Saturday, February 15, 2014

John 3:16-17 The Love of God

John 3:16-17
The Love of God

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

[Introduction]. Imagine living in a world where there is no God. There would be no qualities, properties, or things commonly associated with God. There would be no joy, no peace, and no love. The Bible tells us clearly, “God is love.” We need to understand a very simple message, “God caused the one who didn’t know sin to be sin for our sake so that through him we could become the righteousness of God.” [2 Corinthians 5:21]

I.             Why did God have to send Jesus?

                A.            If we understand the message the Bible correctly something is wrong.
                                1.            In John 3:16 we are led to believe that there are two possible outcomes.
                                                a.            The first outcome is found in the word “parish.”
                                                b.            The second outcome is found in the phrase “eternal life.”
                                2.            In 2nd Corinthians we see the problem is “sin.”
                                                a.            Sin is a technical term, it refers to the general state of  being  separated from God.
                                                b.            Sin is also a reference to the controlling principle of this world.

***Paul often refers to sin has “the law of sin and death.”***

                B.            Not only is something wrong but it is something that we cannot fix ourselves.
                                1.            This was one of the things Jesus came to accomplish.
                                                a.            In John 3:17 we are taught that the world is condemned.
                                                b.            Jesus however intended to do something that would allow the world to be saved through him.
                                2.            This plan was instigated by God the Father.
                                                a.            The plan involved in exchange 2nd Corinthians 5:17 tells us.
                                                b.            God made Jesus legally responsible for our sin so that we could have the legal standing of Jesus’ righteousness.

II.            Why did God send Jesus?

                A.            The answer, according to John 3:16, is both simple and complicated: love
                                1.            God loves us.
                                                a.            A sad reality in today’s world is not everybody wants this love.
                                                b.            We have the tendency to do everything to avoid this love.
                                2.            God’s love is demonstrated by giving Jesus.
                                                a.            John 3:14-15, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
                                                b.            The story comes from one of the rebellions as the children wandered in the desert.
The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.” [Numbers 21 7-9]

                B.            Here is a vivid image of the power of sin.
                                1.            God has just delivered them a great victory.
                                                a.            The problem is the people became impatient and started to complain.
                                                b.            The complaint against God and against Moses. They were unhappy with the food, they were insecure about their water supply, and they suggested that they had been brought out of Egypt to die in the wilderness.
                                2.            According to Romans chapter 1, one of the first symptoms is a lack of gratitude.
                                                a.            According to Hebrews 3:19, “So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.”
                                                b.            At the very core of every action that we call sin is the principle of sin.

III.           Why would God love us?

                A.            First of all God created us.
                                1.            The word of God declares, “Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” [Psalm 100:3]
                                                a.            Scripture connects the act of God creating to the act of God’s saving over 90 times.
                                                b.            Simply put God’s act of creation gives them the legal right to claim our love and earn our love.
                                                c.             As one who loves what he is created, he is determined to free us from this curse of sin.
                                2.            The word of God declares, For you created my inmost being;
                                                you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
[Psalm 136:13]
                                                a.            So not only did God make us in the universal sense but he also made us in the very personal sense.
                                                b.            The image of knitting is a very personal hands-on picture. God did not just throw some clay against the wall. Instead he specifically designed each individual person.
                                                c.             In Scripture we are told that this design is in the “image of God.” It is one reason why he takes the destruction of life so personal, why he deplores the abnormal use of our bodies, and why he hates the exploitation of others.

                B.            Second of all God refuses to leave as hopeless.
                                1.            One of the problems of sin is selfishness.
                                                a.            In our selfishness we are willing to destroy others and ourselves.
                                                b.            By God giving his son we see a different model for life.
                                2.            God demonstrated his love in the most amazing selfless act.
                                                a.            Following the image of Moses lifting up a snake in the wilderness, Jesus intended to be “lifted up” on the cross.
                                                b.            Here’s the thing when Moses carried that snake through the camp people could be saved if they would only look to it. In other words they could choose to be.
                                                c.             So it is today. Salvation is offered freely to any who would believe.