John 3:16 For God so loved the world (so did God love the world), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth (no exclusion but unbelief) in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
- “For God”… …The greatest Being
- “So loved”… …Using the greatest emotion
- “The world”… …The greatest number
- “That He gave”… …The greatest act
- “His only begotten Son…” …The greatest Gift
- “That whosoever”… …The greatest invitation
- “Believeth”… …The greatest simplicity
- “In Him”… …The greatest Person
- “Should not perish”… …The greatest deliverance
- “But”… …The greatest difference
- “Have”… …The greatest certainty
- “Everlasting Life”… …The greatest possession
Why did God send His Son into the world? He sent Him on a mission to redeem and rescue sinners. We are all born sinners by nature and sinners by choice.
Every sin starts within because our whole lives are oriented in the direction of ourselves.” -Alistair Begg
We are born spiritually self righteous…let Tim Keller explain this to us just how deep and wide this sin problem is:
“What is the biblical view of sin? Sin is a distortion and dislocation of the heart from its true center in God (Romans 1:21–25). This distortion is expressed as a basic motive for all human life—the heart desire of every person to be his or her own savior and lord. People who flout God’s moral law are doing this overtly, of course, but even moral, religious people are trying to be their own saviors by earning salvation and being good. It is just as possible to avoid Jesus as Savior (to be your own savior) by keeping God’s law as by breaking it. Everyone is separated from God equally—regardless of the external form of behavior. People are ultimately lost only if they are too proud to see they are lost and in need of a Savior who saves by sheer grace, just as a drowning person offered a life preserver will only die if he won’t admit he needs it.”
The wages of sin is death. All of the ills and pain and sorrow and suffering in our lives is due to sin and the consequences of sin. There is only one cure for the malady of sin that has infected and corrupted every person, and that is the saving love of God in Christ Jesus.
So using John 3.16 as my launch pad today, I’d like for us as born again followers of Jesus Christ to ponder 11 things about the love of God in Christ to prepare our hearts to take The Lord’s Supper. I would also pray in Jesus name that any who have yet to repent of their sin and confess Christ as Lord today would hear in these 11 redemptive facts, the genuine loving appeal of God to you this morning to trust in Christ as your Savior.
Those 11 things about the love of God in Christ is that it is infinite, undeserved, gracious, sacrificial, delivering, death defying, unending, reconciling, regenerating, costly and God glorifying.
(1) This saving love of God in Christ on the cross is an infinite love
- Acts 2.23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
- Acts 3.18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
- 1 Peter 1.20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
Calvary was the predetermined plan of God for the redemption of sinful, broken sinners like me. The cross of Jesus Christ is the supreme manifestation of God’s love for us. This infinite love of God that existed before time began was manifested in time on mount Calvary.
(2) This saving love of God in Christ describes an undeserved love
- Romans 5.8 But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
- Romans 4.5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
- 1 Peter 3.18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
- Romans 5.6,8,10 tell us that Jesus died for the ungodly, for sinners for His enemies. God has chosen to love an evil, sinful world that is in rebellion against Him.
The greatness of God’s love is measured in terms of its unsearchable and unimaginable reach. The “world” spoken of in verse 16 is the rebellious world of God’s image- bearers. God loved rebels, fools, and idolaters so much that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to redeem them. There is no greater love.
(3) This saving love of God in Christ is a gracious love
- Ephesians 2.4 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;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
The saving love of God in Christ is a boast defying, good works renouncing message. Because the saving love of God is gracious, it eliminates any and all merit on behalf of fallen man. A “gospel” that is man centered or ritual centered or works centered has no power to save.
(4) This saving love of God in Christ is a sacrificial love
- Isa 53:4-10 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 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. 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. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
God gave His only begotten Son. The cross of Calvary is a sacrificial love; God gave His Son, His only Son. Jesus Christ, laid down His life for us. This sacrificial love was foreshadowed in the Old Testament accounts of Abraham offering up of Isaac, The Passover Lamb of the Exodus, and the brazen serpent on the pole in Numbers 21.
(5) This saving love of God in Christ is a delivering love
- Colossians 1.13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.
- Acts 26.18 we have been delivered from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.
- 1 Peter 2.9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
It is through faith in Jesus Christ that sinners are delivered from the authority of Satan, and the powers of darkness.
(6) This saving love of God in Christ is a death defying love
- Hebrews 2.14,15 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Please note that one of the reasons why Jesus died for our sins, was in order that He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil, and in doing so, deliver all who trust in Him from the fear of death.
The “fear of death” here is not merely a fear of dying—that is perfectly natural. It is rather the “fear” that “has to do with punishment,” a fear which “perfect love casts out” (1 John 4:18). God’s love in Christ assures us that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).
(7) This saving love of God in Christ is an unending love
- Jer 31.3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
- Ro 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Only those in Christ will experience the unending love of God. We are given the life and the love of God here and now, and when we die, we will experience the unending love of God in a greater measure.
God’s love for His sheep shall never end, and the love of God will never be withdrawn from those who place their trust Him.
We love Him because He first loved us. The gospel of Jesus Christ is an infinite, holy love.
(8) This saving love of God in Christ is a reconciling love
- 2 Cor 5.19-21 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us:we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 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.
At the core of the good news of the gospel is what has often been called the “great exchange” or “imputation.” Our sin is Imputed (reckoned, accounted) to Christ as he is made to be sin for us; His righteousness is imputed to us as we receive his righteous status (v. 21). He takes our sin; he gives us his righteousness. An individual is reconciled to God (vv. 18, 20) and made a new creation in Christ (v. 17) on the basis of this
Things drastically change in light of the exchange of Christ’s righteousness for our sin. Our legal standing before God has shifted from that of unrighteousness to righteousness. The status of our relationship with God has moved from conflict to reconciliation, from enmity to peace and with God.
(9) This saving love of God in Christ is a regenerating love
- Titus 3.4-7 But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Our very being is regenerated and changed by transferred from the impending death of this world to the promised life of God’s new creational order, leading us to an increased appetite for that which pleases God and a growing distaste for that which does not please Him.
(10) This saving love of God in Christ is a costly love
Free does not mean that there was no cost involved.
- 1 Corinthians 6.20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
- Acts 20.28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with His own blood.
- 1 Peter 1.18,19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
The price for our salvation was a costly one. John 19.30-Jesus paid the entirety of our sin debt. not free for God or for Christ, but it is freely offered to us through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.
(11) This saving love of God in Christ is a God glorifying love.
- 1 Cor 1.30,31 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
Beloved, Jesus Christ IS the gospel!! The grace that saves us from the debt and power of sin is the death defeating, bondage breaking, wrath absorbing, heart transforming gospel of Jesus Christ. There is nothing that we can do to earn it, or merit it, or deserve it. God has not demanded that we meet a standard that we could never achieve in order to receive eternal life. Salvation is a free gift that is received by grace alone, through faith alone, in The Lord Jesus Christ alone.
The atonement of Jesus Christ fully satisfied the wrath and righteousness of God, and it is that gift of God that is given to everyone and anyone who repents and believe in Jesus Christ and confess Him as Lord.