1 March 2011

God so Loved the World

It is not hard to see why John 3:16 is the best known and most cherished verse in the Holy Scriptures. It is packed with truths about God’s kindness and his provision for our joy and life.

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Is it not amazing that God loves the world that has rebelled against him? Our first parents disobeyed their Maker, and we, their children, continue to do the same to this day. Every sin that we commit is, in effect, an act of disobedience and defiance against our Creator. Even so, the Bible tells us that ‘God so loved the world!’

Even more amazing is the measure of God’s love. God is good to us; he gives us breath, health, food, family and so many good gifts. But all of that is nothing when compared to the ultimate expression of his love. He ‘gave his only Son!’ God could not have loved the world more than that!

God gave his Son in three ways:
  • The Father gave his Son when he sent him to dwell among us on earth. He who is equal with the Father, eternal and glorious, was clothed with humanity. The child is Mary is the Son of God; Jesus is truly man and truly God.
  • Also, God gave his Son when he offered him as a sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. We can begin to understand and appreciate Jesus’ cross when we remember that we deserve punishment because we sinned against God. Yet God provided a way of deliverance; the punishment was transferred to his Son. He died in the place of others.
  • Finally, God gives his Son even today in the promise of the gospel. ‘Whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.’ The 'whoever' includes you and me. Think about it: you too are invited by God to receive eternal life.
One of two destinies awaits each one of us – to perish in hell or to enjoy life in communion with God forever. All depends on your response to the gospel message.
  • You may ignore, reject and disregard God’s love, his Son, and his call to faith, to your own detriment and doom. Please don't.
  • On the other hand, you may take to heart the message of salvation, and believe in the Son of God, entrusting yourself in Jesus’ loving arms. You will not be disappointed, for God keeps his promises; he will surely give you eternal life if you believe in Jesus.