You have asked about John 3:16; for clarity, let's add the two subsequent verses as well.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God."
Traditionalists believe that the "Son" referred to 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.
Thanks for writing—and for being a part of the "Interpret This" Bible community.