Freedom From Condemnation
“For God so loved the world, God gave God’s beloved Child, so that everyone who believes may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Beloved into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved.” – John 3:16&17 (NRSV, adapted)
John 3:16 might be the most famous verse of the Bible. It might also be the most abused.
John 3:16 is often used as a litmus test: If you believe the right things about Jesus, you will be saved from damnation and have eternal life. If not, your eternal destiny is bleak. In other words, John 3:16 can be twisted into a prelude for condemnation.
The Gospel writer, quoting Jesus, anticipated that and immediately added the next verse as a corrective: “Indeed, God did not send the Beloved into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved.”
If Christianity leaves anyone feeling condemned, it is a false Christianity that has nothing to do with Jesus. Jesus challenged plenty of people, but spent zero time condemning them.
Therefore, if you have ever been condemned by so-called Christians, know this: they were not speaking for God or Jesus. God did not send Jesus to condemn, but to liberate and to save.
Christian freedom is the absence of condemnation.
Holy Liberator, condemnation is our mistake, not yours. Saving us from our mistakes is your business, not ours. Hallelujah!