June 29, 2017



For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

(Below, the parentheses are mine, explaining the wealth of abiding truths packed into this familiar verse. Ponder each point made.)

“For God (GOD’S DEITY)…
so loved (LOVE’S INTENSITY) 
the world, (THE PLAN’S IMMENSITY)…
that he gave (GOD’S GRATUITY)…
his only son, (THE GIFT’S SINGULARITY)…
should not perish (THE BELIEVER’S SURETY)…
but have eternal life.” (SALVATION’S ETERNALITY)

-       The verse begins high and ends high – God and eternal life – but in between delivers us from the lowest depths of sin. Psalm 40:2 expresses it well: “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.”

-       God’s reservoir of love, though expressed intensely, never diminishes in capacity. Man-made reservoirs all diminish with usage. Such must be refilled. But God's reservoir level remains constant even when drawn upon.  And so, we teach our children to sing, “YES Jesus loves me…”

-       The IMMENSITY of our INIQUITY is far more match by the INTENSITY of His CHARITY.

-       AGAPAO in the Greek can be rendered “love” but perhaps, using older English, the word “charity” is better suited. AGAPE love is not mere emotion or feeling. It rather is a calculated response that pours from the mind and heart to address the need of someone else. It is more action than feeling. It does! It acts! Its objective is the well-being of its subject. Does not “charity” befit this more than “love?” Sadly,“love” has been reduced to mere emotion or sex in today’s world.

-       God giving His ONLY son, Jesus, is reminiscent of Abraham taking his son, Isaac, to mount Moriah and being willing to offer him up to God, as God had commanded. What faith! Often God’s instructions go contrary to what we deem right and proper, even contrary to what elsewhere He tells us. But, deep faith does what He says and expects Him to cover the situation, never going contrary to His own Word. And God never fails!

-       The Amplified Bible brings out various word shadings which enrich our understanding of the verse:

“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life” (John 3:16).

When Jesus saves a sinner that sinner “shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost).” When truly saved the believing sinner is most certainly secure, saved for time and eternity. Jesus promised such security when He said, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28 – Amplified Bible).

                    More secure is no one ever,
                    Than the loved ones of the Savior.
                    Not yon star on high abiding,
                    Nor the bird in home-nest hiding.

-Dick D. Christen