Summary: Contained in the most famous bible verse, is God’s part, My part, and the promise concerning God’s plan of salvation! The familiarity of the cross: When we look upon this wooden object, we rarely give it a second thought. We wear this death symbol as e
TEXT: JOHN 3:16
TITLE: The 3 : 16 promise!
TOPIC: The cross of Christ is part of God’s plan of salvation!
OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, March 23, 2008 EASTER SUNDAY
PROP.: Contained in the most famous bible verse, is God’s part, My part, and the promise concerning God’s plan of salvation!
INTRODUCTION: This has been an unusual week. A week that is different than the norm. All of the week’s events leading us here to Today; a special day. Students were dismissed from school, we woke up early…everything is different than the usual…and that’s all because Jesus Christ is not in the tomb…he IS risen!
Easter Sunday is the SUPERBOWL event for us Christians! It is the most meaningful and significant event in the history of all mankind…only…not everyone chooses to recognize it as such.
The familiarity of the cross: When we look upon this wooden object, we rarely give it a second thought. We wear this death symbol as earrings, necklaces, even tie tacs. The cross sits atop our churches indicating that this is a place of worship. Have we become too familiar with the symbol of the cross?
I want to focus this morning’s message on something else that is familiar…and the problem with the familiar is that it quickly becomes the “taken for granted”.
LIGHTS - When is the last time you flipped the light switch and went, ‘WOW!!! THAT’S AMAZING!!!”
TOILET - Or flushed the toilet and just watched the water swirl and then disappear???
Even though you undoubtedly have this verse dedicated to memory, I want for you to open your Bible to John’s third chapter…in Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus by night, we have the most memorized, most famous, and most amazing verse in all of scripture! The 16th verse. It reads:
“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.”
T.S. This morning, I want to focus on the three parts of this verse…and each part is just as important as the others…
1. GOD’S PART
A. “God loved” - Love is a part of God’s divine nature. It cannot be separated from who He is! 1st John reminds us loud and clear that GOD IS LOVE. God’s love didn’t change as His son was being abused, spat upon, tortured. God loved all through out that terrible time!
It was God’s love that caused Him to create the world
It was God’s love that caused Him to save the world
It was God’s love that kept Christ from reacting to the phlegm spat upon his face.
It was God’s love that kept Christ on the cross
It was God’s love brought Christ back to life.
And because God loved…God gave.
B. “God gave” - It seems that love and giving go hand in hand. Think about these EXAMPLES:
WEDDING PROPOSAL -Fellas, it was LOVE that prompted you to GIVE your bride-to-be the costly but beautiful ring that she still wears to this day.
CHRISTMAS PRESENTS - Families, it is LOVE that urges you to buy presents that have significance…and then wrap them with fancy ribbons and bows so that you can GIVE them to your loved ones around a Christmas tree!
VIRGINITY - Engaged couples, it is your LOVE for your future spouse that has kept you pure, prevented you from giving your virginity to just anyone…you have chosen to GIVE yourself to your husband or wife.
And it’s true of the crucifixion of Christ…
CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST - Nicodemus couldn’t have fully understood the context of what was being said to Him. GOD LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS SON. Christ was still alive and unharmed at the time this conversation with Nicodemus took place. It’s only to those of us who have read how Christ suffered and died that we have a true understanding of what was hinted at by the words: GOD GAVE.
Everything that we know about giving has been taught to us by God -- the giver of ALL Good gifts!
And the only motivation to God’s gift of His son Jesus was love. Love for you and me!
God’s part was the hard part. The gift has been given. So what will you do with that gift?
That brings us to…
2. MY PART
A. WHOEVER BELIEVES -
OPEN TO ALL -This gift that God gave is not limited to just the rich, the smart, or the good looking. God’s gift is open to WHOEVER…WHOEVER BELIEVES!
BELIEVES - Jesus’ invitation seems too simple. We’d expect a more complicated cure, a more elaborate treatment. We expect a more active assignment, to have to conjure up our own remedy for sin. Some have written their own Bible verse: “god helps those who help themselves” (popular opinion 1:1) We’ll fix ourselves, than you.