John 3:16

Salvation is wonderful, awesome thing!  It was first built into the Plan of God before creation by the living God, the Triune and Holy God, the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, revealed to us in Matthew 3:16-17, as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!  It is the ultimate expression of God’s righteousness and great love for mankind, that He would, in the very beginning choose a people for His very own.  Man, in his fallen sinfulness needed God to save him from his sins and the wrath of God to come!  A covering of sins would not do year by year by year.  No, what was needed was total forgiveness of sins, something only God could do, something that would be done out of His love for us.

And so, in the fullness of time, God sent His Son, His only begotten Son, from Spirit into the womb of Mary, to be born a man, fully God, fully man, in the flesh!  About 33 years later, the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ-Messiah, died a most horrific death on the cross for the sins of the world.  He was the sacrificial Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!  He was the perfect atonement, so that all who would believe in Him would not perish but have eternal life with Him, in heaven, and on earth. 

And so it was, and so it is that out of the millions and billions of people to have lived on the earth in every century since this time, when Jesus, our Lord and Savior was resurrected from the dead and ascended up into heaven, that in this cold, dark, sinful world, approxomately only a quarter of the population (never half) come to a saving belief in Jesus Christ!  I wish it to be more!  I pray the Holy Spirit will convict to belief against the hardest of non-believers in all countries of the world!  But the enemy is constantly at work and never sleeps!  With all his lies, deceits, traps, murder, and blood lust, he has always gained a sizeable harvest of souls!  Whom will ye worship?  And how and when will ye worship?  

All God has done to save man is out of His great, great love for us, even beyond human understanding or comprehension.  Despite the evil and wickedness in the world, there is a love that transcends the limitless universe which God created and named every part.  It transcends the deepest ocean or the highest mountain.  It stirs the soul with wide-open arms and beckons us to come into the warm embrace of God’s eternal love.  It saves us from condemnation in our sins; it saves us from His holy, righteous judgment and the verdict of unbelief: the Lake of Fire, a place in the earth that burns forever in complete and total separation from God. 

But in Christ Jesus is life, and light, and truth, in love, both now and forever with Him into all eternity; and this, above all, shall be the calling of His love and the reward of belief.   

And God demonstrated this great, eternal love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!

There is no greater love; it sounds throughout the ages as a giant trumpet in the clouds, sounding forth the greatest love call the world has ever known, the immensity of the limitless love of the outstretched arms of His embrace, the fathomless love of a Father for His Son, and His sons and daughters.  By this you shall know just how much God loves you:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

You can search the Scriptures and find countless examples of God’s great love; one can preach the greatest sermon and expound upon the love of God.  But nowhere, anywhere is this more profound than in the text of John 3:16.

How much does God really love us?  I can think of not a better illustration than that of Harry Moorehouse, of Dublin, Ireland, who, in Chicago, as a guest of Dwight L. Moody in 1867, preached seven sermons on John 3:16, with the message to sinners that God loves them! He wrote:

“My friends, I have been hunting all day for a new text, but I cannot find one as good as the old one; so we will go back to the third chapter of John and the sixteenth verse.” 

“And he preached the seventh sermon from that wonderful verse,” wrote Moody. 

Moody remembered the closing notes of that wonderful sermon.  He wrote:

“My friends, for a whole week I have been trying to tell you how much God loves you, but I cannot do it with this poor stammering tongue.  If I could borrow Jacob’s ladder, and climb up into heaven, and ask Gabriel, who stands in the presence of the Almighty, if he could tell me how much love the Father has for the world, all he could say would be:

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”‘ 


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