March 5, 2023
“For God So Loved The World”
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
We’ve all heard it before, “For God so loved the world ….”
We read the passage, the pastor preaches on it, and we recite it in confirmation class. The question remains, though, do we understand it? Do you really get what Jesus is saying?
Let’s take a few minutes.
“For God so loved the World.”
What does that mean to you?
Think about the Old Testament for a minute. Humanity got as far as chapter 3 of Genesis, and we blew it. Sin, pointing fingers at each other (playing the blame game), being ashamed, it all started right there.
But God had a plan!
“That He gave His one and only Son!”
Put the two together,
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son.”
What does that say about God’s love for His creation?
God loved and loves the world He created even though creation had gone wrong and we ruined everything. Our sins didn’t stop God from loving us. He saw and already knew about the sins of Adam and Eve, Cain, Sarah, David, Judas, Paul, and even Hitler. God knew all of them, but that didn’t stop Him from loving us.
God’s love for us is called Agape love. It is not a feeling of love, nor is it a love based on how much we’re liked or worthy. Instead, it’s a love that acts in the interest of the object that is loved. God hates and hated sin. But, He loved and still loves the world. So, He dealt with sin in a pretty amazing way.
God did that by sending His Son Jesus as a perfect sacrifice. As a result, Jesus, who was without sin, did not succumb to temptation and loved the world, just like the Father did.
“That whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. “
What does this mean? How do you receive eternal life?
We receive eternal life through faith. Faith in the fact that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and then rose again, overcoming death.
“For it is by grace, you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. ” Ephesians 2:8-9
Finally, Jesus reinforces what He said in John 3:16.
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:17
It’s a pretty straightforward statement. God sent His Son for a specific purpose, to save the world from their sins. Yes, Jesus taught, healed, and even raised people from the dead. To be sure, all of these things are important to our understanding of Jesus and the Father’s plan. But, ultimately, God sent His Son Jesus to die as a sacrifice for our sins.
(Sometimes, I can’t help myself, so here it is once again, B.G.T.F.)
B.G.T.F. By grace through faith. It seems almost too simple. All you have to do is believe, and have faith, that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, that He died for your sins, and that now the door to eternal life is open to us.
God sent Jesus to do one thing, to save us. So Jesus was crucified, died, was buried, and He rose from the dead. Mission accomplished.