‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16).
As we prepare to reach out with the gospel again this Christmas, let us think once more about our relationship to the God of love. No doubt John 3:16 is the most beloved verse in the whole Bible. And, no wonder, for it expresses in a simple but beautiful way the wonderful love of God for humanity.
Here we learn the extent of God’s love: ‘God so loved the world’. The word for ‘world’ in the Greek is kosmos, from which we get the word cosmology. It meant originally the well ordered, ‘decorated’ globe on which we live, with its billions of people.
The kosmos, in biblical terms, though created by God, is fallen, sinful and lost. Yet, amazingly, God loved it. The ‘world’ here is a universal term. It reminds us that God’s love is not limited to any social class or nation. It is for all.
This verse tells us about the intent of God’s love. It tells us that God so loved that he ‘gave’.
Today we hear many people questioning the love of God. They ask, why (if he exists) does God allow so much evil in the world? Why does God not kill the devil and stop the suffering?
But stop to think about the text! God has come into this world of human tragedy and sin. He gave his Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to save us. How can we question his mercy?
Here we learn also the potent of God’s love. The verse states that God’s intention is that all who believe in Jesus, all who accept the gospel, ‘will not perish’ but ‘have everlasting life’.
The very purpose of God’s sending his Son into the world is that people might have an opportunity to repent of sin and believe on Jesus, so that they can be forgiven. Yes, God’s love is powerful. It can save even you, if you trust in Christ.
Have you accepted the well attested, well documented testimony of God’s gift to humanity? If not — right now — bow your head and ask God to save you. Tell him you are sorry for your sin and ask for his forgiveness.
If you respond to his saving message, he will come into your heart and give you eternal life.