Digging Deeper posts are intended to help us go farther into God’s word than a simple surface reading
and are designed to help us discover new tools in the process.
Curious as to why we Dig Deeper? Here’s Why!
John 3:17 – English Standard Version (ESV)
“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.”
1) What would condemnation by the Son look like?
2) What does it mean that the world is saved “through” him?
3) What is the greater context of this verse?
A trip to www.studylight.org is in order here.
We will get super cozy with this site as we study Scripture together!
Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom!
It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.
Want to know more about a specific word in a verse?
Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!
Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage?
Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))
The Findings for Original Intent
1) In order to understand the wrath of God you have to go back to Genesis 3 where we see the fall of man. “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself” (Genesis 3:8-10). God’s wrath is eternal separation from God. In this small passage we see that what once was an intimate, loving fellowship between man and God was destroyed because of man’s sin. Adam and Eve are afraid of God and ashamed of their actions. They now have knowledge of sin, death, and separation. God’s wrath was poured out and eternal separation from Him created a chasm that was impossible to cross because of sin.
2) “For God so loved the world that He gave His Son….” (John 3:16) God loved His creation, His people, so much that He gave His Son as the perfect sacrifice so the penalty of sin would be met. It is “through” Jesus that we are made right because God poured His wrath and His judgement out on Christ instead of us. “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
3) When I study Scripture and I have only one verse, I like to look at the greater context by reading the entire chapter and thinking through the theme of that particular Bible book. In the case with John 3, Jesus is speaking to a Pharisee, Nicodemus, and explaining spiritual rebirth as well as the purpose behind Jesus and His teachings. Nicodemus is asking with a genuine heart to understand who Jesus is and how this whole salvation thing works.
Some Applications for Our Everyday Lives
1) What is the first thought that comes to mind when you read the words: separation, desperation, loveless, death, void? God’s condemnation poured out in entirety on humanity are all of these things and more. The deepest desires of our heart are empty calls in the dark without a relationship with the Creator. Our desperate pleas for Abba Father go unheard because there is nothing to bridge the gap between man and God. Praise God that Jesus took the penalty! Our free gift is eternal salvation meaning that we will never again be separated from the love of Christ. (Romans 3:23-24, 8:38-39) Our most desperate desires for love are fulfilled in the perfect gift of Jesus Christ, nailed to a cross, but not staying dead! “Oh death where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55) Even in the Garden, God pursued Adam and Eve despite their sin, despite their shame, despite their fear. God knew and still sought after them wanting to make things right. God is the God of restoration and redemption!
2) “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7) God’s grace in our lives is that through Jesus we were made right before God and through our relationship with Him, we get the full benefits of being under His grace and in His love! What are some ways you have been living “below” this “birthright” in Christ? Do you condemn yourself where Christ no longer does? Are you holding onto chains where Christ has freed you?
3) Jesus sought out and never shied away from spiritual conversations that would give Him an opportunity to speak the truth of who He was and who His Father was. Whether He was offering grace to a broken women or discussing theology with a Pharisee, His message was the same. He saw, as we should, the desperate need for people to know Him, to love Him and to be in relationship with Him. Consider giving over a particularly desperate place in your life to the One who longs for relationship with you.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!