"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16(NLT)
This much-loved verse of Scripture outlines the glorious gospel of grace clearly and simply. It tells that Christ died a sacrificial death on the Cross to pay the price for our sin and break its power in our lives. It tells that Jesus was sent as an expression of the indescribable love of God for us, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."
This astonishing truth was told to Nicodemus by Jesus, as He unfolded heavenly truths to this secretive, synagogue leader. He explained the kingdom of heaven was only open to those born of the Spirit, who look in faith to Christ - their Kinsman-Redeemer. He explained that when Moses lifted up a brass serpent on a pole in the wilderness to heal all who believed; it was a type of Himself - the Son of Man Who would also be lifted up as the sacrifice for sin - and that ALL who believe on Him would be healed, declared righteous, and live eternally.
God hates sin, and God hates this evil, corrupted, Satanic world-system, which is blinding the perishing to the glorious gospel of grace and leading many more into a lost eternity. But sin must be punished because God is righteous, and the wages of sin is death. Every member of the human race is a sinner who has fallen short of God's glory, so all are deserving of death - eternal separation from God.
It was God Who purposed that the only way man's death sentence could be reversed was if a perfect, sinless Man was willing to pay the price for sin. But no man was good enough for all are sinners. And so out of love for us, God gave His only begotten Son as the sacrifice for sin and to take the punishment that WE deserve, "so that all who believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life."
The full force of God’s wrath had to be poured out on a sinless member of the human race if the price of sin was to be paid, and God determined before the foundation of the world, that the eternal Son of God would become the sinless Son of Man. He would be born into His own creation and willingly pay the price for the sin of the world through His substitutionary death.
It was out of love for His creation that God gave His only Son... out of love for fallen humanity who were made in His image... yet who sinned against their Creator God, causing an unbridgeable gulf to be erected between man and his Maker. But in His goodness, grace, mercy, and love, He gave His beloved Son to live a perfect life and die a sacrificial death - so that all who believe in Him will not be condemned, but live eternally.
The enormity of God's sacrificial love should never be underestimated. The entire world was condemned to divine judgement because man sinned. God loves sinners with a passion, but cannot look in sin - and so He Who knows the end from the beginning, predetermined in eternity past to redeem His fallen race by providing a substitute for sin - a perfect Man Who would pay the price of sin and receive the punishment that WE deserve... so that WHOSOEVER believes on Him would not perish but have eternal life.
The forgiveness of sin, life everlasting, and the gates of heaven itself are flung open wide to whosoever will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. There is no need for even one member of the human race to perish, for God’s invitation for salvation is open to ALL. The only condition to receive His free gift of salvation is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ - and you will be saved.
The eternal Son of God set aside His glory and was born into the fallen race of man, to die on Calvary for your sin and mine. If you were to travel to the furthest reaches of the universe, or go back to the beginning of time, there you'll find love ... for "God is love" .... the most precious thing in the universe is know the reality of His love - by faith.
Thank You, Lord, for sending Jesus to die for our sin. Thank You that His blood has paid the full penalty for my sin and that the power of sin in my life has been broken through Him. Thank You that Christ's sacrifice reveals Your immense love for mankind - and for me. I just want to give You thanks and praise for this free gift of salvation that is open to whosoever will come. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.