Sunday, December 04, 2016

"...but that the world, through him, might be saved"

"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world, through him might be saved."   John 3:17

"To condemn the world gives to the English reader a stronger impression than that of the original Greek. The word (κρίνω, krino, the Latin c(k)erno, and the English dis-cern) means originally to separate, and in the moral sense to separate good from evil. "  ~ Charles John Ellicott, English theologian, 1819-1905,  Elllicott's Commentary for English Readers

God did not send his son to separate the world, but to save the world.  Spiritual death is separation from God.  Spiritual life is being fully with Him.  

Jesus came to connect us with God, totally, completely, freely.  He came to open the way for our return, for our ability to not only choose to be and change into a fully good, honest, wise, love and light-filled individual, but also to open the door for our healing, and to fully undo the damage we have caused, since none of us would otherwise be able to stand in God's presence for long, so fully aware of the difference between us and how far from what God is we are in Goodness, Truth, Love and Light.

None of us are there yet.  But He he came to open that door, and shepherd us through if we are willing, whether we recognize His hand in it or not.

Saving is what he offers.  Salvation is a word that means many different things to different people, all of them dealing with good things.  And it is a word that incorporates amazing principles and realities.

I like this attempt at defining it, from The Pulpit Commentary, first published in 1909:

"Through him the world may be saved from its ruin, by reason of individuals accepting his grace. The saving of humanity as a whole issues from the believing and living of men. God's love of the world and his sending of his Son aim at the saving of the world as their Divine end. Salvation (σωτηρία) is the largest of all the famous biblical terms which denote the restoration and blessedness of man. It means all that is elsewhere denoted by "justification," but much more than that. It connotes all that is included in "regeneration" and "sanctification," but more than these terms taken by themselves. It includes all that is involved in "redemption" and "adoption" and the "full assurance," and also the conditions of "appropriation" - the subjective states which are the human antecedents of grace received, such as "faith" and "repentance," with all the "fruits of the Spirit." These Divine blessings originated in the bosom of the Father, where the only begotten Son forevermore abides, and they are all poured forth through the Son upon the world in the coming of the Christ. He was sent to save."

God rest ye merry, gentlmen.
Let nothing you dismay.
Remember, Christ, our Savior, 
Was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan's power 
When we have gone astray.
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy!

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