“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
In the light of the Pauline epistles these well-known words have become more appropriate than when our Lord first spoke them. Through Paul, Christ’s redemptive work at Calvary has been proclaimed and fully explained. In this light, then, we suggest that our readers take the time to really meditate on this passage about God’s greatest gift to man.
Think of the love that prompted it! “God so loved….” We were the “children of disobedience” and “by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (Eph. 2:2,3). We deserved judgment, “but God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us,” gave His best, His all, to save us (Eph. 2:4).
Think of its priceless value! “His only begotten Son — everlasting life.” Christ, the holy One, had to be given up to disgrace and death in order that our sins might be justly dealt with, and that we might become the rightful heirs of everlasting life (Rom. 3:25,26).
Think of your need of this gift! “…that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish….” How perilous not to accept “the gift of God, eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23)! What folly to spurn or ignore a gift we need so sorely!
Finally, think how gracious the offer! “…that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Whosoever believeth! Any sinner may have this gift by simply believing, accepting in simple faith what God says about Christ paying for our sins at Calvary. In fact, this is the only way we can become the recipients of this wonderful gift, for Rom. 4:5 declares:
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith [believing] is counted for righteousness.”