For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
The four individuals zipped up their dark canvas jackets, slid on dark grey gloves, and pulled on wooly masks to hide their faces. They had plans for the evening, evil plans, that needed to be hidden from the world around them. They had spent their entire life rehearsing the scheme, and they could not risk being exposed under the glow of the moon. You see, it would take nothing short of being unmasked by light to alter their tactics.
Humanity was born with evil intent in their hearts. The whole world has been persuaded by sin, and ‘the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) The majority of sinners are not zipping up hoodies under the darkness of night. No, most sin takes place in the shadowy corners of the heart—sin like pride, anger, lust, over-indulgence, disobedience, selfishness, and hate. Even the tiniest child has a bent to follow their own desire and act with much determination to carry out their plan.
God Gave Jesus to the World He Loves | John 3:16 | This dark and evil world needed a Savior. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus Christ is the perfect gift of grace to this sinful world. Did you hear that? It is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9) We cannot earn grace; it is simply a gift—a gift of God’s love to the undeserving.
God Gave Jesus to Save the World He Loves | John 3:17-18 | God is love. Therefore, everything that God does extends from His love. How reassuring to know that God did not send Jesus to condemn the world. No, God sent Jesus to save the world! The difference between perishing and living and between condemnation and salvation is faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus could well have come to this world as a judge and destroyed every rebellious sinner, but in love, He came to this world as our Savior, and He died for us on the cross![i] Jesus is The Way to salvation.
God Gave Jesus to Bring Light to the World He Loves | John 3:19-21 | Scripture is clear that “man loves darkness rather than light.” (John 3:19) Why? Because humanity does not want their sin to be exposed. Think of the worst thing that you have ever done. Now, imagine that everyone you know and love watched you commit that sin. Does it make you feel sick? We think that having our sin exposed would be terrifying, humiliating, and painful, but it is far worse never to have our sin come to light. Remember, everything that God does extends out of His great love for us, even exposing our sin. Jesus brings light to our sin for our good and His glory. He does not do this to humiliate or shame us. No! Jesus brings light to our sin to make us aware, to set us free, and to produce new life in us.
[i] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, The Complete New Testament in One Volume (Colorado Springs, Colorado: David C. Cook, 2007), 238.
Who do you know that needs God’s gift of grace and how will you share this gift with them?
Why are you encouraged to know that everything that God does extends from love?
Are you willing to let the light shine on the shadowy corners of your heart? Explain.