|Key Verses: John 3:16-17
16 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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:16 is a very familiar Scripture verse to all of us. For some of us, this is the very first verse of Scripture that we ever committed to memory. Many Sunday school lessons and sermons have been based on this passage of Scripture. The entire Gospel message can be summarized with these words — “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son . . .” Let us take a few moments and look at three important principles taught in this passage of Scripture.
First, let us notice our Heavenly Father’s great love toward us. His love is an unselfish and an unconditional love. So many times we place conditions on our love for others — I love you when; I will love you if; or I love you because. All too many times our love is reserved for that group of people who fit into our little clique or who have a certain social status. Those who do not live up to our standards or requirements are often despised and rejected. However, our loving Heavenly Father is no respecter of persons. He loves both the righteous and the unrighteous. “For God so loved the world. . .”
Second, let us notice our Heavenly Father’s love in action. “For God so loved the world that he gave. . .” There are certain times of the year such as Christmas, birthdays, and anniversaries when the spirit of giving seems to be magnified more than at any other particular times of the year. During those times shopping malls and department stores are full of people running about trying to choose that just right gift for that special loved one or friend. Many people will even go into great debt to bring happiness to those that they love. However, the fact remains that we cannot put a price tag on true love. If we truly love someone, we must show it by our actions. We must be willing to give of ourselves. We must be willing to give up something that we hold dear if need be. Our Heavenly Father demonstrated the greatest act of love ever known to man. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son. . . ”
Third, let us notice the significance of our Heavenly Father’s gift of love to the world. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not peri sh, but have everlasting life.” God looked down upon this wicked world and saw the condition that humanity was in. Because of His great love and compassion for humanity, He desired that none of His children should perish and so He made a way possible for humanity to be saved from their sins and to be able to return to Him some day. This great unselfish act of love was made possible by the giving of the greatest gift of all to the world — the gift of His only begotten Son. Wrapped within that precious gift was yet another gift — the gift of eternal life. All that is required of humanity is to accept the gift by believing on the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He, who receives and accepts the gift of the Son, shall receive as his reward the gift of eternal life.
Of all the gifts that we may ever receive and are thankful for, may we always be found giving thanks to our Heavenly Father for His precious gift to the world, the Divine Gift of His Only Begotten Son – – – For There Is No Greater Gift!
|This message was originally prepared on Christmas Eve 1999 as a Christmas letter to my family and friends and was titled “The Greatest Gift of All” and is hereby revised as this is more than just a Christmas message. Though this message only focuses on John 3:16, a careful examination of the verses found in John 3:16-17 will show that these verses are the very central theme of the entire Gospel message. In these two verses truth is revealed about the purposes of the birth, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Of all the gifts ever given to humanity, there is no greater gift than that of God, our Heavenly Father, giving His Only Begotten Son to the world – to live humbly among men, to serve and not be served, to give His life as a ransom for all, and to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man through His Glorious Resurrection. Of all the testimonies that we give of Him, this is the greatest testimony that we give of Him – He lives! And because He lives, we too shall live, and we shall one day behold Him and know Him just as He is – our Lord, our Master, our Savior, and Our King.|