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For God So Loved

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Introduction

Comments about kids.
Before we continue, we have one more song, believe it or not. I will warn you that we are going to have a drop off in quality, but I want you to sing it with me if you know it.
Deep and wide, deep and wide, There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide. Deep and wide, deep and wide, There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.
Deep and wide
Repeat
That little song comes from , where out of the Temple flows a river that is always etching deeper and wider. In , the chapter after this one, Jesus explains the symbolism of it. He is the living water that comes out of heart of God, so whoever comes to Him can have eternal life - never thirst again. This fountain flows both deep and wide.

How Deep is God’s Love?

John 3:16 KJV 1900
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.
Explain: Love is an action. “So” does not mean God loved the world “soooooo much,” although that is true, but means “thus.” The Christian Standard Bible translates is like this: “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” God’s love is not a vague warm feeling, but a choice that leads to action. And what an action! God had demonstrated His love for the world a million times over. When He made the universe for us to live in, that was an act of love. When He gave Adam and Eve a chance to know Him personally and intimately in the Garden, that was an act of love. When He sent them away to die, rather than to linger forever bound by sin, that was an act of love. When He sent the rain, the sun, summer and winter, He offered proof of His loving care. Brothers and sisters, if that were the limit of God’s love, it would still be incomprehensibly greater than we could ever deserve.
Explain: Love is an action. “So” does not mean God loved the world “soooooo much,” although that is true, but means “thus.” The Christian Standard Bible translates is like this: “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” God’s love is not a vague warm feeling, but a choice that leads to action. And what an action! God had demonstrated His love for the world a million times over. When He made the universe for us to live in, that was an act of love. When He gave Adam and Eve a chance to know Him personally and intimately in the Garden, that was an act of love. When He sent them away to die, rather than to linger forever bound by sin, that was an act of love. When He sent the rain, the sun, summer and winter, He offered proof of His loving care. Brothers and sisters, if that were the limit of God’s love, it would still be incomprehensibly greater than we could ever deserve.
But for all of human history, the depths of His heart remained unseen. Until - in the ultimate act of love - God have the ultimate gift. He gave His Son. What greater gift could there be? And I want to qualify what I said before. Because ultimately Jesus becomes “the Gift.” Apart from Him, all of the other gifts are meaningless, and every true blessing that God gives comes in Jesus.
Love is more than an action. says that it is possible to give everything you have to the poor and hand your body over to the flames, but still not have love. When our actions are self-serving, looking for what’s in it for us or trying to pad our own ego, they are not love, no matter how impressive they seem.
God’s love for the world was real love, because it was for the world - who could never give Him anything in return - and because it was active.
Illustrate:
One of the greatest modern hymns is the Getty’s “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.”
How deep the Father's love for us How vast beyond all measure That He should give His only Son To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss The Father turns His face away As wounds which mar the Chosen One Bring many sons to glory
Behold the man upon a cross My sin upon His shoulders Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice Call out among the scoffers
Is that a sufficiently vivid picture of the depth of God’s love for you?
Argue:
I cannot imagine giving my children up for someone else.
Apply:
The immediate application is unique in salvation history. On a certain day, at a certain time in a certain place, God have His Son to the world. When a girl named Mary, engaged but yet unmarried, became pregnant - God gave His Son to the world. Of course, that giving was made complete and final when He gave His son in our place on a hill called the Place of the Skull in Jerusalem, with that same Mary weeping at His feet. God gave His son.
If you are a Christian, you must realize how central love is to who we are in Christ. That love works in two directions: we love God because He first loved us, and we love other people because God loves them just as He loves us.

How Wide is God’s Love?

John 3:16 KJV 1900
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.
Explain: Ancient Israelites were ready to accept that God loved Israel - but the world? We are often ready to accept that God loves the moral (by which we mean those who act like us) - but the world? I think that it is easier for us to accept God’s love as deep than as wide. We would really like God’s love to be just wide enough to encompass us, and just narrow enough to skip over the people we would call “really bad.”
Explain: Ancient Israelites were ready to accept that God loved Israel - but the world? We are often ready to accept that God loves the moral (by which we mean those who act like us) - but the world? I think that it is easier for us to accept God’s love as deep than as wide. We would really like God’s love to be just wide enough to encompass us, and just narrow enough to skip over the people we would call “really bad.”
Illustrate:
Argue:
Explain: But we also see that, as surely as God’s love is wide enough that the Son was given for the world, there is a restriction too.

Where is God’s Love Flowing?

If God’s love is wide enough to stretch down to thout to the wor
John 3:16 KJV 1900
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.
John 3:16–17 KJV 1900
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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Explain: The point of origin of God’s love is in His Son. As wide and as deep as it goes, it is only available from one source.
John 3:18 KJV 1900
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
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