ESV - 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
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We often see signs and banners at sporting events that say 'John 3:16.' Wrongly so, John 3:16 is often written as graffiti on highway overpasses. Some 'entertainers' have thrown in a twist and repl...
What does John 3:16 mean? An understanding of the creation story of Genesis as well as of other parts of the Bible reveal that God created Adam, and therefore mankind, to live for ever here on the earth. (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:17-19,22-24.) . The Bible explains that the tree of life was meant to impart everlasting life to Adam if he had eaten of it. Also, the Bible assures that the earth will last forever, from the record in Psalms 104:5; 115:16, Ecclesiastes 1:4, and Isaiah 45:18 Unfortunately, man was misled to disobey God; he ate of the fruit of knowledge of good and bad, and death entered into the world. Romans 5:12 confirms this. The Bible in many places show that God had not abandoned his purpose that man was to live on earth forever. For example, Psalms 37:9-11, 22,27, 29 , 34 hold out the promise that those who do God's will be enabled to live for ever on the land, or the earth. Right from the start, after Adam sinned, God promised that he would raise up a seed, in Genesis 3:15, that would destroy the serpent, who deceived Eve. The seed proved to be Jesus Christ, whom God sent into the world of mankind to perform a deliverance work which will ultimately provide a way of escape , or salvation from death. But those who desire such deliverance must have faith, or obey, or belief in the means of salvation, Jesus Christ. It was God's love for mankind that moved him to send his Son for this assignment. Anyone who desires to be saved, i.e to live for ever, must believe , obey, have faith in, Jesus Christ. Otherwise, the wrath of God, which we deserve, will remain on unbelievers. That wrath of God means destruction, or everlasting death (John 3:36). Recall that God sent off Adam from his presence in Genesis 3:23, 24, and sentenced him to a life of misery and eventual death. The assurance that the adverse judgement will be reversed is given in Revelation 21:3-7, where the promise of a good and everlasting life is recorded. We are assured that there will be no more death and that life will be enjoyable. But those wishing to benefit from this must believe in Jesus Christ. Revelation 21:8 spells out what awaits the unfaithful and unbelievers. Revelation 21:8 says: " But as to the cowards, unbelievers, detestable persons, murderers, the sexually immoral, and those who practice magic spells, idol worshipers, and all those who lie, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. That is the second death." This will be the fate of all those who refuse to have faith in Jesus Christ. The above fully puts John 3:16 in perspective.
All of those who realize they are sinners and need a savior and believe that Jesus is that savior will be saved. The just for the unjust. Jesus did everything to save us guilty sinners. He lived a perfect life, went to the cross to pay our sin debt in full, and rose again on the third day. John 3:18 Those that believe it are saved and have eternal life in Him. Those that do not believe it are condemned already. Salvation is the free gift of God to sinners to be saved by faith alone. Ephesians 2:8-10 Christ is our righteousness and sin can no more be imputed to us. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. God loved us so much that He made a way of salvation by just trusting in Him to save us from hell. When we put our faith in Him, we are saved and have eternal life. John 6:37-40. Those that have put their faith in Him can no more be cast out. We are not saved by what we do or do not do, our works but by what Jesus did for us in His finished work on the cross. We did nothing for it and He did it all for us. We could do nothing to save ourselves, but Jesus did it all for us. Our works could never save us. We have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb. We are justified sinners by faith in Christ alone without works of the law. Romans 4:1-8 We are saved the same way Abraham was. Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness. And since Jesus died for all our sin, sin can no more be imputed to the believers account. Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds. Christ is our righteousness as we have no righteousness of our own. So, John 3:16 is true and those that have put their faith in Christ alone by faith alone are saved forever and can never be lost. It is a one time thing and once we are saved we have eternal life. Paul said that if anyone preaches any other gospel that they will be accursed. There is only one gospel, the gospel of grace to save sinners. We are justified sinners by faith in Christ's finished work on the cross. We either believe it and are saved, or we do not believe it and are lost.
For God (the greatest Giver) It is God “who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:4 so loved (the greatest motive) John is emphasizing, it seems, both the degree to which God loved the world as well as the manner in which He chose to express that love. This is in keeping with John’s style of using double entendre or double meaning. Thus, the focus of the Greek construction here is on the nature of God's love, addressing its mode, intensity, and extent. the world (the greatest need), -- “The world represents sinful humanity and is not worthy of God’s saving love. Apart from the love of God, the world stands under God’s condemnation. But in Christ, believers experience God’s surprising, redeeming, and never-ending love. John 3:16 is not about the greatness of the world but about the greatness of God.” -- Dr. John W. Tweeddale, academic dean and professor of theology at Reformation Bible College. that He gave (the greatest act)-- God wills not that Abraham should give his son, but He gave His only begotten Son. I, for my part, believe that Paul’s words are to be taken in all their blessed depth and wonderfulness of meaning when he says, ‘He gave up’-as well as gave-’Him to the death for us all.’ (Romans 8:32; Galatians 2:20) that he gave his only begotten] This would be likely to remind Nicodemus of the offering of Isaac. Comp. 1 John 4:9; Hebrews 11:17; Romans 8:32. His only begotten Son (the greatest gift), --the word means “one-of-a-kind” and is reserved for Jesus in the Johannine literature of the NT. one and only Son The Greek term used here is monogenēs, meaning “one of a kind.” While all Christians are children of God (τέκνα θεοῦ, tekna qeou), Jesus is God’s Son in a unique, one-of-a-kind sense. The word is used in this way in all its uses in the Gospel of John (John 1:14, 1:18, 3:16, and John 3:18). “That he gave” - It was a free and unmerited gift. Man had no claim: and when there was no eye to pity or arm to save, it pleased God to give his Son into the hands of men to die in their stead, Galatians 1:4; Romans 8:32; Luke 22:19. that whosoever (the greatest invitation) -- He says to us, ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His Son, that whosoever’-’whosoever,’ a blank cheque, like the M. or N. of the Prayer-book, or the A. B. of a schedule; you can put your own name in it-’that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish, but have’-here, now-’everlasting life.’ believeth (the greatest decision) -- God so loved the world that everybody will go to heaven’-that is the gospel of a great many of you; and it is the gospel of a great many wise and learned people. But it is not John’s Gospel, and it is not Christ’s Gospel. The beginning and the end of the text cannot be buckled up together in that rough-and-ready fashion. They have to be linked by a chain; and there are two links in the chain: God forges the one, and we have to forge the other. ‘God so loved the world that He gave’-then He has done His work. ‘That whosoever believeth’-that is your work. And it is in vain that God forges His link, unless you will forge yours and link it up to His. John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” in Him (the greatest Person) -- “Though the name of a person be often put for the person himself, yet it may be further intimated here, in that expression, that the person spoken of is greatly magnificent; and therefore it is generally used to express either God the Father, or our Lord Jesus Christ.” — Doddridge. Christ gave Himself, Galatians 2:20, “The Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me,” in truth and in earnest. believeth in Him (the greatest opportunity) -- should not perish (the greatest deliverance).
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