An Amazing Love
The verse John 3:16 is one almost all good Christian kids know by heart. It is the doctrinal “biggy” for all evangelicals. It is almost expected that if you just hear this verse, you will come running to accept Christ as your Savior. “For God so loved (you) the world…”
But, there is more, much more to this verse. Verse 16 almost begs the question, “why?” Why would He do this? Why would He have to do this? How do I know that this shows that God loves me? And, why would God sacrifice His Son? Why is that necessary? No one seems to quote the answers to these questions. Let’s try to give it a go.
God’s sense of love is a perfect love. In fact, love is what God is. There is never a time that God does not love. On the other hand, we see love as some mesmerizing feeling that makes us all fuzzy and warm. To us, it’s an emotion; so, when we see that God sacrificed His Son for some emotional high, He seems mean and sadistic. It would seem, that if God really loved us, it wouldn’t be necessary for His Son to die; but, our sense of love, being as it is, so far from God’s that we cannot understand the width and depth and comprehensiveness of what love is. It is not a feeling; although at times it may evoke feelings. Love is a state of being that sacrifices for the other.
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (the Trinity) love perfectly. They sacrifice themselves into the Godhead so that perfect love can be achieved. It is God’s nature to sacrifice Himself for the one loved. All three, the trinity, do this for the good of the relationship.
God not only loves Himself in the Trinity, but He loves us. He created us to be in union with Him, just as He is with Himself (the Trinity). What we did in Eden, warped that perfect love and made it impossible to happen; however, God is able to rise above our imperfection and created a perfectly holy solution to the problem.
God the Son, putting on human flesh, came to Earth to sacrifice Himself as a payment for our sin. This is something that no matter how good we were, we could not achieve. It was His sacrifice that made it possible for us to have communion with the Godhead at all. His righteousness is seen by the rest of the Godhead as our righteousness. We are clean only because of Him.
In verse 16, all of that is not made visible. However, in verse 17 we see that even though we deserved punishment, God did not come to punish us, but rather to save us (from ourselves). He shined a light into our darkness like a beacon so that we could find our way back to Him. All we have to do is to go to the light, and there He will be, ready to save us.
But, what of those who don’t go? Who refuse to see the light? Well, that’s a problem; because the world was condemned at Eden. It was determined there that the world would end. God’s answer is the light of the World, Jesus Christ. Whoever chooses to believe in Him will have eternal life. It is a gift. No one has to take a gift though. They have the ability and the free will to say “no;” but, like a dying man on a sinking ship, the person who says no to rescue is committing suicide. This is the only rescue boat that is coming.
So why do people say no? Verses 19-21 tell us that there are humans who do not want to be saved. There are people who are wicked, who want to stay in the dark. They hate the light and therefore will not come to it, because if they did, they would be exposed for what they are. No way do they want that to happen! Their fate is sealed because of their pride.
But, according to verse 21, whoever has a good heart, and does what is true, will come to the light because they are not trying to hide themselves from God. They will be saved.
What an amazing love! A God who only wants relationship. A God whose only desire is to have union with those He has made! Hallelujah, what a Savior!
See Ya Next Time
1. Discuss or write about what these verses say about our relationship with God the Father?
2. What is His role?
3. What should our role be?
4. Discuss or write about what these verses say about Jesus’ relationship to God the Father and to us.
5. What is His role?
6. What is our role to Him and then to God the Father?
7. Discuss or write about the attitude of heart of those who hate God.
8. Discuss or write about the attitude of heart of those who love God.
9. Discuss the differences.