“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16 is one of the most well-known and popular verses in the Bible. Some have suggested that this verse encapsulates the gospel in a simple sentence. While it is certainly not exhaustive, it does present fundamental truths in a succinct, palatable format.
- God’s character. John 3:16 gives a brief but vivid description of God and his character. God is a good, beneficent God. He is a God of great love, willing to sacrifice that which is most dear to him for those who are helpless and cannot help themselves.
- Rooted in history. Christianity is a religion that proclaims the actual, historical sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as the most significant event in history. God delved into the actual condition of humanity to bring redemption.
- The Reason for God’s action. Without the activity of God, humans are in danger of perishing. The lost condition of humanity is the reason that God was willing to pay such a steep price and give up his Son.
- Human Response. The gospel demands a response. Those who trust in God and his saving activity will be saved. Those who refuse to trust in God with their entire being will be lost.
– Jeremy Sweets, Broadmoor’s Bulletin: Biblical Meditations, Feb. 13, 2011.