John 3:16—”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
What is the great gospel mystery?
“God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son.”
We must identify many things from this scripture. It shows that:
– God our Father’s love was so great for us that it initiated us being reconciled to Him when He planned to send us His Son. God so loved the world, so really, so richly. Now His creatures can see that He loves them, and wishes them well. He so loved the world of fallen man as he did not love that of fallen angels; see Rom. 5:8; 1 Jn. 4:10.
– Jesus Christ is the only-begotten Son of God. Imagine a Father who gives up His only birthed child, a Son; a dignity in himself, a very delight and so dear to his Father. It magnifies His love that He was willing to give His One and only Child for us, give Him to us.
– God was pleased to give his only-begotten Son to establish the redemption and salvation of man.
He not only sent Him into the world with full and ample power to negotiate a peace between Heaven and earth, but He gave Him up to suffer and die for us as the great sacrifice. Christ said that He came in love for the whole world – Gentiles as well as Jews. Through Jesus there’s a general offer of life and salvation made to all. It is a love that issues a proclamation of pardon and indemnity to all – the rebellious or revolting – who plead it on their knees and their allegiance. Christ is known as salvation to the ends of the earth.
What therefore is our gospel duty?
We need to accept God’s gift i.e., to believe in Jesus Christ. This is what God our Father has determined and designed – God ‘gave’ Jesus to us and for us. God gave Him a body to fulfill His purpose. Jesus’ enemies couldn’t have taken him if his Father hadn’t given Him up to them.
God has made an offer of Jesus to all, all true believers. He has given Jesus to all the intents and purposes of the new covenant. God gave Him to us to be our Prophet, Priest, and King. We must give up ourselves to be ruled, and taught, and saved by Him. We must believe in what God has given in His Word about his Son.
How does the Gospel benefit us?
“That whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
All true believers, through Christ, are:
1- Saved from the miseries of hell, the fiery pit; they won’t perish. God has taken away their sin, they won’t die. Their pardon was purchased.
2- entitled to the joys of heaven with everlasting life. The convicted traitor is not only pardoned, but preferred, and made a favourite, and treated as one whom the King of kings delights to honour.
“Every one who believeth.” This means the limit to this promise, “might not perish”, reaches out to all of humanity. The foundation to this is the Love of God. It must be felt and thought rather than spoken.
God so loved the world— were uttered to Nicodemus for the first time. These words are the revelation of the nature of God.
Understand, and wonder, that the great God should love such a worthless world! That the holy God should love such a wicked world with a love of good will, when He couldn’t look upon it with any complacency. This was indeed a time of love!
‘Here is the wood, and here is the fire, where is the lamb’? Do you not think it would be hard for the father to steady his voice and say, ‘My son, God will provide the lamb’? God did provide the Lamb, His Son, because God hates the sin but surely loves us the sinners.