* John 3:18-21- 'Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.'
First, it is not the lack of belief in Christ that condemns men, it's the ABSENCE of belief in God's works that ALREADY condemned a man. A man who does not believe in God does NOT yet stand condemned, because there is still hope that he might start to believe through God's works. But if a man refuses to believe in God's works, then there is no chance they will ever believe in God at all; and that's the difference the original author tried to point out in verse 18. But if a man already believes in God, then they don't need to witness His works in order to have faith.
And furthermore, a name cannot teach a man to truly believe in God, only the things that God does can make a person believe that He exists. Again, as I explained before, believing in just God's name or even the Son's name is not enough to save a man even if mankind knew His true name. Because a name is a physical attribute of an individual, but their deeds are spiritual, there is a difference.
Second, the verdict is accurate but the description of it in the following sentence is misunderstood. The description of the verdict causes the reader to take the concept of light vs darkness in a more literal sense. Anyone who is not foreign to this world, knows that people who do evil, do not fear of being exposed, otherwise, they would not do the things they do in broad daylight as many people do wrong in the sight of others; especially, even after they get caught, they continue doing wrong things as they are continually exposed.
Rather, people who do wrong, do evil mostly because they don't know their right hand from their left, just like Nineveh. But when they are taught right from wrong and when they are educated like those in Nineveh, they learn to have a sense of responsibility to do the right thing. But most people don't want to be educated because they don't want to feel the conviction of guilt or shame in the wrongs they do because they love doing them. So, they close their ears to education, because they don't want the sense of responsibility to stop doing the things they love doing, which is why the verdict verse is dead on: 'Light has come into the world but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.'
Finally, the purpose to bring people into the light, is not to let them know that everything they've done was done in the sight of God, but instead, to live by the truth that helps them to live right in the sight of God. For, everyone knows that for a man to know that God sees the evil he does, is not enough to cause him to stop doing wrong; even angels know this. But a man who knows God by being filled with His Truth/Word, can only do right by God, which is why a man of truth only walks in the Light of God.
Therefore, the passage should read: "Whoever believes in God is not condemned, but whoever does not believe in His works revealed through Son, stands condemned already. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not receive the light for fear that it will cause them to stop doing evil. But whoever receives the Light, lives according to the word of God so that they only do good things in the sight of God.'
John 3:22-36 was written perfectly and I am grateful that it survived the revisions made in the 2010 NIV edition. John 3:31-36 could not have been written better. It is right on deciphering the difference between those from the earth between the one from heaven. The term 'Whoever believes in the Son' is most accurate and should replace areas that say, 'Whoever believes in the Son's name' because it makes it harder for the reader to search deeper into the meaning. Those who believe in the Son indeed certifies that God is truthful because they believe in God's message and His work that is constantly seen and revealed through him.
One of my favorite verses in the gospel of John is when Jesus spoke with the Samaritan woman in John 4:21-24. Here, Christ reveals one of the deep things of God. The author of this gospel exposes one of the most profound truths that wasn't told through a parable nor was it hidden within a riddle. It was very important to the author to completely take the reader's focus away from physical worship and introduce them to the true act of worship, which takes place in the Spirit.
* John 4:25- 'The woman said, "I know that the Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."
I think that the scholars fail to remember that the term Messiah means the "Annointed One" and the Christ means "Savior". So, because of failing to understand these terms causes the wording to confuse some readers. The verse is basically saying, "I know that the Annointed One" (called the Savior) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."
I guess maybe it's because God has brought various people from other religions to fellowship with me that I was able to get a better understanding of their views of Jesus to know why the wording found in the bible is important. When I became very good friends with a group of Israelis, I learned that it is not that they don't believe Jesus is the Messiah, they just don't believe he was the Savior (the Christ). And when I also fellowshipped with Muslims about God, they also believed (like the Jews) that Jesus was the Messiah but not the Savior. It is because I learned throughout the years of how to make a careful distinction between the terms Messiah and the Christ, I also became aware of the importance of the way it should be used when referring to Jesus.
So, in the end, it believe it would make more sense, especially to the converts (if there be any, whether from Muslim, Hebrew, ect) that this verse should be written: 'The woman said, "I know that the Savior," (also called the Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." Because when it is written this way, John 4:42 confirms that the Samaritans believed in Jesus' s claim as the Savior.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW
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