The Simplicity of the Gospel

In our reading this week, we find probably the most well-known, most quoted verse in all of scripture—John 3:16.

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. 

We see this verse or its reference on ball caps, on T-shirts, on signs at sports events, and on billboards even.

Why this verse?  I would say because it is the gospel in a single verse!

heart-shaped bowl of potpourri scarves around it

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It illustrates the simplicity of the gospel—

God so loved, that He gave.  And we don’t have to perish…if we believe!

This one verse tells of God’s love for man, how He showed that love, how we can receive that love, and just what that love means for us.

Let’s take a closer look at this special verse. 

 

“For God so loved the world”—

When we ladies make something, we value it.  We’ve spent time and energy and resources to make it.  God made us.  And, therefore, He loves us.  In fact, He so loves us!

God loved us so much, not only because He made us…and certainly not because we deserved it…but because that is just Who He is!

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.  1 John 4:8

 

“that he gave his only begotten Son”—

Notice what true love…God’s love…does.  It gives.

God loved us disobedient, rebellious sinners so much that He gave His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die on a cross a cruel and utterly undeserved death.  For us!

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

Jesus is the Son of God, and God, the Son.  When He came to earth, and took on human flesh, He was 100% God in a man’s body.  As the holy God, He lived a sinless life while here on earth.  He had no sin of His own to be punished for.  He took on human flesh in order to die and take our punishment for us!

Because of our sins, we deserve to die.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:  Romans 5:12

Because of our sin, we deserve to be separated from God and spend eternity in hell in the lake of fire.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.  Revelation 21:8

But because of God’s love for us, He gave His Son Jesus to take the punishment for my sins and for your sins, when He suffered and died in our place on that cross!

 

“that whosoever”—

Friends, “whosoever” still means “whosoever.”  Praise God!

That means you.  That means me.  That means “all men every where!”

 

Who. So. Ever.

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandethall men every where to repent:  Acts 17:30

God never gives a command we cannot obey.  Since He commands “all men every where” to repent, then ALL men can repent, can be forgiven and saved from hell.

Salvation is for everyone, but especially for those who believe.

For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.   1Timothy 4:10

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  1 John 2:2

Whoever you are, whatever you have done in your life—Jesus died for you.  Jesus loves you! 

 

“believeth in him”—

To believe in Jesus means to trust that Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and then three days later rose from the grave…in order to pay for your sins for you.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  Romans 10:9-10

To believe in Jesus also means to realize and acknowledge that His death on the cross is your only hope of forgiveness and salvation. 

Good works, baptism, or church membership cannot save you, or help save you.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  John 14:6

 

“should not perish, but have everlasting life”—

There are only two places to spend eternity—heaven, eternal life—or hell, eternal death and everlasting punishment.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 6:23

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.  Matthew 25:46

If you are not sure where you will spend eternity, know this—God wants you to be with Him in heaven.  That’s why He sent His Son Jesus.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.   2 Peter 3:9

Won’t you bow your head and heart before God right now and tell Him that you have sinned against Him and His commands in the Bible and that you are sorry.  Ask Him to forgive you for your sins and save your soul from the hell you know you deserve.

Then take God at His Word, and thank Him for saving you!

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  Romans 10:13

If you prayed today and asked Jesus to forgive you and save you, please let me know so that I can rejoice with you and hopefully be an encouragement and a help to you as you begin your new life in Christ. 

The gift of salvation that God holds out to us was not so simple to Jesus.  It cost Him everything.  And yet it is so simple for us—

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.  Acts 16:31

May we all as believers, seek to share His simple gospel message with anyone who will listen. 

 

Drawing nigh to Him,

Teresa


This post is part of our John Bible Study.

LET’S TALK ABOUT IT 

Have you shared the gospel with anyone lately?  How did it go?  Were you glad you did?  What verses did you use?


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