Ok so let me repeat my previous post and then elaborate on this topic future.
“If we are going to understand John 3:16 in it’s correct context, we need to stop connecting it to the Death of Christ but rather to His incarnation. In this way we will understand the Jewish Messianic Nature of this Chapter of John’s gospel, and stop trying to create some artificial (Born Again Sinners Prayer) doctrine of salvation from it.”
The incarnation to a religious Jew at the time of Jesus would have had zero to do with sin as we understand it in the western tradition. Therefore the idea that in 3rd John Jesus is talking about any atonement theory, but most especially Penal Atonement is to be rejected out of hand. Remember if it didn’t make sense to the audience at hand it more than likely is being imposed like much of Western Bible study is (theological isogesis). You see it is almost impossible to read scripture without doing it a great disservice by imposing our biased presuppositions. So lets try not do that just for one minute here and maybe we can see what’s going on in this section of scripture.
First Jesus states to one person “God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son” so what is clear here is that death is not in view in this conversation. As a matter of fact Jesus is talking 100% about birth, and we understand that he is talking about Spiritual birth in a Physical place. This we would understand as an incarnation of the pre-existent Word as the man Jesus Christ again this is our theology at work, but remember Nicodemus has no such theology or verses from John for that matter. Nicodemus is only hearing the red-letter words and not the ones in black in your Bible, and for sure no theology as practiced by the Church fiercely from Augustine forward.
So Jesus is approaching Nicodemus as (The Christ) or anointed Messiah, he is saying I am the messiah Israel has been waiting for. Now his calling as Messiah is the National Salvation of Israel at this point in His earthly ministry and NOTHING ELSE. What is not in view here is the Western individualistic salvation from sin before a Holy and Perfect God. All the promises in the Jewish scriptures and there are many about the Messiah, is that God will forgive all of Israel’s sins as a people and this forgiveness & mercy will be Carte blanche and across the board for the whole Nation. Then the Nation and so it’s people will experience a Heavenly Renaissance i.e. (Kingdom of God) like never before, and this Renaissance will eventually spill over into the whole world. The truth is Salvation one person at a time the “Billy Graham” way, is in terms of humanity as a whole an utter failure.
This is why Jesus goes on to say “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” and what do they have to do to step into this new reality? How many sacrifices will be needed? NONE just believe the answer is already here (Incarnation) be born again Nationally so to speak and live in the newness of the Age of The Anointed Messiah. You see Salvation has to be in mass and it has to be from God and not Man’s religious systems, now maybe you begin to understand the words “I am the way the truth and the Life and no man come before the Father but BY ME”. It is and always has been a finished work before the foundation of the world. I have more to say on this subject and this section of John 3 but I will pause here for now.Anzaholyman
a recovering Hell Fire and Brimstone Preacher