John 3:16 (NASB) For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
This is the world’s most known Scripture. Brief and to the point, Jesus revealed God’s great love.
God so loved (v.16). The idea that God loves the whole world was a new idea. The Jews believed God loved the religious (the true Jew) and hated the non-religious (the Gentiles). The same thoughts are held by many in every generation, especially by religionists. The fact that God truly loves is shocking to many. Some wonder and others question how God could possibly love the…
- vile person • murderer • immoral person • wife beater
- child abuser • prostitute • thief • alcoholic
- street person • oppressor • enslaver • bitter, vengeful
“Love” is a major theme with John, with three related terms occurring 116 times in his writings (56 in the Gospel). In John, the two main verbs, agapaō and phileō, are synonymous (though he uses agapaō 36 times and phileō only 13).
God gave with the purpose: to save. God loves every person, not just the religious and the good. He does not love only the people who love Him. He loves everyone, even the unlovely and the unloving, the unbelieving and the obstinate, the selfish and the greedy, the spiteful and the vengeful.
The basis of God’s love is His nature. God is love (1 John 4:8, 16); therefore, He loves. He acts, demonstrates, and shows His love. Love acts; it expresses itself. Love does not sit still, doing nothing. It is not dormant, complacent, inactive. If love actually exists, it has to act and express itself; it has to do something good. Love is loving; that is, love is always demonstrating love to others. Therefore, God’s love acts and reveals Him to be love.
God wants us to know His love. He wants to reach everyone in the world with His love. There is the evidence of God’s love—God gave His only begotten Son. God demonstrated His love in the most perfect way possible: He gave His only begotten Son to the world. As God, He is perfect, which means His love is perfect. Therefore, God not only loves, but He so loves. He loves to perfection, loves to the ultimate degree. Whatever the ultimate degree and the perfect act and expression of love is, God shows it. Without question, the greatest act of love is the sacrifice of a man’s own life; therefore, God sacrificed the life of His own Son to save man. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
The most glorious evidence of God’s love is that God took the initiative to save humans. We did not seek to save ourselves; God sought to save us. God gave His Son so that we might be forgiven and saved. God is the seeking Savior.
The most glorious truth is that God gave His only begotten Son. This is the most remarkable proof of God’s love. It magnifies and shows how great His love really is. He was willing to give the thing most dear to His heart in order to save the world. Note this: God even planned to give His Son throughout eternity.
Salvation: there is the purpose of God’s love: to save men. God’s purpose in giving His Son was threefold. To save from perishing, to eternal life, through belief.
When you’ve memorized Genesis 1:1; John 1:1; 1:14; and 3:16, you have the entire Bible in the palm of your hand. These verses are the four corners of God’s Word. Next week will explore what is called the Roman road.