a continuation of yesterday's post:
may this be worthy of your time:)
1. what does this passage (just john 3:16) mean to you???
until i was 30 years old, this passage meant to me literally what it says. it meant that so long as i believed that Jesus Christ was the son of God that i would go to heaven because Jesus died on the cross so that i would have eternal life (if i believed).
but, for all those years, although i believed,
i felt like there was something missing.
2. can it stand alone in encompassing the basic nature of Christianity???
it can stand alone. way more often than not, it does, and i believe that those who publicize it, truly believe that it encompasses the essence of Christianity.
although i think it is a beautiful piece of scripture, i don't think it should ever stand alone because there's something missing.
3. do you think that taken from context it is misleading???
i find this verse very misleading. why??? it misled me for a very long time. and, i have found, since, that it misleads others.
4. should it be taken from context???
in my opinion, it should rarely be taken from context because it is more of a "chicken soup" remedy than an antibiotic (if you will:)...
5. do you think that this passage is used so often that it has lost the affect it was intended to have on john's readers???
i believe that if you see anything too much and in too many places it becomes commercialized and loses its value.
i believe that john, in his third chapter, conveys EVERYTHING someone searching for God needs to know.
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."
3In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.[a]"
4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"
5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You[c] must be born again.' 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
9"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.
10"You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? 11I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.[d] 14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.[e]
16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.[g] 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."[h]
i will try to be brief in explaining
how it happened for me...
Jesus says "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit."
water is a cleansing of sin, one needs to ask GOD with a true heart to ask for forgiveness for one's own sins (one by one) no matter how long it takes to do so.
why??? it clears a path straight to GOD for communication!!! (no road blocks)
the SPIRIT of God is sent to those who ask. the SPIRIT of GOD is real and is JESUS. and HE promised to send it to those who asked...
Jesus doesn't walk the earth anymore. so, the only way i believe you can know Him is through the gift of the SPIRIT.
further, many can believe THAT Jesus walked the earth and THAT He is the Son of God.
but, in order to believe IN Jesus as the Son of God, one has to know HIM. that can only come through a personal relationship with HIM, which can ONLY come through the SPIRIT, which can only come through clearing the road to GOD and praying that he send you this MOST precious GIFT.
the Spirit is what is needed to understand the whole truth of Jesus!!!
the Spirit is awesome!!!
the Spirit didn't take away who i am!!!
the Spirit increased me by giving me what i was missing...
the blessed assurance that my eternity was with God in heaven who loves me...
UNCONDITIONALLY... flaws and all!!!
when i say john 3:16 shouldn't be taken from context, it's only my opinion because of from where i come. but, i tell you the truth, "one must clear the path to God through asking for forgiveness (it's a cleansing for oneself (not for HIM)), and one MUST invite the Spirit of GOD to dwell within (because think about it; it's impossible to believe "IN" a someone you don't know personally; it's the same with GOD)!!!
thank you all for your comments yesterday; and i apologize if i've totally confused anyone with my opinion!!! hopefully and prayerfully i haven't...
love and God's blessings,
ps... i am only a Christian. my beliefs are my very own and are not affiliated with any particular denomination... as i went to both a catholic and a baptist church when i was younger and later joined the methodist church.
by the way, i found God...
in my very own bedroom!!!