Bible study 10. For God so loved the world

STUDY 10              

From Bible Reading Fellowship “New Daylight” daily readings.

Contributed by Murdo McDonald, Molecular Biologist, ex-missionary serving with Leprosy Mission in Nepal and leader in the Church of Scotland

Start with opening prayer asking the Holy Spirit to guide you. 

God so loved……….

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son”. 

John 3:16-18(NIV)

To many, this scripture contains the ultimate expression of the gospel as it explains in a nutshell that God is reaching out to those who need salvation – to us all in fact. In other words “the fruition of the Aaronic blessing” we looked at in Study 9. These words ring out through the centuries to our time, to our world, and we are meant to pass this message on.

But there is the latter part of verse 18 something which often cause us to “back away”. The condemnation it includes in revealing the ultimate destiny of those who do not believe. 

One of the questions that repeatedly comes up is – “Is it appropriate to use the threat of condemnation in order to entice (or frighten) people into following the way of Christ”. At first glance it appears wrong, after all the message of God’s love must surely be the right way, and of course it is. But we need to remember that Jesus had no hesitation in talking about judgement and hell. So perhaps we should follow his example.

To help us with this difficult decision we need to remember that the scriptures (particularly the book of Acts) show us many different ways of leading people to God’s kingdom and that God always knows what will touch our hearts and cause us to reach out to him. Some will need a gentle message to open their eyes, others need a warning. The Holy Spirit, if you ask him, will lead you in the way and the words. He will also give us the courage and guidance. 

As we’ve said before we don’t all have to be a Billy Graham, we just need to listen to God’s directions and he will help. 

While we must always be mindful of our wariness in “stepping out” we can be assured that if we have the chance to share Christ’s message, then we are following his example.

  1. Have you ever found yourself in a position where you felt that you should “say something” but haven’t? How did you feel?
  1. Have you had an experience where you did speak out about God’s love etc. ?  What happened?
  1. Have you felt that God was leading you at times?
  1. Do you feel that words of love are more appropriate than words of warning ?
  1. Which way did God use to “entice you into his kingdom ?

PRAYER; Lord we give you thanks for the salvation from our sin and wrong doings which has been  bought for us by the love of the Father and the sacrifice of Christ. Help us to share this blessing. AMEN

Bible Study 10-27/10/21