We have previously spoken about John 3:16 in an effort to remind our readers of some overlooked aspects of the verse. But to better complete the study I will consider the great love evident in this short verse:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
God’s love is enormous. His capacity to love, in spite of our failings, is nothing short of incredible. In the Golden Text we see God’s love directed toward all of humanity. Every person who has ever lived, is living and will live is deeply and personally loved by God. That includes great men of faith like Enoch, Abraham and Elijah. It also includes the sinner with the most horrible record of offenses. Remember that as Jesus was being crucified, he looked down and said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). This is an example of love directed toward the executioners.
We should not be surprised. After all, the Bible tells us that “God is love” (1 John 4:16). He is the source from which all love flows. therefore, we would expect him to be great in his love toward us. God’s love has been evident from the very beginning. In an act of tenderness, God provided Adam with Eve to meet needs that Adam had but could not be fulfilled otherwise. He loved men enough to provide for their salvation immediately following the rebellion in Eden. God’s love has flowed throughout history but finds its greatest display in the giving of Jesus.
I think the question for us, is what we should learn from this example.
God’s Love Withholds Nothing. Paul says it so well in Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” If God withholds nothing, what should we learn? We should learn that true love gives freely to others.
God’s Love is for All People. God’s love is unrestricted. The love was given to the entire world so that all men could be saved. Often we may feel unworthy of God’s love. We may feel our sins are too extreme to allow us to be loved by the Almighty. Some think God only seeks to save a few when in reality God loves all and that salvation is possible for all people.
God’s Love Saves. Salvation is the end result of God’s love. It saves us from horrible wrath and allows us to live personally with God forever. Just a we want to be near those whom we love, God desires us to be near him and has thus provided a way for that to happen.
Let us love as God loves and let us learn from his example in this great text. God loves you immensely and wants to free you from sin and its bondage. Will you love him?