Posts Tagged ‘“Stone Cold” Steve Austin’

Devotional Podcast #21: “Don’t Bring Me Down”

March 13, 2018

I’m going to spend a few podcast episodes talking about the Bible’s most famous verse, John 3:16. In this episode I only scratch the surface! But I talk about why this verse isn’t just for “beginners” or “baby Christians” or people who haven’t yet become Christians. It’s for all of us!

Devotional Text: John 3:14-16

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Hi, This is Brent White! It’s Tuesday, March 13, and this is devotional podcast number 21.

You’re listening to “Don’t Bring Me Down,” a Top 5 hit song for the Electric Light Orchestra in 1979. I recorded this from their 1979 album, Discovery. And I thought of this song because I’m going to be talking about a subject that is considered to be a downer, at least among most people: It is a downer that we are helpless sinners, that we deserve God’s wrath, and that, apart from a miraculous intervention of God, we are bound for hell.

And I’m going to talk about this downer of a subject as it relates to the most popular verse in the Bible, which is John 3:16. And this may surprise you, because it doesn’t seem like a downer at all. People love this verse! If you go to a major sporting event, you might see a sign or banner hanging from upper deck guard rails that reads “John 3:16.” Quarterback and Heisman winner Tim Tebow famously wrote “John 3:16” in his eye black when he and his team won the 2009 National Championship. Professional wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and his fans often wore apparel emblazoned with the slogan “Austin 3:16.” (I’m not sure why, come to think of it, but he’s referring to this verse.) If you go to the famous West Coast fast-food chain, In-N-Out Burger, and look at the bottom of their soft drink cups, you will see “John 3:16” printed in small letters on the inside rim.

When Christians display the words “John 3:16,” it’s as if they’re saying, “This is all you need to know.” And I hardly disagree with them! If John 3:16 isn’t the most important verse in the Bible, it is at least, in my opinion, the one verse that best summarizes the gospel message—if not the entire Bible. The verse’s fame is well-earned.

I have so much I want to say about this one verse! So I’m going to spend the next few podcasts talking about it—reflecting on some of the key words in verse.

But before I get into it, I want to clear up a misunderstanding about this verse, which is this: that John 3:16 is a Bible verse for beginners—for baby Christians or, especially, for those who aren’t yet Christians at all; that John 3:16 is something that we need to hear before we’re converted, before we believe in Jesus as a our Savior and Lord.

And then after we’re converted, after we are justified—that is, after God forgives us of all our sins, after God imputes Christ’s righteousness to us, and after God gives us new birth by the Holy Spirit—then John 3:16 is something we can sort of leave in our past. Sure, it becomes a pleasant reminder of what God has done for us in the past. But we ourselves—having understood already how much God loves us and what he did for us through Jesus to give us eternal life—we don’t really need it anymore.
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