At the very center of God's heart is his love for the world. Everything he does is motivated by his love for the world. Every beat of his heart is a heartbeat of love for the world.
Jesus told us of God's love for the world in John 3:16-17
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
The world is made up of people...all kinds of people. People who are hurting, broken, hopeless, tired, addicted, condemned, sinful, shamed, miserable, troubled, confused, happy, healthy, rich, poor, educated, uneducated, etc...The list goes on and on. But one thing is certain for everyone and every life experience people are having in the world, all of us are loved by God.
The five things all people of the world have in common, no matter what part of the world we live in, is this:
Because God loves us and wants a relationship with us, he gave his one and only Son to remove the sin separating us from and to reconcile us to himself, meaning to bring us into a love-relationship with himself.
With this is mind, let's take a deeper look into John 3:16-17.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Let's start with God. Genesis 1:1 says God is the Creator of all things. As Creator, he holds all power in his hands. Yet, this God who holds all power in his hands, has love in his heart for all those he created.
The word for simply means because. Because God loves people, he was moved by this love to send Jesus to earth to save us. This love God has for us comes with depth, emotion, feeling, affection, and passion. He just doesn't love the people of the world...he so loves us!
Many times we attempt to describe the depth of our love for another person by saying, "I love you so much." Whenever we attach so to the word love, we are attempting to describe a love for someone that goes beyond ordinary everyday love. We are trying to separate the common statement I love you by inserting the word so for the purpose of communicating a depth of love that involves emotion, feeling, affection, and passion.
That is exactly what Jesus did by using the word so in describing God's love for the people of the world. Jesus is wanting the people of the world to know that God's love for us goes beyond the ordinary use of the word love and into a depth of emotion, feeling, affection, and passion.
God just doesn't love us, he so loves us!
The word love is the English word for the Greek word agape, meaning God's unconditional love. God's love for us has nothing to do with anything we do. But has everything to do with who he is. God is love. God is agape. He is unconditional love. He loves us without conditions. God so loves us at our worst. In our very worst moments, sin, failures, immoralities, decisions, etc...he loves us with emotion, feelings, affection, and passion. When we don't love ourselves, when we feel no one loves us, God so loves us!
This unconditional, emotional, affectionate, and passionate love deep within the heart of God moved him to give his Son to save us. But what does the word save mean and why do we need to be saved?
The word save means to rescue and restore. The people of the world are in need of being rescued and restored. Rescued from and restored to what? And why?
God, in his great love, created us to be in a relationship with himself. However, mankind walked away from this relationship with God. In doing so, sin entered the human race, and along with sin, death. Death, at it's core, is being separated from a relationship with God.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.
Through the sin of the one man, Adam, judgment and condemnation came.
The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation...the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men...
Romans 5:16, 18
The entire human race is in desperate need of being rescued from death and restored to life, a loving relationship with God. The entire human race is in desperate need of being released from the judgment and condemnation (punishment) of God for our sins and returned to a loving relationship with him.
God, with great love for the people of world, sent his Son, Jesus, to take the condemnation for the sins of the whole world, and in doing so, satisfied his judgment for our sins.
John, when preparing the way for Jesus to reveal himself to the world, said in John 1:39:
"Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away (propitiation) the sin of the world!"
John writes about Jesus:
He is the propitiation (the one who takes away God's complete judgment for our sins by taking God's judgment upon himself) for our sins, and not only ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
God sending his One and Only son to rescue the whole world from death and restore our relationship with himself was a visible demonstration of his love for the people of the world.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ did for us.
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love. Not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as the propitiation for our sins.
Al this is from God, who reconciled (brought us into a love-relationship with himself) us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling (to bring together in a love-relationship) the world to himself through Christ, not counting men's sins against them.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Through the death of Jesus, God has rescued us from death. Through the resurrection of Jesus, God has restored us to life, a love-relationship with himself.
God's heart beats with love for the people the world. People he created to be in a love relationship with himself. In love, he has come to us by sending his one and only Son into the world to rescue us from death, which is separation from God, and restore us to life, which is a love-relationship with God.
God deeply desires to be in a love-relationship with the people of the world. He has made the way for the world to be in relationship with himself by counting all of our sins against Jesus, and in doing so, no longer counting any of our sins against us. He has removed the barrier of sin separating the world from himself. Now he asks us, the people of the world, to be reconciled to himself, or to believe.
We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us (the people of the world), so that in him
we might become the righteousness in God.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21
(Jesus said) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of his one and only Son.
(Jesus said) I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.
What does it mean to believe?
John 1:12 tells us to believe means to receive Jesus. Believing is not just mentally agreeing God loves us and sent Jesus take the condemnation for our sin so that we can be in a love-relationship with himself, but to receive Jesus or accept him into our lives so that we become children of God.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
By receiving Jesus into our lives, not only do we become children of God, but we become his dearly loved children.
Be imitators of God, as dearly loved children...
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved...
Jesus tells us the invitation to receive him and become God's dearly loved children is extended to all people everywhere around the world. He says whosoever will...
For God so loved the world that whosoever believes...
Maybe this is you. God has opened the eyes of your heart so that you see the beat of his heart for you. His heart beats with love for you. God loves you. He so loves you. With a depth of love that goes beyond any love you have ever seen or experienced on this earth, he loves you. With emotion, feelings, affection, and passion he loves you! Not only does he so love you, but he wants to begin a love-relationship with you that begins today and lasts for all eternity!
If you would like to begin a love-relationship with God, below is a simple prayer you can say expressing your heart's desire to receive Jesus and begin a love-relationship with God as his dearly loved child.
Dear God, today my eyes have been opened to how much you love me. Your love is so great for me, that you sent Jesus, your one and only Son, to take the judgment and condemnation for all my sins. You are no longer counting my sins against me. Thank you! Today I am expressing my belief in Jesus by receiving him into my life. In doing so, you now call me your dearly loved child. And starting today, and for all eternity, I will be in a love-relationship with you.
If you received Jesus today, becoming a dearly loved child of God, I want to encourage you to let someone know. Let me know. I would love to celebrate with you. You can fill out the comment section below. Additionally, find a church where you can grow in your relationship with God. Surround yourself with people who understand God's love and will help you grow as a dearly loved child of God.
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