Does anyone know John 3:16?
John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life (Good News Bible)
To me, it’s one of the most important verses in the Bible.
Everyone born has an expiration date.
Hebrews 9:27 Everyone must die once, and after that be judged by God. (GNB)
Wait…John says we might not die…but Hebrews says everyone must die.
Why must or might we die?
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
From Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, sin infected the world and we all are affected by it.
James 1:13-16 If people are tempted by such trials, they must not say, “This temptation comes from God.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. But people are tempted when they are drawn away and trapped by their own evil desires. Then their evil desires conceive and give birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown gives birth to death.
Why do we lie? Cause our desire to protect ourselves suddenly trumps God’s law. Why do we steal? Because our desire to have what isn’t ours trumps Gods’ (and man’s) law. Why do we kill? Because our desire to have revenge/take their stuff/vent anger/protect self trumps Gods’ law.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
To avoid the grave all you need is one perfect sinless life. But all have sinned. You have to die.
2 Peter 3:9b states that the Lord is “…patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish…”
So God provided a way. Jesus. Fully God and yet fully man.
Philippians 2:6 (NIV) Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness.
2 Corinthians 5:21 He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God.
This is the Gospel. I couldn’t put it any better than Peter.
Acts 2:22-28 (MSG) “…Jesus the Nazarene, a man thoroughly accredit by God to you—the miracles and wonders and signs that God did through Him are common knowledge—this Jesus, following the deliberate and well-thought-out plan of God, was betrayed by men who took the law into their own hands, and was handed over to you. And you pinned him to a cross and killed Him. But God untied the death ropes and raised him up. Death was no match for Him…” 29-36 “…This Jesus, God raised up and every one of us here is a witness to it. Then, raised to the heights of the right hand of God…There’s no longer room for doubt—God made him Master and Messiah, the Jesus whom you killed on a Cross”
Romans 5:18 (GNB) So then, as the one sin (Adam’s) condemned all people, in the same way the one righteous act (Christ’s death) sets all people free and gives them life. Italics added by me
1Corinthians 15:21 (GNB) For just as death came by means of a man, in the same way the rising from death comes by means of a man. For just as all people die because of their union with Adam, in the same way all will be raised to life because of their union with Christ.
What does someone do with this knowledge? What is our response to God solving our sin and death problem through His Son Jesus?
I don’t know. How grateful would you be if someone dove into a swimming pool and saved your life? Wouldn’t you owe them everything?
We owe God everything because He gave us everything.
Peter also explains what our response should be:
Acts 2:38-39 (MSG) “…Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
You become the Church..the Temple of the Holy Spirit..Christ’s ambassadors, a Holy and Royal priesthood, a new creation and a member of God’s family.
What does this life look like? That like looks like Jesus’ life. It looks like loving the unlovable. Touching people most would cross the street to avoid. It looks like Jesus looking down from the cross at those who were crucifying Him and asking God to forgive them. It looks like sacrificial love without limits. It means sharing this Good News to those still lost.