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What John 3:16 means to me!

Updated on August 24, 2017

Dan Crane

Dan Crane (Dan.Crane@evfreefullerton.com)

What John 3:16 means to me...

For me John 3:16 encapsulates the good news that God has given to His creation. God loves us and is offering us a gift of eternal life. The choice is up to each person, do we accept this gift? Or reject it?


Jean Worland

What John 3:16 Means To Me!

I grew up in a church where reading the bible was not done, so I was ignorant of Scripture. And because there wasn't much love given in my family, I reached adulthood totally unfamiliar with the concept of a loving Father who wanted to give me eternal life. I had been taught about hell, which I was terrified of, but not the way to escape it.

At the age of 26, I began attending a bible study in the apartment building where I lived and learned the beautiful and famous scripture John 3:16. I was told I could personalize it for myself; thus "For God so loved the world," became "For God so loved Jean, that He gave his uniquely born Son for her; that if she would believe on Him, she would not perish, but have everlasting life." Because of the truth of this Scripture, I have a personal relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and am eternally secure in Him.


Suzanne Larson

Suzanne Larson (Age 43)

Our Blog... www.Larsons4Jesus.com

For GOD so loved the world, that HE sent HIS ONE AND ONLY SON, that whoever believes in HIM will not perish, but have eternal life... John 3:16

WOW! The CREATOR of the universe loves us! Can you even believe it??? HE created the stars, the planets, the mountains, the oceans, EVERYTHING! And yet, HE takes the time to want relationship with us!

The Father/Son/Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity... has perfect fellowship, and yet desires not only to create us, but allows - even desires - us to have a personal relationship with HIM! Even desires that relationship so much that HE sends HIS SON, JESUS into the world to be the final sacrifice for our sins... HIS blood redeems us, washes us clean... IF WE CHOOSE TO RECEIVE HIM. HE offers us eternal life with HIM! All we have to do is receive that gift... and give ourselves to HIM.

What an easy choice! HE created us, so HE knows what we need... better than we do! Why wouldn't we choose HIM?


Calixia and Gabriela

Calixia Morris (6 yrs) & Gabriela Morris (2 yrs)

"He loves us, and gave His only Son. Trust Him and He will help you." Calixia Morris (6 yrs)

"I get Jesus" Gabriela Morris (2 yrs)

Lisa Morris

"God Saves; God's love seeks to redeem anyone who wishes eternity with Him--so believe who He is and what He says He will do."

Shaela - age 7

"God loves Shaela 100% and gave 200% of Himself so I will believe in God and greet Him in heaven with a jump on a trampoline cloud and hug Him instead of going to hell."

Shaela - age 7


Devin - age 9

"John 3:16 reminds me of my sins and that I should ask God for forgiveness and He will forgive me."

Devin - age 9


Shauna Congelliere

"Because of God's great love for me, He gave Himself that I would be saved from eternal separation from Him. He valued me and desired that we would delight in each other forever. All I needed to do was believe that the One True Creator God cared for me passionately, beyond death itself, and death itself is what it took for me to be one with Him eternally."

Shauna Congelliere


Brett Bergstrom

Brett (brett@ccsurprise.org)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

I deserve to perish. As a matter of fact...that is far too lenient a punishment for me. Yet, my Creator...the One who has given me everything I have...willingly stepped out of Heaven to take my place. He perished for me. He suffered and died...drank the entire cup of wrath that was due me...so I wouldn't have to. Not only that...I, in exchange, receive His righteousness...what He deserves - eternal life in Heaven with the Father! Jon Courson sums it up this way..."On that day (the day He suffered and died), God the Father treated Him (Jesus) as though He lived my (sinful, disgusting, disobedient) life. So that on this day, God treats me as though I lived His (perfect) life." And, again...He did it all willingly. No one took His life...He gave it...for me!


Sabrina DeVille

Sabrina DeVille (sabrinadeville@yahoo.com)

John 3:16 means to me that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died not just for me but to put to rest my selfish ways and ideas and to show me that without a Savior my life is nothing. Yet with a Savior my life is glorious, rich, beautiful and I have been given an opportunity to serve others by showing them the wonderful grace and mercy of an unselfish God.

Sabrina DeVille

Herb Smith

Herb Smith (hsmith@gusd.net)

"What does John 3:16 mean to me?

I learned this verse when I was very young. It meant something quite simple at that time: God sent Jesus to die for me so that I could have eternal life. It made me think of heaven, and of how much God loved even me.

In college the amazing thought occurred to me that he would have died on that cross to forgive sin, even if I was the only sinner on earth.

This later developed into thoughts about how this verse referred to a love that was so powerful, that it covered every error of a very long life. And yet, as the next verse indicates, God's plan was for forgiveness, reconciliation, not condemnation.

The more "life" that I experience, the more the "forgiveness" seems to mean to me!"


Mendell Smith

What Do You Say About John 3:16?

John 3:16-probably the most quoted scripture verse in the Bible-best describes the essence of Christianity. Nicodemus wanted to go to the source of the power behind what has become known as the gospel. He went to Jesus. Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a member of the Sanhedrin, and was very influential. It seems that he was very cautious and therefore sought a private interview with Jesus at night. He began the interview by calling Jesus "Rabbi." He told all he already knew about Jesus. He knew Jesus was a miracle-working teacher who had come from God. He knew Jesus could not have done these miracles if God were not with Him.

Jesus perceived that Nicodemus was a seeker for the truth and gave him the basis of our belief: "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."

Throughout my life, I have taken this by faith through the grace of God.


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The Assurance of Salvation

The scripture says, in Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." So all of us are simmers, and none of us deserve to go to Heaven.

Can you imagine finding out that you aren't qualified to go to Heaven? Well, the Bible also says, in Romans 6:23, "For the wages of Sin is DEATH, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

So, you don't have to go through life without the assurance of salvation. Remember what we first read in 1 John 5:13?

The apostle says, "These things have I written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life."

So, how can we have this assurance? This is the most important question we will ever face in life because our eternal destiny is at stake! The Bible teaches that those who remain unsaved will spend eternity in a place of perpetual torment.

So we see that if we believe that Jesus Christ is the true Son of God, and we accept him as our personal Savior, He forgives us of our sins.

In John 3:16, we read; "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."

This is the wonderful story that God loved us so very much that He was willing to sacrifice His own Son, on the cross, one time, for all our sins; past, present and future.


Connie Collins

Connie Collins

John 3:16, in my humble opinion, should always be quoted with John 3:17. Jesus came to save the world, not to condemn it. In both verses it is quite apparent that we humans, although we've fallen short, have great value in God's eyes. By His incarnation, Jesus gave us dignity. By His crucifixion He gave us worth. By His resurrection and ascension He took early retirement and gave us His job. Our passion should always be first and foremost, to bring people to Christ.


Max Lucado

The 3:16 Promise

All materal is adapted from 3:16 The Numbers of Hope

by Max Lucado

He loves.

He gave.

We believe.

We live.

A PARADE OF HOPE

It's the Hope Diamond of the Bible.

........................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.......................

A twenty-six word parade of hope: beginning with God, ending with life, and urging us to do the same. Brief enough to write on a napkin or memorize in a moment, yet solid enough to weather two thousand years of storms and questions. If you know nothing of the Bible, start here. If you know everything in the Bible, return here. We all need the reminder, The heart of the human problem is the heart of the human. And God's treatment is prescribed in John 3:16.

He loves.

He gave.

We believe.

We live.

The words are to Scripture what the Mississippi River is to America--an entry-way into the Heartland.

The verse is an alphabet of grace, a table of contents to the Christian hope, each word a safe-deposit box of jewels. Read it again, slowly and aloud, and note the word that snatches your attention. "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."

This brief quotation is from the book The 3:16 Promise by Max Lucado

PUBLISHED BY THOMAS NELSON



Here is a Book that I recommend by Max Lucado - The 3:16 Promise

Here is a movie I recommend for your family

Just for fun: Books I recommend

Greg Koukl

Cross-examining the Attorney by Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason

I talked a couple of days ago about everyday encounters we all have in restaurants. As an ambassador of Christ, I've learned that encounters are the bread and butter of my witness for Christ.

For example, while giving a talk at a local Barnes & Noble, someone asked why it was necessary for him to believe in Jesus. He was Jewish, believed in God, and was living a moral life. Those were the important things, it seemed--how you lived, not what you believed.

To him our message depicted a narrow-minded God pitching people into Hell because of an arcane detail of Christian theology. How should I answer?

Remember that the first responsibility of an ambassador of Christ is knowledge--an accurately informed message. What is our message?

One way to say it is, "If you don't believe in Jesus, you'll go to Hell. If you do believe, you'll go to Heaven."

That's certainly true, as far as it goes. The problem is it's not clear. Since it doesn't give an accurate sense of why Jesus is necessary, it makes God sound petty.

So how do we fix this? Here's how I responded to my Jewish questioner. I asked him two simple questions.

"Do you think people who commit moral crimes ought to be punished?"

He thought for a moment. "Well, since I'm a prosecuting attorney...yes."

"So do I," I agreed.

"Second question: Have you ever committed any moral crimes?"

There was a slight pause. This was getting personal. "Yes, I guess I have," he admitted.

"So have I," I confessed, agreeing with him again.

"So now we have this difficult situation, don't we? We both believe those who commit moral crimes ought to be punished, and we both believe we've committed moral crimes. Do you know what I call that? I call that bad news."

In less than 60 seconds I had accomplished a remarkable thing with this approach. I didn't have to convince him he was a sinner. He was telling me. I didn't have to convince him he deserved to be punished. He was telling me.

I was tapping into a deep intuition every person shares: knowledge of his own guilt. And I didn't do it arrogantly or in an obnoxious, condescending way. I freely admitted I was in the same trouble he was.

Now that we agreed on the problem it was time to give the solution.

"This is where Jesus comes in," I explained. "We both know we're guilty. That's the problem. So God offers a solution: a pardon, free of charge. But it's on His terms, not ours. Jesus is God's answer because He personally paid the penalty for us. He took the rap in our place. No one else has done that. Now we have a choice to make. We either take the pardon and go free, or refuse it and pay for our own crimes."

This approach reveals a very important sequence in making our message intelligible: First the bad news, then the good news.

There are other illustrations you could use to do this, but the sequence is critical. It's the way any good doctor proceeds. And it was the consistent method used by the apostles. Take a look for yourself. In every one of the 13 times the Gospel was preached in Acts, the disciples used the same approach.

Why is this technique important? Because it gives an accurate sense of why Jesus is necessary. It shows that God is not trivial, but merciful, not petty, but kind, graciously offering forgiveness to those who desperately need it.

Jerusalem-Dome of the Rock

Jerusalem-Dome of the Rock
Jerusalem-Dome of the Rock

Jesus Christ Changed Our World

Curtis Bostic, a Charleston, S.C., attorney, served as co-chair of the Lowcountry Franklin Graham Festival last September. Bostic, a father of five, is a follower of Jesus Christ.

My Story, by Curtis Bostic

Jesus Christ Changed Our World; and my life could have been vastly different.

My mother and father were originally from the coal fields of Eastern Kentucky. Both moved to Chicago to find work after high school. They married in the 1960s.

My dad landed a good job in an up-and-coming company. He began to make money and climb the social ladder, and before long, we bought a brand new house on the outskirts of Chicago. But everything about the American dream really wasn’t well in our little home. You see, my dad had a problem with alcohol.

He often came home in the evenings with alcohol on his breath. I remember how his brothers would come over on the weekends and they would drink beer and play cards together, and they’d fill our house with the smell of cigarette smoke. Gradually, my dad’s drinking began to possess him and to disrupt our family. I remember being afraid of him.

Eventually, my dad left. It shook us kids to our very core that he wasn’t there anymore. It shook my mother so much that she decided to try religion. She asked a neighbor about churches in the area, and one Sunday she, my brother and I mounted a bus that came down our street, and we rumbled along to a church down the way. It was a new experience for me. I didn’t remember having gone to church before.

That week, something interesting happened. A lady from the church showed up at our house. She knocked on the door and said she just wanted to get to know my mom a little better. Her name was Goldie Robison, and she had beautiful red hair.

She came in and sat down with my mom at the kitchen table. My mom wept and told her how our family had disintegrated. Goldie said that she had the answer for my mom, that she knew Someone who could bring healing to my mother.

Goldie explained the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She explained that my mom was a sinner, that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and that the result of sin is death. According to the Bible, Goldie said, those in sin are actually enemies of God. But she told Mom that God commended His love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ came and died for us (Romans 5:8). God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, that whoever would believe in Him would have everlasting life (John 3:16). And life was exactly what my mom was looking for. She bowed her head at the table that day, and Jesus Christ came into her heart. Her world was changed immediately.

Through the days that followed, my mom found hope in Jesus Christ. But things were still difficult. I remember one Sunday, kneeling on the couch and looking out our big picture window, waiting for my dad to pull in the driveway. I knew Dad was coming because we had boxed all of his things and had put them in the foyer of our home. He was coming to get them and then he would be gone for good.

As I knelt there looking out the picture window, Dad pulled up in his blue ’64 Daytona Chevelle SS. He got out of the car, T-shirt on and a pack of cigarettes rolled up in his sleeve. And, lo and behold, just as he stepped out of his car, a green station wagon pulled up behind him. Out of that station wagon stepped a lady with red hair. My mom had told Ms. Goldie that Dad would be coming by at some point that day to get his clothes.

Goldie stood in the driveway, while I watched through the picture window, and she told my dad the same thing she had told my mom, that the wages of sin is death, that if he would confess his sin and believe in his heart that Jesus Christ was the Son of God that he, too, could be saved.

As I watched, my dad got angry and ran Goldie off. She backed out of our driveway and drove off down the street. Dad marched himself up the driveway, down the sidewalk and through the front door. He walked right past the boxes that we’d so neatly stacked with all of his belongings. He walked past us and went downstairs to the basement of our home on Edgebrook Lane.

He was down there for a while, and when he came back upstairs, he told us that he had accepted Jesus Christ as His Savior. Dad had never heard the Gospel before that day. If what Goldie said was true, God loved him, despite his past. Downstairs, he had looked out the basement window and began to talk to God: “I’m sorry for the way I have always celebrated Jesus’ birth with a bottle,” he said. “ … I want you to come into my heart.”

Dad moved back in, and everything was different. I remember having all new friends. Suddenly, we were going to church every Sunday. Dad had a real gift for evangelism. He began taking classes at Moody Bible Institute and later left his job to become pastor of evangelism for that same church we rode the bus to that first Sunday. He was instrumental in starting five churches, and he is still married to my mother to this day.

My brother, sister and I are all following Jesus Christ. My wife, Jenny, and our five children are all believers and Jenny and I have a ministry called Remember that helps persecuted Christians around the world. All of this started because Goldie Robison sacrificed her time to go see an upset woman she didn’t know and lead her to Christ. I often wonder what would have happened if Goldie Robison hadn’t interrupted the carnage in our lost family to tell us about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.


To Join The John 3:16 Project, Simply answer this question: What does John 3:16 mean to you?

Send your answer as an E-mail along with an attached photo of yourself to: hmsmithTravel@hotmail.com

You can also leave your answer here in this Feedback module.

Thank you for your participation: Harry and Ceci Smith

Reader Feedback - John 3:16, What Say You?

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    • Md Kawsar Ali profile image

      Kawsar 2 years ago

      Nice

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      clifRad 5 years ago

      Believe...I love this or I think others enjoy it... I guess I'm amused in dark way...

      Most pour what they think "believe" entails...and this is why we have such a mess in our culture and that the church is so impotent today in America.

      Belief is reflected by action to obey the command to love....no love, no faith, no salvation. The result is loving obedience to love, Jhn 15 llay down your life, Jhn 25 help the broken, end of the Sermon on the Mt. Jesus says salvation is for the wise man...builder...who hears and obeys Jesus' words..

      So Jhn 3:16 rocks! But it is pretty hairy...because you can make it say what ever you want to.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Returning to freshen the blessing here...

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Just had to stop back here to smile, I see Shell stopped in along the way...she does love the Amplified and introduced me to it and now its my favorite version as well...I just love how the heart of God is revealed.

    • profile image

      blanckj 6 years ago

      This is a very well written lens with many viewpoints on the meaning. Thanks for sharing this great work. Keep it up. Blessed!

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 6 years ago

      Wonderful lens, this is very inspirational :)

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 6 years ago

      Cool lens. John 3:16 is such a great scripture. I'm so glad that God gave his ONLY son. I have 2 sons and I can't imagine giving either one of them, much less my ONLY son! What a loving sacrifice to save my soul.

    • James43302 profile image

      James43302 6 years ago

      What John 3:16 says to me is that God loved us so much he sent out his only begotten son to a broken and sin filled world just so we can believe in him and recieve eternal life. I always use begotten in my John 3:16 verse cause if you don't it changes the meaning of the verse. The verse now says 'only son' and thats not true. Bible talks all over the place that we are his son we are his children. So with taking out that one world makes God a liar. This is why I use King James Bible only and won't never read books or any information based on any of the other 'version' (meaning to change the truth). You just never know if a verse has the full truth or a lie.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 7 years ago

      absolutely wonderful lens...5*...will lensroll this lens to my Dr.Stanley lens

    • writernewbie profile image

      writernewbie 7 years ago

      This may very well be my all time favorite lens, because of the subject matter. Such an important question to ask, "what does John 3:16 mean to you"? I really enjoyed reading the responses, but I especially like the way Brett Bergstrom put it. God bless you for creating this lens! :)

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      wadever 7 years ago

      Thanks alot Harry. Be my guide. May God bless everyone in this World.

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 8 years ago

      Hi Harry, noticed you as a new fan and had to stop by. Great lens and I pray more people will visit and learn of Jesus' love. ***** and a favorite and fan.

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      Hello, just squidooed over from one of Tipi's guest books--I'm her sister and not a squiddo member but visit folks who have popped in on her. I particularly enjoy the Amplified bible version--lets see how I do from memory, I may not be totally accurate and my bracketing may be off ...."For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He even gave His only begotten [unique] Son, so that whosoever believes in [trusts in, relies on, clings to] Him shall not perish [come to destruction, be lost] but have eternal [everlasting] life." I'd learned th King James version as a child, but the Amplified version magnified the meaning and displayed th heart of the Father to me in a new way several years back. I like what Connie said above about quoting it along with verse 17....."For God did not send His son into the world in order to judge [reject, condemn, pass sentence] on the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him."

    • AppalachianCoun profile image

      AppalachianCoun 8 years ago

      Great lens and great message. We enjoyed every one you interviewed. Thank-you.

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      Glad I check my fan club list once in a while, nice to find you and this lens.

      Lensrolling it! - Hope you have a great summer!

      Susie

    • amandascloset0 profile image

      amandascloset0 8 years ago

      This is a wonderful lens! I'm going to check out your blog now too. "Truth from the mouths of Babes", "Except ye become as little children". These little children say it so well. Thank you for posting this! 5 stars!, fav'd, fan'd and lensrolled to my Veggie Tales lens!!

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      Light-in-me 8 years ago

      Very nice, I enjoyed my visit !

      Take care,

      Robin

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 8 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Super job! Seems (once again) the little children understand the simple message that Jesus is our Savior and Friend!

      Shelly

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 8 years ago from Sweden

      (John 3:16) 16 ȁCFor God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.

      This translation shows that we must do more than just believe - we have to ACT to DO the right things also

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 8 years ago from Washington KS

      Thanks for stopping by and joining my fan club. I appreciate it.

      Loved this lens. What an awesome idea!! An interesting, uplifting lens. 5 and fave to you.

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      MrMarmalade 8 years ago

      Combine John 3: 16, with the two most important commandments that God left us with: -

      Loved your god with all your heart and soul.

      Love your neighbor as you would love yourself.

      Great hub and gave you top five stars