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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bible Verse Sunday #3 & Hanukkah

Today's Bible verse is John 3:16, the most famous verse in the Bible:

16 “For God so loved the world,[a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

The ESV Study Bible has this to say about the verse:

"Here is the most famous summary of the gospel in the entire Bible. For connects to v. 15 and explains what happened to make it possible that someone can "have eternal life (v. 15), that is, through believing in Christ. God so loved the world was an astounding statement in that context because the OT and other Jewish writings had spoken only of God's love for his people Israel. God's love for "the world" made it possible for "whoever" (v. 15) believes in Christ, not Jews alone, to have eternal life. God's love for the world was not mere sentiment but led to a specific action: he gave his only Son, which John elsewhere explains as sending him to earth as a man (v. 17) to suffer and die and thereby to bear the penalty for sins (see note on 1 John 2:2; cf. Rom.; 3:25). On "only Son," see note on John 1:14, which contains the same Greek phrase. The purpose of giving his Son was to make God's great gift of eternal life available to anyoneto whoever believes in him, that is, whoever personally trusts in him (see note on 11:25). Not perish means not perish in eternal judgment, in contrast to having eternal life, the life of abundant joy and immeasurable blessing in the presence of God forever. Those who "believe in" Christ have that "eternal life" and already experience its blessings in this present time, not yet fully, but in some significant measure."

Today we missed the first service of church because my mom went on a 5 k. run and forgot to tell dad to take us to church. So I wound up only having to go to the High School service, where the Pastor talked about God using ordinary people to do big things, specifically, Mary. After church, we went to my Aunt Naomi's to have a small Hanukkah party (ironic, I know), and I received from her some chocolate coins, a book called The Element of Style, and a sweater. The sweater was too small, however, so Aunt Noami said she'd exchange it for me. So, I'd like to wish a happy Hanukkah to all of my Jewish readers out there, on this second day of Hanukkah. I hope you all have a wonderful time this year!