Summary: Sermon on the best known verse in the Bible ---John 3:16.
JOHN THREE SIXTEEN - THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
TEXT - John 3:16
INTRO. - I believe this to be the greatest verse in all
the Bible. It is the best loved and best known verse.
There are only 25 words in this verse yet no other
single verse in all the Scriptures has been as blessed
in the salvation of so many souls. Martin Luther called
John 3:16 the miniature gospel. It has been called the
gospel in a nutshell. It has been called a love letter
from God written in blood and addressed to all. If ever
there was a verse that Satan would love to blot out of
the Bible, it would be John 3:16. If ever there was a
verse that makes hell tremble, it is John 3:16. If ever
there was a verse that has lightened the path to heaven
for multitudes, it is John 3:16.
ILL. - Years ago a doctor in a hospital ICU gave me only
2 minutes with a lost dying woman who had called for me
in her dying hour. The doctor told me he would give me
only 120 seconds with her. What could I say in so short
a time? God spoke to my heart and said, "Give her John
3:16 and pray the sinners prayer with her. It was all
she needed. She died in peace and at peace with her
Some have divided the verse into parts like
God’s Grace - For God so loved the world
God’s Gift - That he gave his only begotten Son
God’s Gospel - That whosoever believeth in him...
God’s Glory - But have everlasting life.
There are many ways to look at this verse but for a few
minutes this hour I want us to look at some of the words
of this great verse.
FOR GOD - John 3:16 begins as the Bible begins, with the
existence of God taken for granted. See Gen. 1:1
Only a fool would think otherwise. See Psa. 14:1 The
whole Bible stands on belief in God. There cannot be a
here without a there. There cannot be an upper without a
lower. There cannot be a before without an after. There
cannot be a creation without a Creator.
The Bible says that this God...
SO LOVED - What is love? It cannot be defined in words.
The word "loved" occurs 56 times in the Book of John.
The dictionary says love is "to have a feeling,
affection, or regard for, to be strongly attached to or
attracted toward, to hold dear". There are also synonyms
like affection, charity, devotion, fondness, liking, and
passion. All these definitions are weak when defining
the word "love". The difficulty becomes greater when you
add the word "so". GOD SO LOVED...
"so loved" surpasses illustration. Many have tried to
apply it to the love of a mother for her child. The
following ad appeared in a Boston newspaper years ago.
TO MY BOY WHO LEFT HOME MONDAY NIGHT,
My darling boy,
If you should see this, which I pray
our Heavenly Father you may, please let
your distressed mother know where you
The notice was signed with one word - "Mother". That was
all. No name. Nothing to let the world know who she was.
Just the cry of a mother seeking her lost boy. Not a
word about whose fault it was. No blame. No reproach.
Just the reaching out of a mother’s love seeking to
bring her wanderer back. But a mother’s love falls short
of the love of God.
The mind of man will never grasp the love of God. All we
can say is the love of God is uncaused, uninfluenced,
Deut. 7:7-8 says God loved you because he loved you.
Jer. 31:3 - I have loved thee with an everlasting love.
His is an everlasting, unending love with no beginning.
God had no beginning so his love had no beginning. All
earthly love had a beginning but God’s love reaches back
to before the world was as well as forward to when all
mountains are but dust. God’s love is infinite,
illimitable, unbounded. The little chorus sung by
children says it best, "Wide, wide as the ocean,
High as the heaven above, Deep, deep as the deepest sea
Is my Savior’s love"
A SINNER MAY GO TO HELL UNSAVED, BUT HE CANNOT GO TO
THE WORLD - The word "world" is found 77 times in John.
This is not talking about the matter-world or the world
system but the world people.
The greatest love of man or woman is love of self. What
a narrow love that is! Walter Wilson said that "No one
in all the world could possible love everyone in the