Take the 3:16 Journey

Glenn Addington By Glenn Addington, 10th Sep 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1mm80x7p/
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Religion

Going to each book of the Bible and reading the 3:16 passage is revealing, and a delightful exercise.

Explaining the 3:16 journey

To many, the phrase ‘3:16’ immediately brings to mind what is believed to be the most loved verse from the New Testament – John 3:16. This verse says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” This verse has been called the gospel in a single verse.
But I would like to suggest that a ‘journey’ be taken which includes many of the verses from the other books of the Bible which are also numbered 3:16. There are some encouragements, admonitions, and challenges, and even surprises during the ‘journey’ through the 3:16’s that we will be looking at. An explanation will accompany each verse, and I will have an extra verse accompany some of them. Let’s begin.

The Only Old Testament Passage: Jeremiah 3:16

The first and only one from the Old Testament comes from the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah 3:16 tells us, "It shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land," declares the Lord, "they will no longer say, 'The ark of the covenant of the Lord.' And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again.” The Ark of the Covenant was a small, closed chest where the tables or tablets of the Law, Aaron’s rod, and a pot of manna were contained. It had great significance because it spoke of God's covenant with the Israelites as His people. The Ark of the Covenant was a significant object in the Hebrew religion. The Israelites recognized this, and even took the Ark of the Covenant into battle with them, hoping this would insure them victory over their enemies. This verse must have been an incredible shock to the Israelites, but it foreshadows a change in how God would relate to His people.

I Corinthians 3:16: One way that God views the believer

In 1 Corinthians 3:16, the apostle Paul says, " Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" The believer who has believed and has obeyed the gospel, having submitted to Christian baptism, has received the gift of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit, along with the forgiveness of sin . While man is significant in the eyes of God because he is made in the image of God , this verse reminds us of how God views those who are believers in the Christian message.

Colossians 3:16: The proper attitude

In this passage, Paul says,"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God." This verse calls us to truly immerse ourselves in God's word, striving to properly understand it, and to be encouraging others not just verbally, but with scripture and songs, especially having an attitude of thankfulness. This verse is sandwiched between verses 15 and 17, but the incredible thing is that all three verses encourage thankfulness! While Paul says much in these three verses, we can hear him saying, "Be thankful! Be thankful! Be thankful!" Three times in three verses makes a strong statement about having an attitude of thankfulness.

Reminded of love, and challenged to love.

1 John 3:16 tells us, "We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." We are reminded of the love that redeemed us - in that Jesus died so that we might be redeemed. But we aren't to simply rejoice in this, taking it for granted, and breathe a sigh of relief, grateful for our new status before God as believers. John issues a challenge here. We have the responsibility to love those around us, both believers and non-believers. The definition of agape - the Greek word used here translated love - is the unselfish intentional love for the other person, with the desire to do what is best for the other person, with no regard for the cost to us and no thought for what we might gain. There is no ulterior motive in this. This is the kind of love we are challenged to manifest to those around us - this is the love of Christ.

Pursue the journey!

I have started you on the journey with these few examples. Go through your Bible and find each 3:16 passage and see what it says. Not all can be removed from their context and stand alone, but most can. As you go through the verses, ask yourself the following questions. "Is there an admonition or warning here? Am I being challenged or encouraged here? Would I be a better Christian if I took to heart what is said here and implemented it in my life?"
Treasure whatever blessing, teaching, challenge or opportunity you find as you proceed in this journey. And give thanks for what comes your way as you pursue this journey!

Tags

Bible Passages, Bible Study

Meet the author

author avatar Glenn Addington
I am an American, former Viet Nam veteran, and a Christian, living in East Tennessee. I am now retired and am pursuing a writing career. I would welcome writing assignments.

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