For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16 is the world’s most famous verse. And I am sure that you have some knowledge of it. But what does this verse teach us?
1). This verse teaches us God has a Son.
This Son is described as “the only begotten Son”, or more literally, as “the one and only Son.” Jesus is God’s unique one-of-a-kind Son. There is no other like Him. If you do not believe Jesus is the Son of God, you have no part in God. 1Jn.4:15 says “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” The Bible teaches that Jesus, the Son of God, is equally God. Jn.1:1 says, “the Word (Jesus) was God.” Vs.3 says Jesus is the Creator. Jesus said in Jn.8:24, “unless you believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” In Exod.3:14 God told Moses His name is “I AM”.
2). This verse teaches us God is a God who loves.
“God so loved.” There are many verses we can look at. But consider the testimony of one other verse.
Psa.145:8, “The Lord is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness”.
3). This verse tells us about the object of God’s love.
“For God so loved the world”, the world of people.
This is an amazing truth because God is holy and every human being is a sinner. Rom.3:23 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom.6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death.” As sinners, we do not deserve God’s love. What we rightly and justly deserve is God’s wrath.
4). This verse teaches us about the demonstration of God’s love.
God demonstrated and proved His amazing love for sinners by giving His one and only Beloved Son to die for sinners. Rom.5:8 says, “But God demonstrates (proves) His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. As sinners we deserved the wrath of God, death and hell. God loved us and so He gave His Son to take our place and die on our behalf. By His death on the cross, Christ paid the full penalty for sin that God’s law demanded. This verse does not teach that God loves us because Christ died. The verse teaches that Christ died because God loved us.
5). This verse teaches us how we can receive eternal salvation from God.
‘That whoever believes in Him (Jesus) shall not perish, but have eternal life.” “Whoever” means you.
Note the contrast between “perish” and “eternal life”. Eternal life is eternal salvation. “Perish” is the opposite of eternal life. Those who perish have not received eternal life. Those who perish will be cast into the lake of fire. (Rev.20:13-15).
How can you receive eternal life? Note carefully the simplicity : “believe” in Jesus. You have to believe who Jesus is, what He has done to save you, and put your trust in Him alone to save you. Acts 4:12 says, “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Vs.10 tells us that name is “Jesus Christ.”
And the assurance is that you will receive the free gift of eternal life (salvation). Rom.6:23 says, “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”