John GODS LOVE FOR MAN
Jesus told Nicodemus that one must be born again to enter the
would be necessary to re-enter mother's womb and be physically
born again. Jesus explained that a physical rebirth is not
necessary. Rather, one must be re-born spiritually.
Nicodemus then inquired how a spiritual new birth could take
place. Jesus said that as Moses lifted up the brazen serpent in
the wilderness and put it on a pole, even so the Son of man must
be put on a pole and lifted up. That is, He must be crucified.
He explained further that in the wilderness when anyone was
bitten by a serpent, if he would look at the serpent on the pole,
he would not die. He would live. Even so a lost sinner can look
to Christ, who was to die on the cross, and by trusting in the
Christ he would live. He would live with everlasting life. This
is the same as saying that he would be born again and enter the
Our text today is a continuation of that thought. Verse 16
states that it was God's love for man which motivated Him to send
His Son to die for the sins of man and provide a way whereby all
sinners could be saved.
I. The extent of God's love
V. 16, "For God so loved the world..." The word "for," as
used in this verse, means "because." Jesus is explaining why God
chose to send His Son to the world and why He sent Him to the
cross. God sent His Son to the cross because of His love for
mankind. The Son of man, who is also the Son of God, must be
lifted up on a pole -- He must be crucified -- "for" or "because"
God loved the world.
The word "God," depending on how it is used, can refer to all
three of the Holy Trinity as a group, or, it can refer to any
particular One of the three. In this verse, it has reference to
God the Father. It was God the Father who sent His Son into the
world to die for the sins of man. It was the love which God the
Father has for all mankind that prompted Him to send His Son to
The word "world," as used in this verse means the people of
the world. God loved the people of the world. This does not at
all mean that God condones or approves of the sinfulness of man,
but it does mean that God loves man in spite of man's sin.
God is a Holy God and His Holiness never allows Him to condone
sin. It never allows Him to ignore a man's sin just because He
loves the man. A parent may overlook the wrong doings of his
child because he loves his child. But God will never overlook a
man's sin just because He loves the man. God sees every sin and
every sin must be punished.
Yet God loves the world in spite of the sin. He loves every
sinner in the whole world. He loves all the people of all the
world. He loves all races. He loves all classes: the rich, the
poor, the educated, the uneducated, the talented and the
non-talented. He loves those who live clean moral lives. He
loves those who commit the very vilest of sins. He loves the
thief, the drunkard, the dope addict, the prostitute, the
homo-sexual, the hardened criminal and even the murderer.
II. The intensity of God's love
Jesus said that God "...so loved world..." The word "so" in
this verse signifies intensity and greatness. It speaks of the
intensity and greatness of God's love. God loved lost sinners so
much that He would not be content -- He could not be content
without doing all in His power to save them from the curse of
sin. Therefore, God made the supreme sacrifice for the souls of
men. He gave His Son, His only begotten Son that men might be
V. 16, "...that he gave his only begotten Son..." The term
"only begotten Son" refers to the only person ever to be
conceived in the womb of woman by the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus
was born into the family of Joseph and Mary. He was conceived in
the womb of Mary, but He was not conceived by Joseph or by any
other man. He was conceived in the womb of Mary by the Holy
Spirit of God. Jesus is the only begotten Son of God.
Jesus had told Nicodemus that every man needs to be born
again. He must be born again by the same Holy Spirit which
conceived Jesus in the womb of Mary. But the new birth of a
sinner is not a physical birth. A lost sinner is not conceived
in the womb of his mother to be re-born physically. He is
re-born in the inward spirit when he looks to Jesus and places
his faith in Jesus to save his soul.
Every person who is born again is a child of God and in
Scripture he is called a "son of God." But that new birth was a
spiritual birth only. Jesus is the only person ever in all the
history of the world who was conceived physically in the womb of
a woman by the Holy Spirit of God. He is the only person ever to
be virgin born. He is the Only physically born Son of God.
God so loved lost sinners that He sent His Only Begotten Son
into the world to live the perfect sinless life. He lived
totally without sin from the manger to the grave. He lived
without sin from His first breath to the last.
Because He lived totally without sin, He could be the
substitute for those who are guilty. As the One who had no sin
of His own, He could take upon Himself the sins of others and
suffer the penalty of their sins.
He not only could, but He would. He would live the sinless
life and go to the cross of Calvary and die in the stead of
guilty sinners. He would suffer sufficiently on the cross to be
the substitute for every sinner.
Yet God could not and would not save any sinner without a new
birth. The sinner must be born again. He must be changed on the
inside. His sinful inward spirit must be changed into a sinless
spirit. It must be made new. Changing one's outward conduct
would not be sufficient. Turning over a new leaf would not be
sufficient. Joining a church would not be sufficient. Being
baptized would not be sufficient. None of those things would
change the inward spirit. There is no work that a man can do
which will bring about that inward change. A total new birth for
the spirit within is necessary or else he would never enter
heaven. One must be born again.
I said that there is no work that a lost sinner can do to
bring about his new birth. Thus there is no good work that he
can do to bring about the salvation of his soul.
III. The promise of salvation to the sinner who trusts in Jesus
Yet there is one thing he can do. There is no work that he
can do to get saved, but he can trust in somebody else to do the
work for him. He can trust in Jesus Christ to save him. V.16,
"...that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life." The word "believe" is this verse is used in
the sense of "trust." He can believe in Jesus -- he can trust in
Jesus to save Him.
In this text God makes a promise to the lost sinner. If the
lost sinner will place his trust in Jesus then he will not
perish. He will not go to hell. He will be given everlasting
life. He will go to heaven.
I want you to note that one can trust in Jesus without
joining a church. Therefore, he can be saved without joining a
church. One can trust in Jesus Christ without being baptized.
Therefore, he can be saved without joining a church. Just as
surely as he has trusted in Jesus Christ, just that surely he is
not condemned and just that surely he has everlasting life.
There are some who would have us to believe that we must be
baptized in order to be saved, but the Bible teaches that if one
trusts in Jesus he is saved whether he ever gets baptized or not.
You just keep in mind that Jesus said that anyone who would trust
in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life. That means
he will go to heaven.
I want to point out something else to you that is taught by
this verse. It teaches that God would like to save everybody in
the whole world. If everybody in the world would trust in Jesus
Christ then everybody in the world would be saved and nobody
would go to hell. That is exactly what God would like to happen.
But God will not force anyone to place his faith in Jesus.
That is a choice that the individual must make. If one will not
place his faith in Jesus Christ to save his soul then that person
will not be saved. He may turn over a new leaf, but he will not
get saved. He may be baptized and join a church, but he will not
get saved. He may do all manner of commendable works, but he
will not be saved. If a man will not trust in Jesus he will not
Let me bring this text right down to you and see how this
text applies to you. If you have already trusted in Jesus Christ
as your Savior then you are already born again. You are already
saved. You are on your way to heaven.
If you have not already trusted in Jesus Christ you are not
saved. You have not been born again. You are not on your way to
heaven. You are on your way to everlasting torment.
If you are not saved and if today you will look to Jesus and
place your faith in Him to save your soul, then Jesus will save
you today. He will send the Holy Spirit into your soul to
produce the new birth and give you everlasting life. You will be
born again and you will be on your way to heaven. Trust Him
today and you will be saved today. Trust Him right now and you
will be saved right now.
On the other hand, if you are not saved and if you will not
trust Jesus today, the chances are that you will never trust Him
at all. If you do not trust Jesus today, then in all likelihood
you will live the rest of your life without ever trusting Jesus
as your Savior. The Bible says that now is the day of salvation.
Now is the accepted time. If you do not get saved today, you may
never get saved at all.
That is why it is so very important that every person here
today who is not saved should call on Jesus today and trust Him
to save his soul.
I am going to ask our musicians to come forward and we are
going to sing a hymn. I am going to ask that if you want Jesus
to save you and keep you out of hell that you look to Him at this
time and trust Jesus as your Savior. Would you stand and bow
your heads? While our heads are bowed, I am going to ask you to
talk to Jesus and tell Him that you want Him to save your soul
and ask Him to save you. Ask Him to have mercy on you and to
cleanse you from every sin so that you can go to heaven. Will
you do that right now as we pray?
Now, if you have trusted Jesus as your Savior, would you come
and make a public acknowledgment that you have trusted Jesus to
save your soul?
There may be saved people right in this auditorium today who
would like to come forward to unite with this church. If so,
would you come?