John 3:16-17 - God’s Great Love
“God’s Great Love”
God is love (1Jn. 4:8,16)
· Psalm 63:3; 86:15; 100:5
· Ps.36:7; 89:1-2
· The N.T. ultimately unveils the ultimate proof of God’s love (Rom.5:8; 1Jn.4:9-10; Eph.2:4-6)
1. The fact: God so loved (v.16a)
1. Whole world (Jn.1:29; 3:16; Rom.10:12-13; 1Tim.2:4; Heb.2:9; 2Pet.3:9; 1Jn.2:2)
a. Some say that “world” in Jn.3:16 refers to “the world of believers” rather than “the world of the ungodly” p.100-102
2. The Basis of God’s Love is His Nature (1Jn.4:8, 16; Rom.5:8)
a. The worlds love is always object-orientated (physical attractiveness, etc.).
b. God’s love is not object orientated – there is no good quality in us to be loved.
c. If God loved the way the world does then He would not love a single human being.
3. Love acts & expresses itself (1Jn.3:16 cf. Eph.5:25b)
a. God has given us the capacity to love others as He loves them (Rom.5:5; 1Thess.4:9).
b. God has commanded us to love, therefore, it must be a matter of choice (James 2:8; 1Jn.3:7, 16-18, 23; 4:7, 11).
c. Christ’ kind of love is not based on the attractiveness of the one loved but on God’s command to love.
d. A husband [me] is not commanded to love his wife because of what she is or is not, but because it is God’s will for him to love her.
1) The good Samaritan (Lk.10:29-37).
2) Jesus washed the disciples feet because He loved them (Jn.13) and to give an example of what every disciple of His is commanded to do (Jn.13:14, 34).
e. Where there is a need, love acts, with no consideration of deserving worth (1Jn.3:16).
4. The One Who Does Not Love Does Not Know God
The context of John’s first epistle is the assurance of salvation and outlining several practical & doctrinal tests that either demonstrate or disprove the genuineness of one’s salvation.
a. To help struggling believers gain Assurance:1Jn.5:13
b. To destroy false assurance: 1Jn.1:6; 2:4, 9; 4:9
c. Genuine faith will be shown by love, real faith works through love: Gal.5:6)
d. This sort of God-given love is not easily counterfeited.
Look at all that is involved:
1) Love for God Himself (1Cor.16:22)
2) Love for the brethren (1Jn.3:14)
3) Love of truth and righteousness (Rom.6:17-18)
4) Love for the Word of God (Ps.1:2)
5) Love for our enemies (Matt.5:44)
e. Godly love is the mark of genuine faith (1Jn.4:16)
e Is there a loss of the sense that God is against me? (Rom.5:1; 8:31)
e Is there a loss of craven fear of God, and a corresponding increase of godly fear? (1Jn.4:18; Heb.12;28).
e Do I sense the love of God for me? (1Jn.4:16).
e Do I know that my sins are forgiven? (Rom.4:7-8).
e Do I have a sense of gratitude to God? (Col.2:6-7).
e Do I have an increasing hatred for sin? (Rom.7:15-16).
e Do I desire to please God and live a holy life? (Jn.14:21; 1Jn.2:5-6).
e Is there a desire to know God better and draw near to Him? (Phil.3:10).
e Is there a conscience regret that my love for Him is less that what it ought to be? (Phil.1:9-10).
e Is there a sense of delight in hearing about God and the things of God? (Ps.1:1-2).
2. The Greatness of God’s Love
Width: whosoever (see John 21:15-17God’s acceptance of Gentile and Jew equally in Christ (Eph.2:11-18)
Length: God’s choosing us before the foundation of the world (Eph.1:4-5) for salvation that will last for all eternity.
Depth: God reaching down to the lowest levels of depravity to redeem those who are dead in trespasses and sins (Eph.2:1-3)
Height: Having blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, in Christ (1:3) and in raising us up and seating us “with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus” (2:6)
3. The evidence: God gave (v.16b)
1. Gave has a two fold meaning: God gave His Son to the world & to die.
a. Allowing Jesus to leave His presence, to leave the majesty & glory, worship & honor of heaven (Mark 9:2-3)
b. Allowing Jesus to come to earth (Phil.2:5-8)
c. Allowing Jesus to die for the sins of men (Matt.26:37-38)
2. God took the initiative to save man
a. Man did not seek to save himself (Rom.3:11), God sought us (Luke 19:10).
3. God planned this throughout eternity
Christ knew from eternity past what would be demanded of His eternal love if men were to be provided a way of salvation. He gave up His prerogatives as God’s Son (Phil.2:6-8).
a. Acts 2:23-24
b. Is.53:10 speaks of the crucifixion eight centuries before it took place
c. Revelation 13: -the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world.
d. Genesis 22:3
4. The purpose: To save (v.16c)
1. From perishing (v.16c)
a. 2Corinthians 4:3-4—“Perishing” means “to be lost, to be in the process of being destroyed or ruined, corrupted and put to death.” Men are on the road to being lost.
b. 2Thessalonians 1:8-9
2. To eternal life (v.16c)
Eternal life is a Present Possession, not merely a Future Hope.
a. Eph.1:3 – God has blessed us with every Spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
b. Eph.2:5-6 - Even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 2:5-6 NKJV).
c. Both passages, the verbs are past tense.
d. Already accomplished reality—We already possess eternal life.
1) Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil.3:20)
Therefore, we must be preoccupied with heavenly things (Col.3:1-3), not with earthly things (1Jn2:15-17),communing with God now, through prayer & the study of the Word of God (2Tim.2:15).
Eternal Life is a Quality of Life. It is life in fellowship, communion, & oneness with God.
a. Christ preached “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt.4:17).
b. Christ said “the kingdom of God is within you” (Lk.17:20-21), God governs your life.
c. Heaven is where holiness, joy, peace, love, exist in perfection.
3. By believing (v.16c cf. Jn2:23)
a. Saving faith is not head knowledge, not just a mental conviction and intellectual assent. It is not just believing the fact that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. It is not just believing history, that Jesus Christ lived upon earth as the Savior just as George Washington lived upon earth as the President of America.
b. Saving faith is believing in Jesus, who and what He is, that He is the Savior and Lord of life.
c. Saving faith is commitment—the commitment of a man’s total being and life to Jesus Christ. It is a man’s commitment of all he is and has to Jesus. It gives Jesus everything.
1) You must hear the gospel (Rom.10:16) repentance: turn from sin
2) You must agree that the message is true faith: turning to the Savior
3) You must commit you life to Him Submission:
5. The proof: God sent His Son (the Incarnation Jn.1:14) (v.17)
1. Not to condemn (v.17a)
a. Who is he who condemns? (Rom.8:33-34)
b. We do deserve to be judged and condemned (Rom.3:23)
2. To save (v.17b) deeper study 1Cor.1:18
a. Man is either in one of two categories: (1)perishing or (2)being saved.
b. Greek, both words are continuous action
The Word Salvation is used in Scripture 3 different ways:
1) The once-for-all experience of salvation (Luke 7:50 cf. Eph.2:8; 2Tim1:9).
Saved from the condemnation of sin, death, & hell.
2) The continuous experience of salvation (1Cor.1:18).
Being saved from the dominion of sin and is being sanctified (Heb.7:25)
3) The redemptive experience in the future (Rom.13:11)
Will be saved from the very presence of sin in heaven forever (Rom.5:9-10)
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
6. The means: Through Him (v.17b)
1. Christ is our Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5; Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 12:24)
a. He makes reconciliation between God and man by his all-perfect atoning sacrifice.
1) Such a mediator must be at once divine and human:
Divine, that his obedience and his sufferings might possess infinite worth, and that he might possess infinite wisdom and knowlege and power to direct all things in the kingdoms of providence and grace which are committed to his hands (Matthew 28:18; John 5:22, 25-27).
Human, that in his work he might represent man, and be capable of rendering obedience to the law and satisfying the claims of justice (Hebrews 2:17-18; Hebrews 4:15-16), and that in his glorified humanity he might be the head of a glorified Church (Romans 8:29).