Most people can quote John 3:16, and many do so while missing many great truths from this simple verse. Of course the verse is often quoted to prove that salvation is totally by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. But even then, without a deep study into the wording of this verse, we miss the deepest points of it. In this short (we hope it’s short) article we will look at the word “gave.” “For God so loved, he gave . . . ” According to Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest, this is a “specialized word.” He says, “It denotes not merely a gift, but a gift which is given out of the spontaneous generosity of the giver’s heart, with no strings tied to it. The Greek word grace (charis) has the same root and the same meaning. Thus the word refers, not to an undertaking based upon terms of mutual agreement, but upon the free act of one who gives something, expecting no pay for it. This at once shows the difference between law and grace.” If God had intended for us to understand that our salvation is based upon a combination of works (law) and faith, He could have used a word which refers to an offer based upon the terms of a mutual agreement. If that were the case, God would have offered salvation based upon our performance of certain acts – totally void of faith. When it comes to salvation, faith and works are mutually exclusive. In Romans 4:1-5 Paul said, “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? (2) For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. (3) For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (4) Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. (5) But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” And then in Romans 11:6 he points out, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” Furthermore, the verb is in the perfect tense which speaks of a past completed act having present results. In other words, “the past act of God giving the inheritance (salvation) on the basis of a promise (faith) has present results – present to Paul in his day, and to us in our day. God does not offer us salvation on any merit or goodness on our part. It is “out of the spontaneous generosity” of His great love and mercy for His fallen creation. “In my hand no price I bring. Simply to thy cross I cling.” (“Rock of Ages”)
Tag Archives: love
John 3:16; I Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 1:5
Joh 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.
John 3:16 is the verse that says so much with just a few words. If some one has memorized only one scripture from the Bible, it will be John 3:16. It is the scripture most often quoted.
We need to consider God’s Love For You in light of the statement, “For God so Loved…” This does not mean that God approved the conduct of men, assuredly it doesn’t. It means that His love was a feeling of benevolence toward man, not approving the conduct but “earnestly desires the Happiness of those who are sinful.
Let us consider the statement, “The World”. That simply means all mankind. It does not indicate a certain part of the world. It clearly shows man as man His love is for all men. All men of the world had rebelled and therefore deserved the punishment of death. His love for the world was shown in giving His Son. The giving of His Son was brought about because of these circumstances:
- All the world was in ruin, and exposed to the wrath of God.
- All people were in a hopeless condition.
- God gave his Son. Man had no claim on him’ it was a gift – an undeserved gift.
- He gave him up to extreme sufferings, even the bitter pains of death on the cross.
- It was for all the world. He tasted “death for every man”, according to Hebrews 2:9.
- He “died for all,“ II Cor. 5:15
- “He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world,” I John 2:2
- Propitiation – The act of atoning for sin.
That He Gave – A free and unmerited gift. Man had no hold nor any claim to this gift. Where there was nothing else to save, it pleased God to give His Son into the hands of men to die in their place. “Who gave himself for our sins” – Galatians 1:4 Love moved God to express His eternal compassion and desire that sinners should not perish forever.
“His only-begotten Son” This is the highest expression of love which we can conceive. A Father gave His perfect without sin Son to die for others who stand guilty shows a higher love than could be manifested in any other way. What great depth of love that God has for wicked man, and it could not be shown in any greater way.
1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
Peter gives us an argument here for a holy life to be lived. That argument is that we have been redeemed. This reminds me of the song, “I’m redeemed by love divine, glory, glory, Christ is mine.” What a comfort this is to know that the precious love of God has redeemed me. Nothing in this world could redeem me but the love of God has provided for my redemption.
Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
This term – “faithful witness”. This is Jesus giving a testimony that he can be completely relied upon. He is worthy of our belief. “The First begotten of the dead.” Not that He is the first to rise from the dead, but he is the first who rose from the dead to immortality.
Notice how He loved us. Washed us from our sins. Jesus is the prince of the kings of the earth, yet he has made us kings and priests unto God, His Father. The Love of God has elevated us from sin and ruin into a kingship and priesthood that I do not deserve and certainly could not attain on my own.
HOW GREAT IS THE LOVE OF GOD.
Job 5:17; II Cor 4:17; Hebrews 12:11
Job 5:17 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:
Eliphaz is declaring that correction should bring an emotion that we don’t normally associate with correction. find in other places in God’s Word. He is declaring the joy of correction because of the advantages of correction. He says to not despise the chastening of the Almighty. The advantage of correction is that correction keeps us off the wrong paths that would bring us unhappiness. There is another reason to be happy about correction.
We find in these verses a relationship because of chastening. We are called children. Our earthly fathers disciplined us because we were his children. They did not discipline children that were not theirs. This is a demonstration of love. Our heavenly Father must have a relationship with us before He disciplines us. Since we are His children, He has the right to discipline us to correct us and bring us back to Him. He has the right to demonstrate his love to us. Verse 7 says “if we endure chastening He treats us as sons. That means blessings. God wants good things for His children. Pay attention to verse 8. If we have never experience chastening, it is because we are bastards and not sons. We are illegitimate. He will say, “depart from me I never knew you.” He chastens His children for the benefit of the children. That benefit is Holiness. And according to verse 11 we produce peaceable fruit of righteousness because of our chastisement.
2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
This passage bears the thought that correction that brings us back into the paths we should walk brings us great glory and God receives glory from our righteous and glorious walk. Notice that it is called, “light affliction” and the duration is for a “moment”.
Proverbs 3:11-12. – My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
Why despise chastening when it proves the love of the LORD. Whom He loves He chastens and corrects us and delights in us. Let us all be delightful for the LORD.
No chastisement, no love. Know chastisement, Know love.
Put your spouse first so your marriage will last. A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers. Love doesn’t keep score. “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of the Lord.” Ephesians 5:21 KJB
John 13:1; Romans 8:35; I John 3:16
Love is such a wonderful subject that too many people pass over the other tremendous attributes and characteristics of Jesus Christ. We do want to speak about His magnificent love in this devotion. We find an unfathomable passion in this great love of Jesus.
After Jesus created all that was to be created in the world, and man had been formed from the dust of the earth, and woman taken from his side, Jesus knew that his work was not done. He, knowing that man would sin, had because of the deep love for the Father, offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sin of man that would be committed. We see the forecast of such a sacrifice in Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” He already knew. He already knew that Adam would sin, yet the love for the father compelled Him. He already knew that as a baby His parents would have to flee to Egypt because of the wicked obsession of a King. He already knew that His people and the Pharisees and Sadducees would reject Him, yet He would be a sacrifice for them. He already knew that a traitor would betray Him after three intimate years of sharing beds, teachings, tears, and breaking bread together. He already knew that Peter would weaken and deny Him during the most difficult time of distress and threat to the very life of Jesus. The depth of this love is revealed in the garden of Gethsemane when He prayed, “not my will but thy will be done” while facing the terrible agony of lashes and death on the cross. YET HE LOVED.
This is a love so deep and so intense that we cannot fathom this kind of love. There is nothing in this world that separate us from the love of Christ. Here is what Romans 8:35 says “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Where human love fails, falters and flees, Christ’s love continues. There is not one person so vile that Jesus does not love them and desire that they trust Him unto salvation. It is a love that will not stop, quit, or leave a believer. One should read the prayer that Jesus prayed to God on behalf of those disciples that followed Him. His love for them is evident in the words of prayer that He offered on their behalf. As unfaithful as we are, as rebellious as we are, as stiff-necked as we are, YET HE LOVES US.
In this world today, love is measured by what we are willing to do for someone else. Let me tell you about the love of God. I John 4:8 “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is Love. I John 4:16 “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us, God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” Love comes from God. We could not love if God was not love. I John 3:16 ‘Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” If we do not love, God’s Word condemns us. How do we demonstrate the love of God and His Son Jesus Christ, by the love we have for the brethren, and the love we have for the lost. Does our love for God compel us to reach out to the lost and tell them about the dangers of hell and the love of Jesus? No? YET HE STILL LOVES US
Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:18 KJB
Parson to Person
is renowned as “the weeping prophet.” In tears he preached to the
hardened inhabitants of Judah, and Jerusalem in particular. Did they
love and appreciate him for warning them of looming disaster? Quite
the contrary. They cast him in a dungeon, and treated him shamefully
in other ways. Still, he preached on. Why did he do this? Because he
knew, and knew that he knew, that the forces of Babylon would soon
descend upon his beloved city and people unless repentance was
imminent. God had both informed the prophet of this doom and
commissioned him to preach to his hardened, backslidden people.
Some who dared to believe the prophet had fled to Egypt for supposed safety rather than repent. As time raced toward a deadline for the people of Judah to repent, their condition was thus summarized, “The harvest is past , the summer is ended , and we are not saved” Jeremiah 8:20
Is this actually a page from the annals of ancient history or a present commentary on our people today? Truly, and doubtless the clock of human history is wound down to very near the stopping point. Jesus is coming again! Judgment is coming! A new world order of Heaven’s rule is coming! Life is fleeting! The window of change narrows to a tiny crack! This is not just good preaching, it is God ordained, Biblically established fact about to happen, just as doom came upon an un-repentant people of Judah so long ago.
The summer is gone, and fall races toward us. How easily that is seen. But the same is true of life. So many have passed the summer and are already into the late fall of life, and they are not saved. God help us to not grow cold and hardened as the ancient people of Judah, but to be as the prophet who though not seeing a spirit of repentance in his people continued to cry out and to warn of imminent judgment. People are precious. They are made in the image of Almighty God, and there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun! In this late summer of life, are you saved, is your hope in your works or in the grace of our wonderful Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus????
A morning Blog:
Hate As A Loving Thing.
We talk of the importance of ‘love’ and often perceive ‘hate’ as the opposite to ‘love’. However we need to be less ‘polarized’ in our assumptions. Hate, can be a ‘loving thing’; and is an important part in truly loving the Lord.
“You who love the Lord; Hate Evil” – Psalms 97:10
Here in the Psalms is a directive to ‘hate” that is inseparably linked to ‘loving’ the Lord.
The command to all who ‘love the Lord’ is to ‘hate’ evil.
We learn then that ‘Hate’ in it self is not always a catagorically ‘bad thing’. Hate can be, and is a ‘good’ and ‘right’ thing in the correct context.
Here is such a context where ‘hate’ is a good, right and indeed a ‘loving’ thing.
Those who Love the Lord are to ‘Hate’ evil.
Hate comes from the Hebrew word transliterated: ‘Sane’.
When taken in context with the idea of ‘hating evil’ – ie. hating that which is wrong, injurious, bad, wicked; ones mind readily jumps to the English sense what being ‘Sane’ means and can easily appreciate the connection between the ‘insanity of a world’ that loves Evil, promotes what is sinful, injurious, wrong as defined by the authority of an all knowing, loving God. At least as those who love the Lord.
The world is growing more insane everyday in its rebellion against the morals and values ordained by God.
Sanity is restored as we learn to ‘hate’ evil and do ‘right’ as God defines it.
If we love the Lord, we will hate evil as he does.
To not hate evil is glaring evidence that one does not really love the Lord; at least as he or she ought.
Hating evil is part of a maturing process for a believer in coming to love the Lord as he calls us too.
As part of his love for the Lord David writes:
‘I hate every false way’ – Ps.119:28, &104
‘I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.’ – Ps.119:163
‘I hate vain thoughts’ – Ps.119:113
Others Scriptures contribute:
‘The froward mouth i do hate’ – Proverbs 8:13
‘I hate the work of them who turn aside’ – Psalm 101:3
Proverbs 6:16 speaks of seven things the Lord hates.
God hates all these evil things and more. If we Love the Lord; we will truly hate them too.
Love has many facets, and hating what God hates is a ‘Loving thing’.
- THE LOVE THAT SOUGHT US
- THE BLOOD THAT BOUGHT US
- THE SPIRIT THAT WROUGHT US
- THE WORD THAT TAUGHT US
Bro. Hess has given a good presentation on the law
Being the God who knows everything, is the same God that gave the Law as is recorded throughout Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. So did the all-knowing (omniscient) God really think that it was possible for man to be able to keep the whole law without messing up at all? If so, why would He give such a law that would condemn those who broke it to death, physically and spiritually?
Look at what James wrote in James 2:8-11. If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
So what does this tell us? Any one infraction of the Law, regardless of whether one considers it a “small” infraction or not, it still pronounces us as guilty and therefore, we have missed God’s mark of perfection, which is what is called sin. What are we told in Romans 6:23? For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So, in this respect, the Law worked against man in that it showed man what God considered as sin and therefore man is guilty if he breaks the law in any way. Man has absolutely NO excuse for doing ANYTHING that God doesn’t want him to do. The Law, that Paul wrote about in Colossians 2:14 is called “the handwriting of ordinances”. What did he say about the law? “.Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; So why did God give us a Law “that was against us and contrary to us”?
Here is what Paul stated in Romans 7. In verse 7 Paul said that “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. In his early years, Paul THOUGHT that what he was doing was right in the sight of God and that he was safe. But when the law was revealed to him, it was by the law that he knew what God considered to be sin. Now look at what he said in Romans 5:20. ” Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
The law exposed sin in such a way that it gave sin a broader perspective in the mind of man. The Jews did not fully understand how big sin really was in God’s eyes. They considered, as many do today, that there were “little” sins that didn’t carry as much weight as the “bigger” sins. But in God’s eyes there are NO “little” sins or NO “big” sins. Sin is sin. So the law made it possible for man to see just how “BIG” ALL sin was in the eyes of God. And as such, sin of any kind had the overall penalty of death. Therefore, the necessity of “GOD’S GRACE” became more important and necessary to a man. We see these words when we read all of Romans 5:20-21. “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
In Galatians 3:10 Paul wrote “ For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” In Galatians 2:16 we read, “ Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.“ Then on to Galatians 2:21 where we read, “ I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” And what about what Paul wrote in Romans 3:20? “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Isaiah 64:6 gives a message of no hope when it comes to what we can do of ourselves. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
So seeing what we have read in these references, what really WAS the purpose of the Law?
(1) As we saw in Romans 5:20 and 7:7 God gave the Law so that man would be able to see sin through the eyes of God. Sin was “bigger” than man realized.
(2) As we saw in Galatians 3:10; 2:16,21 ; and 3:20 the law was totally impossible to keep to the point of gaining righteousness in God’s eyes.
(3) Isaiah’s message from God was that our best “good” doesn’t even come close to bringing us to God.
But look at the beautiful information that Paul gives us in answer to the question, “What really was the purpose of the law?”. In Galatians 3:23-25 we read these magnificent words. “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”
Notice these words; “…kept under the law, …”we were imprisoned under the law. Those words were followed by “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ,”the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ.
Man needed something to show him how helpless he was in being able to make it possible for him to come into the proper relationship with God. The law was what God used to show man that he needed a MEDIATOR between himself and God. Jesus Christ was that Mediator. ” For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; ” (I Timothy 2:5). Jesus was the One and only Way to the Father. Jesus was the REAL truth in physical form to point man to the Father. Jesus was the only one who could give man the spiritual, eternal life that was necessary to prepare man to meet and live with the Father. No human being can come to the Father except through Jesus Christ.
I hope and pray that this lesson has answered the question “What really was the purpose of the law?” for you.