“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) The cornerstone of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the fulfillment of the promise of God that one day, man would be restored to his rightful place in the kingdom of God. A kingdom that was created by God, for the glory of God, to be inhabited by man and constructed to be everlasting.
Somewhere between Genesis 1:1 and John 3:16 something went dreadfully wrong. Between Satan’s penchant for deception, Eve’s misquoting the words of God and Adams weakness for fresh fruit, the everlasting life was taken away. Ever since man has been feverishly trying to work his way back to right-standing with God and have the intention of everlasting life returned. Sorrowfully, I must admit we have failed miserably over the centuries and the failure continues today.
Many examples are available in Old Testament Scripture that illustrates God’s unwavering love and covenant relationship with his greatest creation, man. Likewise, there are many examples of man’s contempt, disdain and outright rejection of the love of God, preferring to love himself and the world more. The seesaw effect of this relationship has hindered the evolution of the Father-Child relationship and the benefits thereof to the children of God. Although, some of us reluctantly display our affection for the Father, however, he has never failed to show His love for us.
In John 3:16 God clearly demonstrates his love for all of us, and for everything that exists on planet Earth. Every bee, bug, insect, fish, fowl, cat, dog, yes even the birds and the bees, the flowers and the trees—this is the world of God’s creation. John tells us that “God so loved the world” implying and suggesting that He loved it dearly, beyond our everyday comprehension and pathetic definitions of love.
Just how much is “so”? That he gave! Think about it for a moment, He did not loan, offer, sell, trade or barter, He simply gave. And what did he give? His only begotten Son. I will get back to the Son in a moment.
My friends, brothers and sisters, I pray that you will come to understand the magnitude, the gravity and power of this single verse of scripture, as you understand no other. And I pray that God will bless you now, with the wisdom and understanding of an open mind and a receptive heart, in Jesus’ name, to take these words into your life.
We must understand John 3:16 because the Law and teachings of Moses and all the prophets of God are hinged on it. Your life depends on it, where your soul will spend eternity depends on it. Now if you and I are half as intelligent, as smart as, we have led ourselves to believe that we are, we would be able to comprehend just how important it is to get a deathlike-grip on John 3:16, and do not let go.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.” As a father of one son, Wesley, and one grandson, Jeremiah, I will tell you straight up, I don’t think I could do it for you and/or me. It’s a hard though, and out of love for my son and grandson, I shiver at the very idea of having to give either one up as a living sacrifice. For this world! We humans? You have to be kidding me! Hard headed, disobedient, stiff-necked, prejudiced, hateful, envious, jealous and unappreciative, no way! I thank God that He does not see the world, you and I included, through the eyes of men.
You have to understand that God did not give His son-in-law, he did not give his step-son, he did not give someone else’s son, He gave Jesus—His only begotten Son, He gave him for you and me. Maybe some of you all are having problems with the word “begotten or is it only” that has you in a fix. Begotten simply means he created him, he gave life to him, he brought him forth out of himself. And “only” means just that, only, He did not have two or three, he had one, just one—Jesus was and is the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, the only one.
The second most awesome and endearing part of this transaction makes each one of us beholding and indebted to Jesus. He agreed with the Father! He did not object nor resist being given as a living sacrifice. He became a sacrificial offering for our sins, yours and mine, the one-time, once-and-for-all sacrifice to cover a multitude of mankind’s sins. Jesus could do it because he was without sin and no guile was in him. He was pure and sure, he knew he could and would return to the Father. The certainty of purpose and result was clear to Jesus and it needs to be clear to every believer. This is what my Father requires of me and I’m willing to do the Father’s will. I will do it for the benefit of my sisters and brothers that are removed from the glory I live every day. You see Jesus was already in heaven and he had a round trip ticket to return before he left. God guaranteed him that he would return to his rightful place. And here we are still trying to find ours.
As we approach the Christmas Holiday season, we should be ever so mindful of the love of God and the greatest gift the world has ever received the gift of Jesus. The gift of Jesus is truly the gift that gave and keeps on giving. Oh, the blood, nothing but the blood, there’s power in the blood, healing in those blood-stained stripes and I thank you Lord for your gift. Let us not forget, God gave Jesus, and Jesus gave all, he gave his life!
What are you willing to give? Are you willing to give your life for a life? Will you give your life to Jesus as he gave his for you? “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” (Titus 2:11) Today is the day, now is the time, will you come to Jesus as he came to you. Thank you Jesus for all that you have given for me and all that you have given me; hope, strength, faith and a one way ticket to my heavenly home. “In him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel Of Jesus Our Christ