For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. -John 3:16 i have heard ministers speak on various part of this verse, such as ...God so loved the world, ...only begotten Son, ...whosoever believeth... ...everlasting life. but i have only heard one minister preach on the "For" of this verse. the minister's name that preach it is Elder Sonny Pyles out of Texas. one day i hope to see this message on line. Elder Pyles reminds us of the true picture of this verse begins in verse 14. one can not speak on this verse without including the 14th verse of the same chapter to have full understanding of the topic verse. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: -John 3:14 the "for" of the 16th verse is a summary word. it summarizes some statement. that statement was made in verse 14. let us look and examine verse 14. Christ said "And as Moses..." meaning just like Moses or the same as Moses. the action is meaning the same thing Moses did "...lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,..." . Christ went on to tell Nicodemus "...even so must the Son of man be lifted up:" which is to say just the same or just like that, must I (Christ) be lifted up. to really understand what Christ is talking about we must examine Numbers 21. as we know this chapter of the bible tells us about the fiery serpents God sent the fiery serpent upon the children of Israel because they spoke against God and Moses. 6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. -Numbers 21:6 so, we see the LORD God of heaven sending the fiery serpent among His people. the verse also tells us "much" or many Israelites died. now, let's look at this picture, we know not all the people died nor were all the Israelites bitten. next verse to consider..... And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. -Numbers 21:8 God told Moses to make the fiery serpent and set it upon a pole. we all understand this to be a representation of Christ on the cross at Calvary. the verse goes on to say that "...every one that is bitten, when they look upon it, shall live." meaning each person that had been bitten when they looked at the fiery serpent would not die. at this point in the scriptures there are three types of people: 1) those who have been bitten and died. 2) those who have not been bitten. 3) those who have been bitten and are alive. let's look at (1) those who have been bitten and died. those who are dead can not look at the fiery serpent of brass. so, the fiery serpent of brass is of no benefit to those who are dead. just like them, unless a person has been made alive by the quickening power of Jesus Christ, Christ being lifted up has no effect, because that person is dead. now for (2) those who have not been bitten. when and if they looked upon the serpent, did the serpent do anything for them which had not been bitten? no. what need did they have, they had not been bitten, they had not been stricken with any disease (sin). same with a person that doesn't know he/she is a sinner. that person has no need for the cross, he may appear to have life, but is dead spiritually. and Jesus Christ being lifted up has no effect on anyone who does not know he/she needs a savior. now for (3) those who have been bitten and are alive. these are the ones the promise of God is made. those who are suffering from the sting of the serpent. those who know they will die because of the sting. they know they are doomed. they are tormented by the pain of their afflictions. they seek a cure for their afflictions. what gave them that affliction? a fiery serpent with poison. where does the cure come from? another serpent (anti-venom). but this fiery serpent looked like the fiery serpent that bit the Israelites, however, this fiery serpent was made a brass (which is a compound metal, which represents Christ as the Son of God and the Son of man) and those who are aware of their state (those which have been bitten and are alive), when they look upon the fiery serpent of brass, it has an effect upon them. just like when a minister lifts up Jesus Christ today and it has an effect upon someone, that someone is keenly aware of his/her state. and that state is a state of sin, doomed to die, in which the cure is Christ and Him alone. only those who have been quickened or made alive by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ have the ability to know the retched state man is in. i am thankful God has used Elder Sonny Pyles to enlighten me on this verse John 3:16. for using the word "for" to pull this out of God word to paint a vivid picture of a text that teaches eternal security. May the Lord richly bless each of us.