PASSAGE: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life" (John 3:16 NRSV).
QUESTION: New to Unity. Wanted to know how Unity interpreted this.
COMMENT: Traditionalists believe that the "Son" referred to in this often-quoted verse is Jesus Christ, and this is one of the passages they use to support their contention that belief in Jesus as the "only-begotten" Son of God is essential for salvation.
Metaphysically we understand the "Son" to be equivalent to the "Word" in John 1:1. It describes the Christ—the creative energy of divine omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence that is the Presence of God in each individual. It is the Christ, the Word, the creative empowerment that our divine Source sends into the world—as us—to continue the great creative process.
Each of us is the Christ in potential; Jesus became the Christ in expression, and calls each of us to become the Christ in expression as well, so that we can continue to be about his work of healing, loving, forgiving and empowering, thus bringing into expression the new consciousness that Jesus calls 'the kingdom of heaven.'
This is our work to do, it's our truth to find, believe and express. We must believe this about ourselves—we must allow the example of Jesus to release our own Christ energy—in order to accomplish our spiritual purpose. If we don't, we are “condemned” to continue living in lack and ignorance, waiting vainly for a salvation from without that won't come until we realize the power we have within ourselves—the power that we truly are.