For God So Loved the World

SERMON # FOUR MARCH 2018

Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22 & Numbers 21:4-9 & John 3:14-21

For God so loved the world

 

John 3:16 – possibly the best known verse about love in the whole bible.

 

John 3 begins with an encounter between a Pharisee, Nicodemus, and Jesus. Secretive meeting by night.

Jesus told Nicodemus that unless he was born again, he couldn’t enter the Kingdom of God.

Jesus explained it.

 

Knowing Gods Love applying it is key.

 

John 3:16 starts with God, “For God so loved the world….”

 

1 John 4:8, “He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love.”

 

God’s love for us caused God to move in an unprecedented manner, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son

 

Illustration: “A grandfather found his grandson, jumping up and down in his playpen, crying at the top of his voice. When Johnnie saw his grandfather, he reached up his little chubby hands and said, “Out, Grampy, out.”

It was only natural for Grandfather to reach down to lift the little fellow out of his predicament; but as he did, the mother of the child stepped up and said, “No, Johnnie, you are being punished, so you must stay in.”

The grandfather was at a loss to know what to do. The child’s tears and chubby hands reached deep into his heart, but the mother’s firmness in correcting her son for misbehaviour must not be lightly taken. Here was a problem of love versus law, but love found a way. The grandfather could not take the youngster out of the playpen, so he crawled in with him. —By Fred W. Parsons, These Times, March 1969.

 

That is what God did for us when He sent Jesus to earth – He got into the cot with us.

He took on flesh, came to earth, went through the regular stages of childhood development– the helplessness of being an infant – the struggles of learning to walk and talk as a toddler – the carefree childhood years – the confusing and dangerous waters of being an adolescent – and then He grew to be an adult in His society.

 

He faced every temptation just as we do, but chose not to sin.

 

In verse 14, Jesus refers to our Numbers reading “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up”.

 

Here we find out why God used that particular method to relieve the people of their inflictions – looking up at the image of your sin and looking past it to the heavens from where we are ultimately healed / saved.

 

2 Corinthians 5:21 “He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” HCSB

 

Through His self - sacrifice, He satisfied all the requirements in the ultimate payment for our sins.

There is no need for any further sacrifice. Jesus took all the punishment for the sins of all humanity and paid the price/debt in absolute fullness.

That is real love. He gave His “only begotten Son” KJV. 

Because of that act of selfless love, we come to know:

Of God’s Salvation

“whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Jesus came to save us – you and me. That is His purpose.

Jesus said “whoever believes in Him” would have eternal life.

No long list of steps to take or actions to make!

All we are asked is to believe who He is.

Son of God, God in human form, Messiah and Christ.

All we are asked is to believe what He has done.

Died for our sins – once and for all.

All we are asked is to believe what He promised.

Salvation and eternal life if we trust in Him

Illustration: once upon a time...in 1725 to be exact, a little boy was born and was named John. His sailor father was gone to sea for long periods of time leaving John’s mother to raise him. She was a kind, God-fearing woman who loved him dearly and endeavoured to raise him in the love of the Lord, faithfully teaching him the Word of God. John had a wonderful childhood until age seven when his mother died.

John’s father soon remarried and, although his new wife was probably not quite of the Cinderella and Snow White evil stepmother variety, she had neither love nor time for this little boy. There were no more prayer times or Scripture readings before bed. There were no more tender hugs or words of encouragement. John was left to fend for himself and took to running the streets. By age 11, he was going to sea with his harsh and distant father. The immoral and salty-tongued sailors became his companions, and he soon became just like them.

In a few years, John had his own ship and was profiting greatly in the West African slave-trafficking business. He was a hardened unbeliever, profane in speech and utterly immoral.

Occasionally, his conscience would prick him as he would remember his mother’s love and prayers for him. At such times, John would diligently resolve to "live better," to read his Bible and pray. But, a sin-hardened and unrepentant heart finds no peace even in these things, and he would quickly give up.

Then, on a night of terror in 1748, John had to face his mortality squarely. A hellish tempest-tossed sea of 30-foot waves became his deadly enemy. For ten days a ferocious storm raged so mightily that he despaired of his very life. Before his eyes, a seaman was swept off the deck to his death. John lashed himself to the deck so he would not suffer a similar fate.

During this time, he remembered a Scripture his mother had taught him. In Proverbs 1: 24-31 God says, "But since you rejected me when I called... I, in turn, will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you -- when calamity overtakes you like a storm..." This is not the most comforting verse for a hardened sinner and God-hater to remember when he is facing death!

The storm did eventually pass, however, with the ship and John being spared. It was just a matter of time, too, before John, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, repented of his sin-filled life, asked for forgiveness and received mercy and grace from the Lord Jesus Christ. He became a “new creature” in Christ.

 

So who is this John? His full name is John Newton, and he wrote these familiar words,

 

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see!”

 

NO person is too far gone for the love and forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ...not John Newton...not me...not you.

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