John 3:14-21 (ESV)
14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 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. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
John 3:16 is one of the most popular verses in the Bible. Many people who are not Christians can even quote this verse. For many this is the quick answer to what we believe as Christians. The more we look at this passage as a whole we see that belief is both an internal and external endeavor. Our works , actions, indicate our beliefs whether light or dark. For light, our works indicate our faith and belief in Christ. Believers are no longer condemned but saved through Jesus who died for those who believe, those who have “come to the light.”
On the other side is the darkness, the ways of the world. This darkness is represented by those who are condemned, condemned due to disbelief in Christ. As a result what is done is not a product of the work of God but of the world. This can be very hard to process because there are many people who seem to do good things who are not believers. This is where God’s judgment of all things is far more developed than our own and we must release our sense of judgment of right and wrong, true and untrue, and trust in the God who saves us.
Heavenly Father, may I walk in the light of your truth and your ways. Thank you for giving your Son to save us from condemnation. May I find peace and rest in your truth and your word, and may my light shine before all people. In Christ’s name, Amen.