“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.”
Every verse in the Bible is the greatest sentence in the whole world. Why? Because, it came out from God Himself, but still, John 3:16 is the summary also a clear statement about the very essence of God’s heart for us.
William P. K. Lee, put this verse into 12 greatest things ever exist in the universe.
“For God” – the greatest person
“So loved” – the greatest love
“The world” – the greatest multitude
“That He gave” – the greatest act
“His only Begotten Son” – the greatest gift
“That whosoever” – the greatest individual
“Believeth” – the greatest faith
“In Him” – the greatest assurance
“Should not” – the greatest deliverance
“Perish” – the greatest sentence
“But have” – the greatest possession
“Everlasting life” – the greatest life
(Taken from: “Tear drop on seed life”)
We can divide this single verse into 3 great truths, which are:
1. The Fact
2. The Reason
3. The Purpose
1. The Fact: “That He gave His only begotten Son”
– This is the greatest fact ever known to all humankind.
There was nothing, and there will be nothing can compare to the event when God, Himself, gave His begotten Son for us. There was no fact, and there will be none, that have so many impacts to this world, except the fact that God gave His own Son for us. This fact had change a whore, unhappy woman who was looking her pleasure in sex, became an evangelist (John 4:39-42). It changed a dirty, smelly, rough fisherman, like Peter, or John, or others, into a history-maker. If this fact could change the crazy, demonic, naked, filled with 6000 demons (legion) man became an evangelist of 10 cities; and it surely can change anything, won’t you agree with me? It changed so many people, and it can change your life and mine too! The most genius man can’t change the world. The richest man ever lived cannot change the world. The most charismatic politician can’t change this world like Jesus did. But, since Jesus came to this world; He already changed millions and millions of people and He still keep in this “changing” business.
– This is the fact that no one can ever change.
Many people tried to hide this fact; communism, materialism, Islam, Bahai-u’llah, Jewish religion, etc. But they can’t change the fact that Jesus ever lived in this world, they can’t change the fact that His tomb is empty.
The devil knew that he couldn’t change this reality, so he must hide this fact from as many people as he can. So he lied to them. Once I heard when Rev. A. A. Allen preached in one meeting, and he began to make a statement about the devil; he said: “Devil is a liar!” Yes, he is a liar. He lied to you because he afraid if you know this fact, you will the most powerful person that ever lived, so he lied. Hallelujah!
– This is the fact that gave us boldness to stand before the Almighty God, without blame.
Heb 10:19, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,”
This fact convinced us, so we can believed, and we can have the boldness to come to HIM into a close fellowship.
2. The Reason: “For God so loved the world”
God’s love is an:
– Unchanging love ( John 15 : 9 )
As long as the Father and the Son not change (Heb 13 : 8 , I John 4:16), His love will not change.
Jer 31:3 says, “Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” (New Living Translation)
– Unconditional love (Luke 15:11-32)
F. E. Marsh gave a wonderful insight about these verses:
“The prodigal in his self-will demanded “the portion of goods that falleth” to him. But the Father in Love’s giving divide unto him “His living”, literally “His life.”
The prodigal in his self-action “gathered all together.” The Father in His love was waiting on the lookout for the wanderer to return.
The prodigal in his self-destination went into the “far country”. The Father in His Love’s sight saw the ungrateful one while he was yet “a great way off”.
The prodigal in his self-waste “wasted his substance in riotous living.” The Father in His Love’s heart had “compassion” on him.
The prodigal in his self-folly “spent all” he possessed. The Father’s Love’s desire moved Him to run to welcome the wanderer.
The prodigal in his self-destitution began “to be in want.” The Father in His love’s embrace fell on his neck and took him into His heart.
The prodigal in his self-association “joined himself to a citizen of that country.” The Father in His Love’s kiss lavished upon the swine-feeder the many kisses of His affection.
The prodigal in his self-servitude was sent into the field to feed the swine. The Father in His Love’s garment put the “best robe” on him.
The prodigal in his self-misery found no one to help him, for “no man gave unto him”. The Father in His Love’s provision killed the fatted calf and feasted him.
The prodigal in his self-condemnation confessed he was unworthy. The Father in His Love’s satisfaction exclaimed, “This is My son.”
The prodigal in his self-confession confessed, “I have sinned.” The Father in His Love’s defense, against the older brother’s criticism of His action for the prodigal, answers every charge.”
It’s truly unconditional love! I John 4:9-10, “God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”
– Unfailing love ( 1 Corinthians 13 : 8 )
You can count on His unfailing love. Once someone said, “If you can’t see His hand, always believe in His heart.” It means, if you can’t see God’s help in the midst of difficulties, then, you must begin to believe in His loving heart!
– Unlimited love (Rom 5:20; Psalms 57:11; 63:4)
* Your weakness can’t limit His love to you (2 Cor 12:9).
* Your sins can’t limit His love to you (Rom 5:8).
* Nothing can limit His love to you (Rom 8:35-39).
– Unthinkable love
God’s love is not for our brain (Rom 5:5); it’s for our heart. God’s love is not to be analyzed, but it is to receive.
We can say together with John (John 21:25)and Meir Ben-Isaac Nehoric,
“Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the slies of parchment made;
Were ev’ry stalk on earth a quill, and ev’ry man a scribe by trade;
To write the Love of God above
would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though streched from sky to sky.”
His love is an unthinkable love, we can’t contain it in our head, but we can live in it by receiving in our heart.
– Unselfish love (sacrificial love) – Luke 23:34
What is more unselfish than “forgiveness”? God didn’t just GIVE His Begotten Son, but He for-GIVE our sin, isn’t that marvelous?
– Unquestionable love ( 1 John 4 : 18 )
When God loved us, we will found no space to doubt His love to us. We will find no bad motivation in His love. You will not and cannot question His love, because in His love there is no fear, no doubt, no unrighteousness.
3. The Purpose/Result: “That whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”
This part is our part. God gave Jesus for the world, but only he that believed will be find the greatest Gift ever, the everlasting life. How about you?
’In the New Testament, when belief is said to lead to eternal life, as is the case here, the tense expressing continuous action is always used while the tense expressing a single action is never used. The stress is thus placed on the continuousfaith rather than on an isolated moment of faith.’ (“The Gospel According to John” George Turner and Julius Manley