Chapter 6
For God so Loved the World

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
(John 3:16-17)

 “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”
(1Chronicles 16:34; Psalm 106:1, 107:1, 118:1, 118:29 136:1)

Why did God send his Son into the world to die on a cross for our sins?  Because “God so loved the world…”

Did God send Jesus to die just for people that were already basically good?  No, Jesus died to save sinners:

For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Romans 5:7-8 )

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved...  (Ephesians 2:4-5)

But doesn’t God delight in sending sinners to hell?  No:

“Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?”  (Ezekiel 18:23)

What is God’s love like?  God’s love is like the love a good father has for his children:

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  (1John 3:1 NIV)

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.  (Psalm 103:13)

God also likens his love for his people as being stronger than a mother’s love for her child:

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.”

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”  (Isaiah 49:14-15)

God also likens himself to a bridegroom with his people being his bride:

“Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD, ‘I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.’”  (Jeremiah 2:2) the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.  (Isaiah 62:5)

Scripture goes so far as to say God is love:

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.  God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  (1John 4:16)

For Further Reflection

Exodus 34:6-7:  Abounding in steadfast love.

Psalm 136:  His steadfast love endures forever.

Luke 15:11-32:  The loving father and prodigal son.

Psalm 103:8:  Abounding in love.

2Peter 3:9:  Not wanting any to perish.

Book Reference:  “The Way to God” by D. L. Moody.  Available free on the internet.

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