Yesterday we studied the peril that we are in because of our sin. Today let's dig in to the plan that God has provided, to rescue us from the peril we face.
The first two words of the verse tell us something powerful -- there is a God. The world began with God, and depends on God. And we are created in His image. He was there first, and then He made us like Himself and for Himself (Isaiah 43:7) and the meaning of my life is knowing God.
Next we read that God has a Son. Especially at this time of year, this is a concept that we might rush through, but we should take our time. This is so amazing and so wonderful!
When Jesus says "only-begotten" He means to distinguish Himself from sons who are made or who are adopted -- the one being angels and the others being Christians. The angels were created directly by God, and Christians are "sons of God" by virtue of being adopted into the family, by being joined to Christ by the Holy Spirit. And although it is difficult for us to comprehend, God's only begotten Son is God. And there never was a time when He was not with the Father. In this great mystery of the Trinity, He is equal to the Father, but is the Son. We read in John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.So he is the Word, the Son, and He is co-eternal with the Father. There is God, and He has a one and only begotten Son.
Jesus teaches us next that God loves. And because of that love, he planned a way for us to avoid the peril we studied yesterday.
Remember the verse that all the kids like to memorize, because it's so short? (Grin) I John 4:8 tells us "God is love." And He "so loved" that He gave His son. He gave Him up for rejection and death. John 1:11 reminds us that "He came to His own and His own received Him not." In fact, they killed Him, instead. And Jesus foretold this when He said, "I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You gave me to do." (John 17:4) So when the Father gave His Son, he gave Him to die -- His most precious treasure -- that was the plan. To give this powerful love, this gift, to undeserving sinners.
Perchance for a good man one might dare to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. (Romans 5:7-8)God's plan of love to rescue rebellious, sinful people like you and me, was to lift up Christ on the cross, so that all we have to do is look up in faith and be saved. What an awesome love -- what an awesome plan!
The last part of the plan is in the word "whoever." God means for His Son to be lifted up before the world of sinners -- all sinners -- just the way that the serpent was lifted up on the pole in Numbers, because He loves the world; He loves the "whoevers" in this world.
He knows everything about us. We are in worse shape in His eyes than we are in our own estimation, but that doesn't stop Him. That's why He designed the plan.That's why He promises that whoever believes will not perish but have everlasting life.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.