Series:        The Gospel According to John

Title:           Jesus Teaches the Teacher – God’s Great Love, Pt. 9

Text:            John 3:16

Purpose:      In this lesson, this verse teaches us: God’s love for this sinful world is so great that He gave His unique Son so that whoever believes in Him will
 not perish but have eternal life.

Speaker:     Bishop Jake Givan, Jr., D. Min

Date:           June 10, 2018

Introduction:  It is said that familiarity breeds contempt, but it also can breed boredom. That means that when we come to a verse like John 3:16, which has
been called the most familiar verse in the Bible, we who have known this verse from childhood are in danger of going, “That’s nice. Ho hum!” Or, as
Americans who have been steeped in self-esteem, when we hear that God so loved us that He sent His only Son to die for our sins, we think, “Yes, thanks
for reminding me of how lovable I am.”

We think too highly of ourselves and too lowly of God, so we lose the shock that God who is absolutely holy would love sinners like us enough to send His
only Son to die to redeem us. We forget Paul’s wonder (Rom. 5:8), “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us.” Paul never lost the shock of God’s love in Christ (Gal. 2:20; 1 Tim. 1:15). Neither should we.

There is debate about exactly where Jesus’ words to Nicodemus end and John’s comments begin. Probably, verses 16-21 are John’s comments about Jesus’
words that end at verse 15. In 3:16, the cross seems to be in the past. Jesus often refers to Himself as the Son of Man (3:15), but never as God’s “only
begotten Son,” which is John’s way of referring to Jesus. Also, Jesus does not normally refer to God as “God,” but rather as “the Father”. But even if these
are John’s words, they are nonetheless inspired by the Holy Spirit. He is explaining why God sent His only Son to this world:

God’s love for this sinful world is so great that He gave His unique Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
My prayer for this message is that if you have never responded to God’s great love, the Holy Spirit would jolt you with it and bring you to faith in Jesus
Christ and eternal life. And, if you have known and believed this verse since childhood, my prayer is that God would bring the wonder of His great love to
you in such a way that you would renew your first love for the Lord Jesus.


1.        God’s love for this sinful world is shocking.

The reason for the ambiguity is that the Bible speaks of the love of God in at least six distinguishable aspects of God’s love, (not kinds):

         A.         There is the love within the

         B.         There is God’s
providential love over the entire universe.

         C.         There is God’s
universal love.

         D.         There is God’s love for his
chosen covenant people.  

         E.         There is God’s love that is
poured within the hearts of many.

         F.         Finally, there is God’s
conditional love towards those believers who are fully surrendered.

2.        God’s love for this sinful world does not
negate His holiness and justice.

         A.         God sent His only Son to die on the cross to uphold His
holiness and justice.

         B.         God’s love for the world does not
override or negate the sins of everyone: some will perish.

3.       God’s shocking love for this sinful world is only experienced by those who
believe in Jesus as their sin-bearer.

        A.         God’s reason for sending His only Son into the world was not for
judgement, but for salvation.

        B.         Those who do not believe in Jesus are already under God’s judgment and headed for
eternal condemnation.

        C.         Those who believe in Jesus
receive eternal life.

        D.         Believing in Jesus means
trusting in all that He is and all that He accomplished through His death and resurrection.

In the same way, many say that they believe in Jesus, but they have not committed their eternal destiny to what He did for them on the cross. Some want to
try to help Him out by adding their good deeds to Jesus’ shed blood. But that’s like telling your child that you want to help him out while crossing the street,
by holding his hand, as you walk consistently walk behind him! It doesn’t work! Faith that brings eternal life responds to God’s great love by entrusting
yourself totally to what Jesus did for you when He died on the cross.

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