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  • Alan Salwei

John 3:16-17 - God's ONE and ONLY Son

Discover the depth of God's love and Jesus' divine mission.


John 3:16-17 (NIV)

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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.


Listen to passage & devotional:


Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 19: The Two Natures of Christ

We believe that by being thus conceived

the person of the Son has been inseparably united

and joined together

with human nature,

in such a way that there are not two Sons of God,

nor two persons,

but two natures united in a single person,

with each nature retaining its own distinct properties.

Thus his divine nature has always remained uncreated,

without beginning of days or end of life,

filling heaven and earth.

His human nature has not lost its properties

but continues to have those of a creature—

it has a beginning of days;

it is of a finite nature

and retains all that belongs to a real body.

And even though he,

by his resurrection,

gave it immortality,

that nonetheless did not change

the reality of his human nature;

for our salvation and resurrection

depend also on the reality of his body.

But these two natures

are so united together in one person

that they are not even separated by his death.

So then,

what he committed to his Father when he died

was a real human spirit which left his body.

But meanwhile his divine nature remained

united with his human nature

even when he was lying in the grave;

and his deity never ceased to be in him,

just as it was in him when he was a little child,

though for a while it did not show itself as such.

These are the reasons why we confess him

to be true God and true man—

true God in order to conquer death

by his power,

and true man that he might die for us

in the weakness of his flesh.



    John 3:16 is one of the most beloved verses of the Bible. Not only are the words of John 3:16 reassuring, they also eloquently lay out the key themes of the Gospel. Because of God’s great love for us, he gave his only Son in order that we would be saved from our sin and have eternal life. Verse 17 further clarifies that the Son’s reason for coming into the world was not to condemn, but to save.

    In these verses Jesus is described as God’s only Son and His Son. These terms allude to the fact that although Jesus was human, there was something more to him. While He took on human flesh, Jesus still retained His divine nature.

While we are considered children of God, adopted through faith in Christ, Jesus is described as God’s one and only Son. Other translations use the phrase “only begotten Son”, which speaks to Jesus being “of the same substance” as the Father.

Dig Deeper

The Son came into the world to save sinners. Out of God’s great love for you, Jesus, the only one capable of paying the penalty of your sin, did exactly that. No sinful human could pay the penalty for another. Jesus, the only one not stained by original sin, took on a human nature with the intent of paying that penalty on your behalf.

    The Son coming into the world speaks to more than Jesus being born. Coming into the world also included leaving His place on high. The Son, the second person of the Trinity, existed before the incarnation. And the Son, being divine, has always had this divine nature, even before the creation of the world. The divinity of the Son is not something given to Him, but a matter of who He is.

    This divine nature is eternal, without a beginning or an end. The Son of God took upon himself a human nature, which did not corrupt nor inhibit his divine nature. And as verse 17 teaches, all this was done so that the world might be saved through him.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God for this tremendous gift which makes your salvation certain;



Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Romans 16


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