Summary: This message examines five points that come directly from John 3:16. Four of these points have to do with God, and one has to do with us. 1. God’s initiation of salvation 2. God’s motivation in salvation 3. God’s inclusion in salvation 4. God’s
Let’s open our Bibles this morning to John chapter 3. We’ve been studying in John 3 for several weeks now; we’ve seen from verses 3-7 that the requirement of salvation is to be born again, we’ve seen from verses 15-16 that the method of salvation is Jesus’ death and our faith in Him, and we’ve seen from verses 16-17 the results of salvation which is eternal life. Today we are going to look at just one verse, verse 16. Now Martin Luther said that John 3:16 was the entire Bible in miniature form, and so in reality we’re going to study the whole Bible today. Let’s look at the most well-known verse in the entire Bible, here is the Bible in miniature:
"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 (NIV)
Let’s pray together: “Father, please open our eyes to your truth, open our hearts to your love, and give us grace this morning to comprehend, and apply, and obey the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Before we study together, I want to introduce our study by telling you about an English King whose young daughter had a deadly disease. The doctors told the King that he needed to stay away from his daughter’s face and under no circumstances was he to breathe his daughter’s breath because the King would then contract the disease himself and it would kill him too. A few days after hearing this warning the King went to visit his daughter. The daughter began to choke and as the King lifted her up to help her from choking and held her in his arms as his daughter died, the final words out of her mouth were “daddy would you please kiss me.” Even though the King knew that he would die from that act of love, that father leaned over his daughter and kissed her. Two months later the King was dead from the same disease.
2,000 years ago God the King, our Father came to this earth in a human body. He came to kiss this guilty world in love. 33 years later He was dead, having breathed our air, and kissed the face of humanity. But in that act of love, in giving His own life for us, He did something more than the English king did for his daughter; through Jesus’ death He actually healed us of our sin sickness, so that whoever believes will never perish but have eternal life. The kiss killed Him, but it gave us life.
Today I want to draw our attention to five points that come directly from John 3:16. Four of these points have to do with God, and one has to do with us.
1. God’s initiation of salvation (For God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son)
2. God’s motivation in salvation (For God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son)
3. God’s inclusion in salvation (For God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son)
4. God’s action in salvation (For God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son)
5. Our conviction in salvation (that whoever believes in Him will not perish)
1.The first point we want to notice is God’s initiation of our salvation: the verse says God so loved the world that He gave His Son. So that He took the initiative, He started it, He began the process, we didn’t. In Isaiah 65:1 God says, “I revealed Myself to those who did not ask for Me.” You see Him taking the initiative here. Revealing Himself to people who are not looking for Him. And that’s why the song says, “He did not wait for me to call out to Him, but He let me hear His voice calling me.” God initiated the process of salvation by sending His Son to die in our place, and His Spirit to live in our hearts. And that’s why Jonah says, “Salvation is of the Lord”. He initiates it. “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only son.”
God initiates His salvation. Remember when Adam and Eve had sinned in the garden? They were not looking for God, they were hiding from God, and God came to them, not in the heat of anger but in the cool of the day. He came to hold them accountable for their sin, yes, but also to clothe them, that is, to cover their shame. God initiated their salvation. In the same way, Jesus says to His disciples in John 15:16: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last.” In John 3:16 we see God’s initiation in salvation.