There is no doubt about it, all the verses of the Bible are important or they wouldn’t be there. However, some verses stand out more than other ones. It is like that with the various 3:16s, that is, the Scriptures found in chapter 3, verse 16 in various books of the bible. In my opinion, there are 13 notable 3:16s, with only one being found in the Old Testament. That one exception is Mal. 3:16. Let’s start with it:
Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name. (Mal 3:16) “They will be mine,” says the LORD Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him.” (Mal 3:17)
COMMENT: Fearing God and honoring his name is elevated by God and should be high priority among us all.
New Testament 3:16s
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. (John 3:16)
COMMENT: This is probably the best known verse in the entire Bible, which is also directly related to salvation. Sadly, it has been twisted and distorted into something not originally meant by the eternal security teachers and overlaps sometimes into antinomianism.
By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see. (Acts 3:16)
COMMENT: There’s the reason the crippled man was healed. It wasn’t because Peter was an apostle, but because he had faith in Jesus’ name.
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? (1 Cor 3:16) If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. (1 Cor 3:17)
COMMENT: Christians have the Holy Spirit living in their body. Hence, they are now the temple of God and not any man made structure! To defile that sacred temple is to lose salvation.
Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. (2 Cor 3:15) But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. (2 Cor 3:16)
COMMENT: That is a definite evidence of coming to initial salvation. When that wonderful new creation miracle occurs, the Biblical message opens up to a person and he/she hungers for God’s truth.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. (Col 3:16)
COMMENT: The teachings of Christ, as found in the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), as well as Rev. 2 and 3 should be the basis of our teachings, songs and thanksgiving to God. That is not to exclude the other Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16,17), but to emphasize his teachings. Some in our day reject his teachings!
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. (2 Thess 3:16)
COMMENT: That blessing of peace is a wonderful way to end an email or close out a church service.
Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory. (1 Tim 3:16)
COMMENT: The focus is shown to be on Jesus again. The Textus Receptus shows the deity of Christ here, but that rendering is disputed in other manuscripts. While that reading is disputed by some, Christ’s deity is solidly taught throughout the Bible.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, (2 Tim 3:16) so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:17)
COMMENT: This is a foundational Scripture in Christianity. The Bible is final authority and the basis for all Christian teaching, correcting, etc.
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. (James 3:16)
COMMENT: Sin begets more sin, but specifically envy and selfish ambition result in disorder and every evil practice.
He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. (2 Pet 3:16)
COMMENT: Paul’s epistles are elevated to Scripture by Peter. Furthermore, they have been distorted by ignorant and unstable people. A prime example of this type of distortion is the Romans 7:14-25 passage mangled by the eternal security teachers as they smear the image of Christianity by denigrating Paul (as a Christian) to the worst of sinners!
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. (1 John 3:16)
COMMENT: To die for another is the greatest love one can have. Christians are to have that for other Christians!
So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (Rev 3:16)
COMMENT: The last notable 3:16 in this list is a hell warning to the saved. Unless the Laodiceans would repent and become hot, they would be discharged from the body of Christ and, therefore, lose their salvation.