Summary: “A 26 word parade of hope; beginning with God, ending with life. Brief enough to write on a napkin or memorize in a moment, yet solid enough to weather two thousand years of storms and questions.” (Max Lucado, 3:16)
JOHN 3:16 – THE MOST FAMOUS VERSE IN THE WORLD
OPENING: Today I want to talk to you about the most famous verse in the world.
• Does anyone know what it is? John 3:16 (Have a child quote it).
QUOTE: “A 26 word parade of hope; beginning with God, ending with life, and urging us to do the same. Brief enough to write on a napkin or memorize in a moment, yet solid enough to weather two thousand years of storms and questions.” (Max Lucado, 3:16 – The Numbers of Hope).
• Recommend this book.
BACKGROUND: The story of Nicodemus
“1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." 3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ’You must be born again.’.” (John 3:1-7).
• Why did Nicodemus come to Jesus? He had heard the stories of Jesus and knew there was something different about Him. He saw the wonderful works that Jesus did. What did Jesus say to Nicodemus? “You must be born again.”
• A preacher said, “If you are born once, you will die twice – first a natural death, then the second death which is eternal separation from God. But if you are born twice (once a natural birth, secondly a spiritual rebirth – born again into God’s family) – you will die only once.”
KEY TEXT: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
THREE PEOPLE WE ARE GOING TO FOCUS ON IN THIS TEXT:
1. God – who loves the world
2. Jesus – the one and only Son
3. Whoever – believes in Him will live
1. GOD – WHO LOVES THE WORLD:
What does John 3:16 teach us about God?
“For God so loved the world…”
1. God - His name Yahweh tells us He is I am, the self-existent one.
2. So loved - not only does God loved the world, but God IS love.
3. The World - that He had created.
• What is the world? The Greek word for world (kosmos) is defined as “the ungodly multitude; people alienated from God, hostile to the cause of Christ.”
• Quote Romans 5:8 – “God demonstrated His own love towards us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” What an amazing love!
What do we learn about God here?
• He is the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth, He is love, and He is Father.
• QUOTE: “Today I wonder why it is God refers to Himself as “Father” at all. This, to me, in light of the earthly representation of the role, seems a marketing mistake. Why would God want to call Himself Father when so many fathers abandon their children?” (Donald Millar, Blue Like Jazz).
• PERSONAL TESTIMONY: Of a father who had abandoned me.
• SCRIPTURES ABOUT THE FATHER-HEART OF GOD: Jesus said:
• “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him.” (Matthew 7:11).
• “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand” (John 10:29).
2. JESUS – THE ONE AND ONLY SON:
What does John 3:16 teach us about Jesus?
“That He gave His one and only Son…”
1. The one and only son – Jesus is the ‘only begotten’ son of God
2. There is only one way to Heaven!
• “Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” (John 14:6).
• “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).
3. Jesus claimed to be God, and proved it through His resurrection.