The Biblical Meaning of John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes on Him will not perish but have everlasting life”
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The above Bible verse is the most read, most known and most popular verse of the scripture. It is known by both young and old, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, sinner and saint, white or black.
It shares the most profound nature of God and His entire purpose for man and the most sacrificial gift by which He brought that to life. This verse is regarded as the Gospel itself because everything about the Christian life revolves around it.
Though simple and easy to memorize by man, it has become the most difficult to believe and appropriate by many. Many find it too easy to be true. Some find it unbelievable and ridiculous. Many interpretations have been given to it over the years of it’s existence, sometimes in context and sometimes, out of context. Yet the message is real and powerful and it is life to all those who believe in it.
John 3:16 is the sum total of God’s purpose for man. It is the basis for everything we do in Christianity today. It is the only message and the only Gospel that is expected to be preached. This verse itself is the Good news because the Good news is the coming of Jesus and His death for us on the cross. The Good news is Jesus and Jesus, his coming, his death and resurrection is the Gospel.
To further understand the Biblical meaning of John 3:16, let us consider a few points.
1) God is Love: John 3:16 speaks of the love of God for man. He says that ” for God so loved the world ….” and the next action described what that love prompted Him to do. “That He gave”
God’s love for man has been consistent. God over the years has dealt with man in love, forgiveness, pardon, mercy, grave and compassion. In the old testament, even though there was more and immediate consequences for sin as put up by God, there was still a place for his love for man. We see from scripture that when men turn to God from their evil ways by making atonement and praying, God was always ready to forgive and cleanse them from all their unrighteousness.
Coming to the new testament God proved his love for man by providing a better sacrifice that speaks better things than the blood of cock and bull. God must have been thinking of ways to make His love for us more evident and more lasting. Hence,He gave His son Jesus to us to become our final sacrifice so that we no longer need to shed the blood of animals.
From this act of God we see that God’s love is kind and it’s immeasurable. It is a kind of love that no man else can have for another. It is an unconditional love that speaks of how much He values us and never wants us to perish. It has nothing to do about who we are are or what we do for Him.
This God kind of love teaches us first to love others regardless of their shortcomings. Jesus said we are to love and pray for our enemies. This exactly is the God’s kind of love because even while we were yet sinners, God sent Christ, is only son to die for us. We were His enemies, yet He came to die for us. Believers therefore have no excuse to love others for it is by that same love we were saved and delivered from sin.
2) God gave His only Son: “…that He gave His only begotten son”
God so loved the world that He proved this love by one thing, giving us His only begotten son. We see from this action of God that the proof of love is giving. His love for us prompted Him, pushed Him and led Him to give us Jesus, His only begotten son.
No greater love can a man have than to lay down His life for another. God provided His own son as a sacrifice for sins He didn’t even commit. Christ was sinless but He became sin for us just so that we might not perish. The travail of Jesus on the cross for us
Just like God gave His most precious gift unto us, believers must learn through this than giving is also a prove of love. No one can pay God back for this gift but yet He gave. Today, people only give to those who can pay them back. Like God, we are not to expect to receive from those we give to. We must give freely in love just like God did.
God has given us His son and all we need to appreciate this gift is to accept Jesus and obey Him.
3) Whosoever Believes in Him: “That whosoever believes in Him will not perish”
After God as a prove of love gave us His son Jesus to die for us, all man has to do was to believe in Jesus. This us what would mean that the love, giving and sacrifice of Jesus was not in vain.
Men of God over the years have preached this gospel of believing in Jesus to all men everywhere as the only way to everlasting life. Many have believed in this single message and their lives have changed for the best.
The message of accepting and believing in Jesus is the message that brings transformation to all who believes. Though it appears too simple to be true for the murderer, the prostitute, the liar, the fornicator, the thief and the backbiter etc because of the magnitude of their sins.
Yet the death of Jesus avails for us all regardless of how big or small our sins are. All we have to do is believe that the sacrifice is just enough.
Whosoever believes in Him will not perish. Whoever you are. Whatever your sins are. No sin is to great to be pardoned by God once the sinner believes.
4) He who believes will not perish: The antidote for not perishing in sin and with the world is to believe in Jesus. All men and women fail to believe in this gift of God will perish.
Millions of souls in the world have been saved from destruction because they chose to believe in God and His gift, Jesus. There is great deliverance when men choose to accept Jesus. He delivers and sets the captives free. He heals and delivers the oppress who only believes.
Millions who fail to believe in Jesus have also perished. The choice is for the vilest or the most moral sinner or even the hypocritical Christian to turn to Jesus, believe in him ,accept him and walk freely without the judgement of sin
5) Everlasting Life: The promise to those who believe in Christ according to John 3:16 is that they will never perish.
Beyond the physical death, there is spiritual and eternal death. All men everywhere who choose to despise the gift of God and His sacrifice, Jesus, will suffer eternal damnation. Damnation in life as a consequence for their sins and damnation in death when they find their souls in hell.
Yet, God is not interested that anyone should perish but that all should come to repentance by believing and accepting Jesus. This is why he calla men everywhere to repent of their sins so that they can inherit everlasting life.
Everlasting life is to live with God in Paradise forever at His appearing. It is to never experience the pain and suffering in the hereafter. Sinners and hypocritical believers must do well to ensure that they accept the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross so that they can have the everlasting as promised by God.
Anyone who misses this everlasting life sets himself up for eternal damnation.
Jesus is the only message of salvation and deliverance to the world. God provided Jesus for us as the final sacrifice to all human sins.
In fact, having looked studied John 3:16, we see that the entire story of the Bible centres around this Jesus. Hence Jesus becomes the Good news, the only message and the Gospel itself.
Although, preachers and Christians today now preach other messages of prosperity and wealth as their only message, we must never forget that prosperity and wealth are not the way to having everlasting life. Prosperity and wealth will not save a man from sin. Only Jesus will.
The focus should not be shifted from the main purpose and intention of God, which is to save all men who believes in Jesus from their sins.
The Biblical Meaning of John 3:16 preach love, sacrifice, kindness, selfless and forgiveness. As a child of of God and the ambassador of his kingdom, we need to learn and practice all the lessons and benefit from this biblical verse. The Biblical Meaning of John 3:16 is the essence of God for all man.