Thought 1. God loves every man, not just the religious and the good. He does not love only the people who love Him. He loves everyone, even the unlovely and the unloving, the unbelieving and the obstinate, the selfish and the greedy, the spiteful and the vengeful.
"For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:12-13).
2. The basis of God's love is His nature. God is love (1 John 4:8, 16); therefore, He loves. He acts, demonstrates, and shows His love.
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love....And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him" (1 John 4:8, 16).
3. Love acts; it expresses itself. Love does not sit still, doing nothing. It is not dormant, complacent, inactive. If love actually exists, it has to act and express itself; it has to do something good. Love is loving; that is, love is always demonstrating love to others. Therefore, God's love acts and reveals Him to be love.
Thought 1. God wants man to know His love. He wants to reach everyone in the world with His love.
"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us" (1 John 3:16).
"In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him" (1 John 4:9).
2. (3:16) God, Love, of: there is the evidence of God's love—God gave His only begotten Son. Note several points.
1. God demonstrated His love in the most perfect way possible: He gave His only begotten Son to the world. As God, He is perfect, which means His love is perfect. Therefore, God not only loves, but He so loves. He loves to perfection, loves to the ultimate degree. Whatever the ultimate degree and the perfect act and expression of love is, God shows it. Without question, the greatest act of love is the sacrifice of a man's own life; therefore, God sacrificed the life of His own Son to save man.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
2. The word gave has a twofold meaning. God gave His Son to the world, and He gave His Son to die. The idea of sacrifice, of great cost, is in both acts. It cost God dearly to give His Son up to the world and up to the cross.
a. He gave up His Son to be separated from Him, allowing Jesus to leave His presence, to leave the majesty and glory, worship and honor of heaven.
b. He gave up His Son to be separated from Him, allowing Jesus to come to earth...
c. He gave up His Son to be separated from Him, allowing Jesus to die for the sins of men .
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).
"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).
"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor. 5:21).
"Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift" (2 Cor. 9:15).
"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Galatians 3:13).
"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man" (Hebrews 2:9).
"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation" (Hebrews 9:28).
3. A most glorious evidence of God's love is that God took the initiative to save man. Man did not seek to save himself; God sought to save him. God gave His Son so that we might be forgiven and saved. God is the seeking Savior.
"The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee" (Jeremiah 31:3).
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)" (Ephes. 2:4-5).
4. The most glorious truth is that God gave His only begotten Son. This is the most remarkable proof of God's love. It magnifies and shows how great His love really is. He was willing to give the thing most dear to His heart in order to save the world. Note this: God even planned to give His Son throughout eternity.
"Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it" (Acts 2:23-24).
3. (3:16) Salvation: there is the purpose of God's love: to save men. God's purpose in giving His Son was threefold.
1. To save men from perishing .
2. To save men to eternal life .
3. To save men through belief .
4. (3:17) God, Love of: there is the proof of God's love, the Incarnation. God actually sent His Son into the world .
1. Christ was not sent to condemn or to judge the world. We, the world, deserve to be judged and condemned.
Þ We are guilty both of breaking God's law and of coming short of God's glory (Romans 3:23).
Þ We are convicted (Romans 3:9-18; cp. Romans 1:18-32).
However, Christ was not sent to condemn or judge us. Judgment and condemnation were not His purpose.
2. Christ was sent to save us. His purpose was to save us from perishing and to save us to eternal life.
"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).
5. (3:17) Salvation— Jesus Christ, Mediator: there is the means of salvation. Salvation is through Him (Christ Jesus) and through Him alone.
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Tim. 1:15).
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5).
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
"Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25).
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