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For God So Loved the World

For God So Loved the World

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

The most well-known verse in the Bible is John 3:16. Because of its popularity, we rarely look into the verse deeper to realize how powerful each phrase is. Each phrase shows important traits of our God and our salvation through His Son.

For God So Loved

A god who loves? A god being known for his love would have been a confusing idea for those listening to Jesus. Mythical gods, such as Zeus or Poseidon, are known for their power or cool backstory. Being known for love instead of power is still a unique trait today. Man strives to be known by his accomplishments, but the one true God is known for His love. Not only is God known for His love, but He is love (1 John 4:8). The rest of the verse shows us that the love of our God is incredibly powerful.

The World

Not the earth itself, but all of the people in the world. God loves every person who has ever lived and will ever live. The power of God’s love is unfathomable to us. What we need to understand, though, is that God loves each of us individually.

That He Gave

Typically, gods are being given to, not doing the giving themselves. Throughout history people have sacrificed to gods to please them. God in the Old Testament required the people make sacrifices to Him to atone for their sin. Now, in the New Testament, God is sacrificing for us.

His Only Begotten Son

God gave Himself. When people sacrificed to God in the Old Testament, they sacrificed animals like goats and sheep. Now God is sacrificing for us, and He is sacrificing His own Son. Without getting lost in the original language, it is worth looking at the Greek word that is translated as begotten. The Greek word is monogen─ôs. The word can be defined simply as “one and only” or “only one of its kind.” This means that God gave the one and only possible solution to save us. Goats and sheep would not be able to save all of mankind, it was only the sacrifice of God Himself that could save us.

That Whoever

The gospel is for all. God sending Himself has made us all equal sharers in that gospel. No matter what you have done in your past, no matter your family history, no matter who you are, the gospel is for you.

Believes In Him

Believing in Jesus is beautiful. Because believing in Him is believing in everything we have discussed so far in this article. Believing in Jesus is believing that the God who created the world loves everyone in it and has shown that love by sending Himself as a sacrifice. Believing in this would surely make us obedient to Him. If we believe in God who loves us so much, why would we not obey Him? The last two phrases of this verse put an exclamation point on the importance of believing in Jesus.

Should Not Perish

Judgment is certainly coming. When we die or when Jesus comes back, we will be judged by God. If we have not believed in His Son, Judgment Day is terrifying to think about. The same God who sent Himself as a sacrifice for us will look at us and say, “I never knew you; depart from Me” (Matthew 7:23). If we do not believe in Jesus, we will surely perish. The verse concludes by explaining that there is another option on Judgment Day.

But Have Everlasting Life

Belief in Jesus is not just a way of avoiding perishing, it is living eternally. Everlasting life means living together with God for eternity. God sent Himself to live on earth so that He could die for us. Because of that love, we can have confidence that when we die on earth we will live with our God in heaven.

God loves you and sent Himself for you. Believe in Him and you will be with Him.

— William Speer