the least, the lost. Romans 8:1 tells us there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, which is a great truth you can be born into.
The verse just before this is the famous 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.” Rebirth and new life is at the heart of Jesus’ teaching here, not condemnation and death. God’s enemy wants you to believe that you are condemned for the things you’ve done wrong and not worth saving. This is not Jesus’ message at all…not in the slightest! For Jesus’ message is you are saved already. When he declared, “It is finished” (John 19:30), that means your guilt, your shame, and your condemnation….all of it. Will you accept and receive God’s offer of salvation through Jesus? It’s yours.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your saving love in Jesus, freeing me from the guilt and shame that would otherwise condemn me. I know you came into the world to save me, so help me live into that reality now and into eternity. I ask this in Jesus’ hold name. Amen.
Have a great day,