The version of the gospel you will have likely grown up hearing says that, ” For God so loved the church that he offered his one and only Son so that whoever ceases to do wrong may not perish but will be compensated with eternal life.”
Sadly, this is the foundation of many songs and sermons being preached within the church.
It’s not John 3:16, but Fear 3:16, Lie 3:16, Work 3:16.
With this weak version of the gospel, no one can rejoice in being saved because everyone does wrong, everyone sins, everyone looking at their works can only feel guilty time after time.
What John 3:16 says is, “For God so loved the “world” [people of the world] that he “gave” [gift] his one and only son so that whoever “believes” in him [the son], should not perish but “have” eternal life.”
The whoever is important because the veil is now opened to all nations and not just the Jews.
“and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” (Genesis 22:18)
Jesus is the offspring. Abraham could not have obeyed God, had God not revealed Himself to him and empowered him will all certitude that God is God. Faith is “remembering that God is God”.
Looking at the work of Jesus, rather than our works, we can now rejoice because blessed is the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly for their faith is credited as righteousness.
Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6).
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6)
Let that sink into the deep chambers of your soul, so that you may rejoice and be released from all your fears and doubts and pains that the lies of the past have caused you.
Rejoice in Jesus, not in the works of your hands or lips, but in Jesus. Blessed be his name. Amen.