Archive for March 30th, 2018

John 3:16-18

John 3:16-18 has the Apostle writing the most famous verse in all of scripture.  Of the 31,373 verses in scripture, this is likely the most well-known of them all.  “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son.” If you want to know God’s heart in a sentence, this is it.  God loves us enough to send Jesus to earth to redeem us from our sin.  This wasn’t  something God had to do.  He didn’t wait for us to love Him first.  God created the way for all mankind to experience what Jesus had told Nicodemus had to happen to receive salvation – we must be born again.  There is no other way to salvation.  Jesus is our way!

John is clear not only about the way for us to eternity with God, but also the why God sent Jesus to us in human form.  “And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.”   God doesn’t just love some of us.  The idea that we have to do certain things or be a certain way is not in the formula.  Most of all though, we need to see the duration of God’s love for mankind.  It is forever – it doesn’t change – and Jesus came to restore us to God from our place of condemnation as sinners.

The translation most of us know goes like this: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life”.  That’s the version many of us grew up memorizing or hearing.  From that version, Guzik calls out seven wonders of John 3:16

 

God The Almighty Authority
So loved the world The Mightiest Motive
That He gave His only begotten Son The Greatest Gift
That whoever The Widest Welcome
Believes in Him The Easiest Escape
Should not perish The Divine Deliverance
But have everlasting life The Priceless Possession

So what do we need to do in response to God’s provision of a Savior?  What do we do with this free gift of love God has provided – the unlimited offer of grace and mercy through Jesus Christ to all who receive and believe? We have to make that gift our own and take it as our own and believe it as our own.  No one else can do that for us.  It is a personal gift to each one of us. “Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him”.

Some see God as keeper of a bunch of rules that prevent us from enjoying life.  But that couldn’t be further from the truth.  God is love.  God does have a standard for each of us as individuals – we have to meet His standards of holiness and righteousness to be able to enter heaven on our own merit.  None of us will manage to live that way on our own.  Sin gets in the way.  So God loved us enough to send Jesus.  He is our way – the only way.  If we trust Him and receive that gift of grace, we are set free from the penalty of sin.  If we don’t, we will stand before God and have to give account for our choices.  Anyone who trusts in Jesus can have their slate cleared – their record wiped clean.  What a God! What a Savior!  Have you prepared for the inevitable?  We will all face God someday.  There is only one path to everlasting life, and it is Jesus Christ!

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