Summary: When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we have the capacity to love in the very same way God loves. But so many Christians don't understand what it means to love like God loves.
John 3:16 is a verse we learn very, very early in life, even before we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. My Mom and Dad, and I’m sure your Mom and Dad too, repeated this verse to us as children.
“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.”
When we look at that this verse it says “For God so loved the world.” Most of the time when we say “For God so loved the world” we often limit our thinking to people. The word for “world” is the Greek word “kosmos” and, to simplify it, “kosmos” means everything that’s created.
Why does God love the world? What did the world do to deserve God’s love?
Before we answer that question. Why did God need to send His only begotten Son for us? It’s because of what Adam did in Genesis 3. Notice I said it was because of what Adam did not Eve. If Adam had done what he was supposed to do – keep the garden – then he would have kicked the serpent out. God held Adam responsible.
If God gave His only begotten Son for the world, there must have been something wrong with not just the people but the world. Right? Hold your finger here and let’s look at Romans 8:19-22.
(19) For the earnest expectation of the creature (This word “creature” is “creation”. It’s talking about the entire world.) waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
So we see in this verse that the “creation” is different from “the manifestation of the sons of God.” This verse is talking about two different things.
(20) For the creature (creation) was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
(21) Because the creature (creation) itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
(22) For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
So we see that in John 3:16 the “world” that God talks about also includes the physical world because there is going to be a new heaven and a new earth. But why does God love the world?
I thought about this question over and over again. There is a new television series I watch called “The Good Doctor”. It’s about a resident who is a genius. But he’s also autistic. He has no people skills. He takes everything literally.
The reason I thought about “The Good Doctor” in terms of why God loves the world is because there was a girl in the apartment next to him and her name was Leah. They had developed a relationship. She was helping him understand how that sometimes when people said things this is what they meant. So she tells him that she’s getting ready to move to Hershey, Pennsylvania.
So he says “I love Hershey, Pennsylvania.” And she says “How can you love Hershey, Pennsylvania and you’ve never been there?” And he says “Because Leah is there.”
So why does God love the world? He loves the world because we are here! We are here! That’s why God loves the world.
Who is God?
Turn to John 4:24. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
The first thing we see about God is that He is a Spirit. Whatever is in the realm of the spirit, God is more related to it than He is to the realm of the natural.
Now go to First John 1:5. “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
First John 4:8 and 16 are the last two verses. “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
The title of the message is “Born to Love”. So now we need to answer the question: Who are we? We’re going to be in First John 4. I’m not going to look at everything in this chapter. My focus is helping us to understand who we are from this chapter.
Let me say it this way. I want us to understand who we are according to scripture, not according to what we see in the Body of Christ.
(1) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.