Most Christians understand that God is love, yet, there remains a kind of vagueness in many cases regarding the expression of that love. How does that love impact every person’s life; and how does it reflect in the common human experience. We may have often taken for granted John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…”. However, this statement of truth opens to us the reality of God’s ultimate activity on behalf of humankind.
This Divine reality, that God so loved, speaks of the very being of God moving in His own character to draw us back to an intimate relationship with Himself. God demonstrates that he is the epitome of love, and the standard from which all true love must find it’s origin and expression. God so loved tells us of the intense passion and greatness of Divine love for us. God’s love is a love that refuses to stop loving even in the midst of our rebellion and sin.
Would that human beings sincerely strive to appropriate and apply this “so loved” standard to others whom we are in daily contact. How pleasing that would be to the Father, and how immeasurably it would elicit his mercy for the healing of the nations. Nevertheless, people persist in pursuing their own interests while trampling over the concerns and very lives of others. Romans 5:7, says, “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet perhaps for a good man some would dare to die”. Then he goes on to illustrate the contrasting beauty of God so loved in the next verse, saying, “But God (I love this Holy Conjunction) commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.
What we wish to emphasize here is that this verse that we so commonly recite and take for granted in John 3, “For God so loved…”, is the kernel of the gospel; it is the footing and the fountainhead of our salvation. In John 15:13, we see, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”. During this season of celebrating love, let us take to heart, and not for granted, the great love of God. For God so loved that He gave His unique Son, Jesus Christ, to die for the sin of the world, that the world might be saved and made righteous.
L. Jerome Jones