Reading just one chapter a day really gets me to take a closer look at some very familiar verses. Today we come to one of the most well known verses in the Bible ~ John 3:16!
Surprisingly, I read the verses that followed as if I had never noticed them before. Isn’t it odd that everybody grasps onto the “believe” part of 3:16, yet ignore the “works” part of the verses that follow?
I say “isn’t it odd” but I actually mean, can you see Satan is using his strategy of using scripture to trick people? He has used this verse to lull people into a way of thinking that if they just believe (but not turn from their sin) they are “in”. He has made this verse so popular that even non-Christians can quote it, yet they have no idea what the proceeding verses say.
Notice how John goes from speaking of belief to almost defining what belief entails?
“And this is the judgement: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” (vs. 20)
“But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (vs. 21)
John ties together the fact that a saving faith (belief) will be demonstrated by how the person acts (works). I also like how he made it abundantly clear that the good actions or works are doable through God’s power, not our own: “his works have been carried out in God.”
One commentary gave a good description what “carried out in God” means and what will result: “When they (the works) are done in his strength and for his sake, to him and not to men; and if by the light of the gospel it be manifested to us that our works are thus wrought, then we have cause of rejoicing.” (Matthew Henry)
I’m glad to be reading just one chapter today, so that I can take the time to see these gems of truth!