To Save, NOT Condemn
Category : General
St. John 3: 17(KJV)
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Not to judge, or pronounce sentence on mankind. God might justly have sent Him for this. While man deserved condemnation, and it would have been right to have pronounced it; but God was willing that there should be an offer of pardon, and the sentence of condemnation was delayed. But, although Jesus did not come then to condemn mankind, yet the time is coming when he will return to judge the living and the dead, Acts 17:31; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 25:31-46.
The word judge (πρίνω) is here put for condemn, as in many other passages. When he declares that he did not come to condemn the world, he thus points out the actual design of his coming; for what need was there that Christ should come to destroy us who were utterly ruined? We ought not, therefore, to look at anything else in Christ, than that God, out of his boundless goodness chose to extend his aid for saving us who were lost; and whenever our sins press us — whenever Satan would drive us to despair — we ought to hold out this shield, that God is unwilling that we should be overwhelmed with everlasting destruction, because he has appointed his Son to be the salvation of the world
Christ’s first advent was not to pronounce and execute judgment upon the nations abiding in God’s wrath; but rather, his was a saving mission, commensurate with God’s love of the whole human creation. It was that saving mission which formed the burden of the Lord’s mission in the first advent.
It was the opinion of the Jews that the Gentiles, whom they often term the world, nations of the world, were to be destroyed in the days of the Messiah. Christ corrects this false opinion; and teaches here a contrary doctrine. God, by giving His Son, and publishing His design in giving Him, shows that He purposes the salvation, not the destruction, of the world – the Gentile people: nevertheless, those who will not receive the salvation he had provided for them, whether Jews or Gentiles, must necessarily perish; for this plain reason, There is but one remedy, and they refuse to apply it.
Let us then be reminded that unbelief is the cause of the sinner’s damnation; it is that sin which doth bind all other sins upon the sinner, and consigns him over to damnation. It is that sin which doth not only procure damnation, but no damnation like it; which is intimated in the next verse. This does not contradict John 9:39. Since there are sinners in the world, Christ’s coming involves a separation (κρίσις) of them from the good, a judgment, a sentence: but this is not the purpose of His coming; the purpose is salvation (John 12:47). The design of Christ’s first coming into the world was to save it. However, the end of His second coming will be to judge the unbelieving part of it
Have a great and God filled day!