“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)
Where else in the world can we find a message like this? The world is full of condemnation in relation to God. The world requires laws to be obeyed to please a wrathful God. Not so with Christianity. Christians know that God is a God of love and not condemnation. Everything He does is to bring us into a relationship with His Son, Jesus, so that we might have eternal life and security with Him. There is no perishing in Him. We are saved from everything that sin, death and the Devil can throw at us. This is the fact of our God. That is why these verses are the most well known by Christians.
We probably all know the first verse here very well. We probably had to memorize it in Sunday School. The second verse may not be that familiar but is very important. We must know our God as a God of love and not condemnation. We must know that we are different from every other religious person of the world in this respect. We have a life and death message to share with the world – “God loves you! Yes, He does!” We trust our life to His Son, Jesus, for now and eternity.
Heavenly Father, the gift of Your Son is most precious. Your love of us is so great that You went this far. We are overwhelmed with thanksgiving. We were lost to sin, death and the Devil until Jesus broke that bondage through His obedient death on the Cross. What a sacrifice! Nothing we can say or do can ever live up to that act. Thank You for making us Your children and enabling us to live for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn and a guest columnist.