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God’s Greatest Gift

God has provided salvation for you in Jesus Christ.

In simple, lucid language Jesus sums up the entire Gospel for Nicodemus and us in one beautiful sentence rich in content.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Martin Luther said these “words are able to make the sad happy, the dead alive, if only the heart believes them firmly.”

Jesus revealed what is in the heart of the LORD God. “For God so loved the world.” The very one who came down from heaven reveals the greatest revelation man could ever receive from the Creator.

In these words a holy God is saying to sinful man, “I love you.”

Depraved man could never have conceived how much God loves sinful man. God had to reveal and demonstrate that love to man. The best that man and humanism could come up with was an exaggeration of his own depravity as expressed in world religions.

Jesus uses the word agape denoting the highest type and form of love. It is not a love of mere affection, friendship, or ordinary human relationships, but the very highest type of love that is self-sacrificial for the object loved.

God cleansed the depraved sinner and took him to His bosom. No human intelligence could ever fathom such love. This revelation of God distinguishes Christianity radically from all the world religions.

Such love God has for a sinner is the pinnacle of His glory. It is in fact, the crown of all of His attributes.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son . . .”

God’s own Son sat before Nicodemus and spoke those words to him. This “Son” is above all others who in any sense may be called “sons.” All other “sons” are adopted “sons.” Jesus is “the Only-begotten Son.” He is the “one and only Son of God.”

It is strange, even frightening, how one of the modern pagan cults of our day can claim that Jesus was the brother of Lucifer, Satan. Such a teaching is an abomination to God.

Jesus used a term for Himself “so strange, striking, unique, exalted” and distinctive that no one else could ever be so compared. He is “the only begotten Son of God.” There is none other (John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9). “The only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” No one else ever could have. He was with the Father in heaven from all eternity. He is the “true God, begotten of the Father from eternity,” writes Luther. God gave the very best—Himself—for us.

God the Father gave His only begotten Son as a gift with the purpose in mind “that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Jesus had already told Nicodemus that the Son of Man must be lifted up (v. 15). That is how much God loves us. He gave His only begotten Son up to death on the cross for sinners.

The object of our faith is “in Him,” the only begotten of the Father. Jesus is the object of saving faith. There is no other name that we can call on for salvation. All other names will send you to hell (Acts 4:12).

Those who believe on Him “shall not perish, but have eternal life.” The word “perish” never means to suffer annihilation as another modern cult teaches. “To perish” denotes total and eternal rejection by God.

On the basis of the gift of God we receive eternal life. God loves you so much “that He gave His one and only Son.” Believe on Him today and you shall receive eternal life.

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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