Verse of the Day 12-19-21

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. John 3:16

Today’s verse is famous all over the world. Everyone who is asked to quote at a verse of Scripture will quote John 3:16, but not everyone understands what this important verse is telling them. John 3:16 reveals the heart and purpose of God-the great truth that motivated his plan of salvation for humankind. And it does this in five distinct ways.

The first way John 3:16 reveals the heart and purpose of God is by showing us that God’s love is deep and wide enough to embrace all persons, “the world”. The second way is that God “gave” his Son (who also gave himself willingly) as an offering to pay the price for the sin (offenses and rebellion against God) of all humanity. This act was one of complete, undeserved love. God did not have to provide this sacrifice for us; it was not something forced upon him, but was something he chose to do out of his great love for us.

The third way is through our believe in God, which includes three main elements: a faith and confidence that Jesus Christ is God’s Son and the only Savior for spiritually lost humanity; an act of surrender that turns over to Christ the leadership of our lives and an attitude of submission that continues to obey Christ; the trust and assurance that Christ is both able and willing to complete your salvation by bringing you to live with him forever in heaven. We must keep in mind that to “believe” in the true Biblical sense is not just a mental exercise; it is an active trust that surrenders the leadership of one’s life to Christ. Real faith continues to show trust through selfless action, obedience and service.

The fourth way is through the promise made that all believe “will not perish”. The term “perish” is one that can be easily overlooked in the context of the wonderful gift of grace God offers. It is the tragic consequence of rejecting God (not believing in him, not surrendering our lives to his leadership and accepting his gifts of forgiveness and eternal life). To perish does not point to physical death but to the deadly reality of spiritual death (eternal separation from God) and eternal punishment.

And the fifth and final way is through the promise of not “perishing” we will have “eternal life”. Which is God’s gift to those who accept Christ’s sacrifice and forgiveness for sins and become “born again” spiritually. It is not something that can be earned by good works or personal effort; it is a gift that must be received. “Eternal” is more than simply living forever; it is a quality of existence that begins even in this life-it is the opportunity to know God now. It is a life that frees us from the power of sin and Satan and allows us to live spiritually beyond earthly things in order to develop an eternal relationship with God.

As we move into this final week before Christmas, let us remember the real reason for the season by remembering the truth contained in verse that we so often quote, but do not understand.

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