Summary: Discover qualities found in the God of John 3:16.
The four messages are:
What Is God Like?
Why Did Jesus Die?
What Does It Mean To Believe?
What Happens After Death?
John 3:16 is a short verse consisting of twenty-five words. However, volumes could be preached from it. Martin Luther, the man who triggered the Protestant revolution, said in regard to John 3:16, “we have the Bible in Miniature.” (Contributed to Sermon Central by Aubrey Vaughan)
Let’s look at the first of those four phrases, “For God so loved the world”. What is God like? A child was sitting at a table in her room feverishly working on a project. Her mother came in and asked, “Honey, what are you doing?” “I’m drawing a picture of God,” she said. “But nobody knows what God looks like,” the mother replied. “They will when I get through,” said the child. (Contributed to Sermon Central by Ed Wood) Hopefully, at the conclusion of this message you will understand a little more of what God looks like. No one can adequately describe or discuss God. He is so magnificent we can only touch on a portion of the truth about Him. If you know what God looks like it will encourage you as you serve Him.
I. God is the Creator.
A. He created the world and everything in it. This gives answers to many of life’s hard questions. Failure to do this leaves a person confused. Maybe you’ve heard about the gorilla in a zoo holding a Bible in one hand & a book about evolution in the other. He was looking confused, so someone asked, “What are you doing?” The gorilla answered, “Well, I’m trying to decide if I’m my brother’s keeper or my keeper’s brother.” (Contributed to Sermon Central by MELVIN NEWLAND) Even though belief in God does not answer all of life’s questions it answers many of the most significant. It explains the origin of the universe. It explains the purpose and direction of life. It explains the meaning of your existence.
B. Believing in God as creator gives meaning and value to life. As such, this is the starting point to a full and meaningful life. In Genesis 1, the story of creation, you will find the phrase “It was good” repeated seven times. That is God’s plan for your life. He planned you for a purpose. He planned to give you a good life.
Illustration: I am reminded of the story of a discussion at a church camp. A group of children (along with a counselor) were discussing the purpose God has for all of his creation. They began to find good reasons for the clouds, trees, rocks, rivers, animals and just about everything else in nature. Finally, one of the children asked, “If God has a good purpose for everything, then why did He create poison ivy?” This made the discussion leader gulp and, as he struggled with the question, one of the other children piped up, “The reason God made poison ivy is that He wanted us to know that there are certain things we should keep our cotton-pickin’ hands off of!” (Contributed to Sermon Central by Jim Kane)
If God is your creator, then purpose comes from knowing Him. Anytime a person starts talking about life purpose people begin looking for something profound. They look for specifics. They think of things such as: God created me to be a lawyer; God created me to be a preacher; God created me to be a professional football player or God created me to be a missionary. This may be true. However, there is a more general reason why God created you and this reason overshadows all others. Colossians 1:16 states the reason clearly. “For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible,… everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.”(The Message) Rick Warren stated it well, “You were made by God and for God---and until you understand that, life will never make sense.” (The Purpose Driven Life. P . 19)
2. God is Sovereign. In John 3:16 it says “God so loved the world.” He is sovereign over the whole world. He knows all things and everyone. A few days ago I went to the doctor. While sitting in the waiting room I picked up a Time magazine. There was an article in the magazine discussing the tremendous advancements being made with computer memory chips. They explained how chips are getting smaller and yet holding more information. This article indicated there will come a time when you can store every bit of information you possess on a memory chip in your watch. Isn’t it wonderful to know a God who predates computers and His memory is bigger than computer chips? He knows everyone in the world. He knows every name. He knows every thought. He knows every phone number. He knows every address. He knows every move you will ever make. He knows what you look like in your birthday suit. He even knows the number of hairs on your head.