The “great verse” of the Bible is John 3:16. Millions of people throughout history have made it their favorite verse. It is in summary, the Bible in miniature. “For God so loved the world…” That is our starting point. The love of God for man. GOD LOVES MAN! End of discussion! No matter what man has done, no matter how many times man does it, and no matter who man does it with… and “it” can be very, very bad… NOTHING can hinder the love that God has for man.
But how can that be?
Because as I John 4 says, “God is love.” Note very carefully that it does NOT say, “God HAS love.” If God has love, then someday God might not HAVE love. But because love is what God is, God will never NOT have love or He would cease to be God. Isn’t that glorious? In other words, God has love for us, not because of what we do or who we are, but because of Who He is!
Now, because He loves, He gave His Son… This too is wonderful, because for love to be love, it must be not just stated, but demonstrated. It is not enough for me to say I love Janet, I must show her that I love her as well. If I say it, but not do it, then my love would be in question. No one ever need doubt the love of God, for all they need do is look at the cross. In the cross, God shows us that He loves us.
Then, for love to be love, there must be the receiving, experiencing, and then expressing love back to the original lover. And so the verse says, “that whoever believes would not perish but have eternal life.” But what is belief? Remember the context of this verse, earlier in John 3, we are instructed by Jesus what faith is all about. He reminds all of us how in the wilderness when a man or woman was bit by the serpents, all they had to do was look at the brass serpent that Moses had placed upon the wooden staff. So it is for us. This is not the faith of great devotion and sacrifice --- oh no! All that is required when you are bit by the serpent, lost in sin, its venom flowing through your body and killing you --- again, ALL that is needed is the “glance of faith” to the One who has been lifted up on His wooden cross --- And the promise is you shall not perish, but have Life and that Life eternal. Glory!
Oh my friends, if God wants to save mankind, and He does, why would He make it difficult? He has made it so simple… all that is required is the ”glance of faith” to the One Who has laid down His life on our behalf. GLORY!