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John 3:16 is probably the best-known verse in the Bible. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only  Son, that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life."

For God so loved the world: God loves the divinely created world-not just you and me, not just Christians, not just people, but the whole of creation.

That he gave his only Son: The giving of the Son in John refers to the incarnation as a whole, God becoming human flesh. How much does God love the world? So much that God was willing to become incarnate in the world.

So that everyone who believes in him: The premodern rather than modern meaning of believe is intended. In this verse, as in the Bible generally, believe does not mean believing theological claims about Jesus, but beloving Jesus, giving one's heart, loyalty, fidelity, and commitment to Jesus. This is the way into new life.

May not perish but may have eternal life: The Greek words translated into English as eternal life mean "the life of the age to come." Within John's theology, this is still future and to be hoped for. But it is also present, something that can be known, experienced now. Consider John 17:3: "This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." Note the present tense. This is eternal life (the life of the age to come); and its content is knowing God and Jesus. To know God and Jesus in the present is to participate already in the life of the age to come.

Thus in John, this verse is not about believing a set of statements about Jesus now for the sake of heaven later. It is about beloving Jesus and beloving God as known in Jesus, in the incarnation, and entering into "the life of the age to come" now. It is about the path into life with God now.

God is real.

The Christian life is about having a relationship with God as known in Jesus Christ.

This relationship can and will change your life.

If you would like to know more about this relationship, please call 508-866-5866.