New Defender's Study Bible Notes
3:16 only begotten Son. Jesus calls Himself “Son of man” in John 3:13-14 and “Son of God” in John 3:16-18. As Son of man, He is the “heir” of God’s promises to man (Hebrews 1:2), man as God intended man to be, the perfect man. As Son of God, He is the unique, beloved, only begotten, eternally begotten, Son of the Father, “very God.”
3:17 sent. The fact that God sent His Son into the world is emphasized in many Scriptures (e.g., I John 4:9-10). That He came to save the world from the condemnation it deserved is also confirmed in many other Scriptures (e.g., John 5:24; Acts 17:31; Romans 8:1).
3:18 condemned already. See also John 3:36. The world is under universal condemnation because of universal sin. There can be no deliverance from this fate except to receive the gift of salvation from the one who was “made…sin for us…that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Corinthians 5:21). On that basis—and that alone—can we be saved from this condemnation (Romans 8:3; Galatians 3:13). We must look unto Him if we are to be saved (Isaiah 45:22).
3:18 only begotten. See on John 1:18 for the vital importance of believing in the “only begotten” Son of God. His unique Sonship required the virgin birth, and was proved by the resurrection (Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:33; Romans 1:4; John 5:26).
3:19 the condemnation. The word “condemnation” (Greek krisis) is also translated “judgment,” but only a judgment concluding in condemnation. The use of the definite article—“the condemnation”—emphasizes that judgment is not because of sin, but because of rejection of God’s provision of salvation from sin through the light of Jesus Christ.
3:19 men loved darkness. See also John 1:9; II Corinthians 4:3-4; Ephesians 4:13-14.
3:21 doeth truth. One who truly desires light and truth will not only believe the truth, but do the truth (contrast I John 1:6) for Jesus Christ is the Truth (John 14:6).