JOHN 3:17-18: “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.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: Why did Jesus come? This is an age old question that people are still getting wrong today. When Jesus walked this earth the crowds desired a king to save them from Roman oppression. Jesus came as a suffering servant to die upon the cross. The crowds did not understand the purpose of His coming then, and many have yet to understand it today.
If you listen to the message that so many are proclaiming today you might come to the conclusion that Jesus came to judge the world, to condemn those that are lost in sin. There is a great deal of anger and frustration among believers today when they look at the condition of the world and the church. The misunderstanding begins when they allow this frustration to change their message, to alter their view of why Jesus came.
Every child learns John 3:16, the preceding verse to the verses above – JOHN 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” JOHN 3:17-18 gives us a deeper understanding of this verse. Jesus did not come to condemn, but to save. The world is already under condemnation for their sin. They do not need to be condemned, they need to be saved. Whoever believes in Jesus Christ is saved and set free. Whoever does not believe – is already condemned. Why would we want to give a message of condemnation to the condemned? Yet, that is what so many are doing today.
We need to realign our message with the heart of the Father. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is intended to be “Good News”! The “Good News” is that the power of condemnation for sin, that rests upon every man and woman, can be broken through faith in Jesus Christ. This is why He came. Jesus Christ came to seek and save those who are lost, condemned! This is everyone who does not believe. We are called to proclaim this “Good News”. We are not called to act like the Pharisees and thank God that we are not like “other men”. We are the “other men” – saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ! The only difference is we have been set free from our condemnation because we have believed!
One final note. This does not mean that we go soft on sin. Jesus never lowered the standard of God’s truth or commands. Jesus never condoned sin. Jesus confronted sin and called sinners to repentance. He did this with absolute love. Yet, when people like the rich young ruler were unwilling to repent, Jesus did not give them a pass, He allowed them to follow their own path, to remain under the condemnation they had chosen. God never forces anyone to come to faith. He calls us through His Love. He stands before us as the door to life. He is the “Good News”!
Lord, help me to be a messenger of “Good News”. May I always remember that I was the “other man” until You saved me by Your Grace! May I always uphold the truth of Your Word as I proclaim the reason that You came – to save all who will believe from sin’s grip, the enemy’s attacks, and the power of death. Jesus came to save! In Jesus Name!