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Thoughts from the Bible 4-19-17

John 3:16 and the love of God

 

The two most wonderful words in the world simply have to be the noun and the verb combination that affirms “God...Loved!” This marks the beginning of the greatest love story ever told. Jesus sums it up in the often quoted words of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Some have described “John 3:16 ” as “the Bible in miniature.” There are, in fact, many beautiful truths that come forth from a deeper study of that text.

For example, John 3:16 declares that God exists. Jesus proclaims both the existence of God and the nature of God. God lives and God loves! John recorded these words for us, and it’s more than coincidental that this very same author wrote the words that expound more deeply these truths in 1 John 4:7-11 (KJV)

“⁷ Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. ⁸ He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. ⁹ In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. ¹⁰ Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. ¹¹ Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”

The text furthermore declares the extent of God’s love. In the use of the adverb “So” we begin to see the measurement of this love. How much? So much that He gave His only begotten Son. The breadth of this love can be seen in that it reaches to men of every race and rank, tribe and tongue. Hebrews 2:9 (KJV) “⁹ But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”

The duration of God’s love is also described. This love is so long that it reaches from age to age and from everlasting to everlasting. It is so deep that it reaches down to men in the very lowest abyss of guilt. It is so high that it raises us up to sit in heavenly places (Eph. 2:4-6).

These words from our hymn book beautifully proclaim this love:

“Could we with ink the ocean fill,

And were the skies of parchment made;

Were every stalk on earth a quill,

And every man a scribe by trade;

To write the love of God above

Would drain the ocean dry;

Nor could a scroll contain the whole,

Though stretched from sky to sky.”

The object of God’s love would be you and me, sinners each and every one of us. God so loved that He gave Jesus to die for all mankind. 2 Corinthians 9:15 (KJV) ¹⁵ Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

 


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