2 Kings 15-16 John 3:1-18
“God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17 NCV)
There’s a reason that this verse is a favorite of so many people. This verse shows us how great God’s love is: He sent His Son, Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins. He didn’t want anyone to be lost, He wanted all of us to have eternal life. Jesus wasn’t sent to judge the world. (Sometimes we Christians think that’s why God has us, and we do an amazing job of judging instead of loving.) There’s a hidden message there, though. The world has already been judged and found guilty. There was a penalty to be paid. God paid that penalty because of His love for us. The next verse makes it clear that those who don’t believe in Jesus are judged guilty because they haven’t accepted the grace of God.
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think people realize the judgment implicit in this verse. The world stood under judgment, ready to receive its rightful punishment of eternal condemnation. God alone could change that – and He did. He didn’t do it under compulsion. He did it out of love. He loved the whole world and put the offer out for anyone who would believe in His only begotten Son. Instead of paying the penalty and getting what we deserve, God offers us one last chance: believe in Jesus Christ and receive God’s grace or reject Him and get what you deserve. I’m so grateful that I can depend on the grace of God. Of course, that also means that I should be showing His grace and forgiveness to others so that they can see an example of what it means to be in a relationship with God.
Lord, there is no greater gift than the gift of eternal life. Thank You that the only way to receive that gift is through Your grace. Thank You that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross made that possible.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.