God Loves Us

John 3:16 is probably the most quoted verse in the Bible. If you don’t know any other verse, you probably know this one. I think that it is the most important verse in the Bible because it sums up the whole message of the Bible. It tells everything that we need to know in order to understand the rest of the Bible.

God Loves Us So Much That He Gave

John 3:16 (NKJV): “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

This verse reveals some very important points about who God is and what He wants for us. First, it shows how much He really does love us. He sent His Son, Jesus, to take our place in death, that is, to be separated from the Father, so we would not have to face this separation.

Jesus Shows Us How Much God Loves Us

Jesus accepted that responsibility because of His great love for us. He never wants us to be separated from the love of the Father.

We know this happened to Jesus because He cried out while He was on the cross Matthew 27:46 (NKJV): “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’”

Yes, He was only there for three days, but that is by earthly time. In the spirit world, we are outside of time, so when Jesus was outside the presence of His Father, He experienced exactly what we will experience if we die and are separated from God. He faced that experience so we would not have to.

Who Is Jesus?

John 3:16 tells us exactly who Jesus is. It says that God “gave His only begotten Son.” Most translations do not even try to translate the word “begotten” because it is a word that has no direct translation in English. It is a concept that is not recognized in English.

“Begotten” is translated from the Greek word “monogenes.” It can only be translated into English with a phrase and this is “the only one of its kind.” There is only one like Jesus. The English meaning of “son” is any male child. We are called “sons” (children) of God. But when “son” is used in reference to humans, it does not have the same meaning as when it is used in reference to Jesus.

If God would have meant “son” in the sense that we use the word, He would have used the Greek word “huios” which carries the same meaning as our English word “son.” But God used the Greek word “monogenes” and that word refers to an entity that is the only one of its kind.

Why Can Jesus Die In Our Place?

How do we know that Jesus can save us from being separated from God for eternity? How could He die for our sins? After He took on human form, wouldn’t He have to pay for His own sins? After all the Bible says in Romans 3:23 (NIV): “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Yes, this is true, except for Jesus.

Listen to what the Bible says about Jesus. Hebrews 4:15 (NIV): “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.” Jesus was without sin, so He could die in our place.

This is a difficult concept to understand. However, the Bible does help us to try to understand it. This is why the Bible emphasizes that Jesus was born of a virgin. He was not conceived in the same way that every human is conceived. We were conceived through the uniting of a man and a woman. Jesus was conceived through the uniting of God and a woman. Jesus was conceived in a woman (Mary) through a miraculous and direct act of God.

The Bible also tells us that Jesus always did what His Father (Jehovah) told Him to do. He never rebelled against Jehovah, thus He never sinned. This is why He was able to die in our place.

We Just Have To Believe In Jesus

What does it mean to “believe” in Jesus? The word translated “believe” is translated from the Greek word “pisteuo.” It means “to have faith in, to entrust ones well-being in, to put ones trust in.”

What is this saying? It says that to receive salvation, we must put our trust, our faith, in what Jesus did for us on the cross. We must believe that Jesus took our place in death (separation from God) by dying on the cross. The punishment He endured on the cross shows us the terrible punishment that we deserve for rebelling against our Creator.

Actually, the separation that Jesus felt when He was separated from His Father was more terrible than we can imagine. Since we have never been separated from God’s presence, we could never understand that punishment. So, God tried to illustrate it as much as possible for us by having Jesus die the terrible death of crucifixion.

We Do Not Have To Perish

The Greek word translated “perish” is “apollumi” that means “to destroy fully.” In other words, when we reject God’s great gift of salvation offered to us through Jesus, we will be utterly destroyed. What does this mean? We are created as eternal beings. This means that we will never cease to exist.

“Destroy” means “to annihilate, to put an end to, to cause to cease, to make ineffective.” If we never cease to exist, what happens? It means that all life is taken from us. Everything that makes existing pleasurable is taken from us. All light, all pleasure, all companionship, love, everything that we now know is taken from us. Ask yourself: “What kind an existence will this be?” That is what hell is.

We Will Receive Eternal Life

What we are experiencing right now is only a partial life. On this earth, we experience, light, companionship, love, the presence of God, everything that we can experience while we are living in a physical world.

But if we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are given eternal life. This is an existence that we can only partially experience right now. We are now limited by a physical body. We are trapped in a material world. While we are here, we can only partially know what true light or true love is.

And as great as it seems now, how much greater will it be when our corruptible physical body is changed into an incorruptible spiritual body?

S




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