John 3:16, the most quoted and most misleading scripture in the Bible, has a context that gives it clarity. However, how 3:16 is generally used such that context is ignored. Wandering the scriptures, I made a discovery. John wrote another 3:16 that augments the former and gives it the necessary clarity.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

This is the same writer, Apostle John, not John the Baptist. In the Gospel of John he is writes an account of the life of Jesus and his words. In 1 John, he writes to clarify the churches understanding of what it means to be saved.

So “I believe in Jesus and have eternal life” but the question John answers in 1 John is “How do I know my faith is genuine?” The answer he gives is, having believed we will love, laying down our life for others like Jesus did for us. (Just a note: it is common for people to base their confidence in a feeling or experience and that is not what John points to for confidence that faith is genuine.)

So the statement of John 3:16 is augmented by 1 John 3:16. So th “believe in Jesus and have eternal life” is enhanced with “live as Jesus did.”

So we can synthesize these scriptures and it goes like this. “If you believe in Jesus you will lay down your life for others and as a result have eternal life!”

I call this the Johnny Crunch!

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