This is just a single Bible verse, and yet, what infinite wealth it holds! This glorious verse has already been called “the gospel in a nutshell,” and rightly so. Let us take a closer look at this precious verse and see what wonderful thoughts we can draw from it.
1. God loved the world so greatly and so deeply that He gave something. True love consists of devotion and sacrifice; it gives itself. When we have true love, we recognize and prove that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Oh, how we long to serve and give to those we love! Yes, love is a strong motivating force.
But look at God’s great love! By what He gave us, we can see how great His love is for us. He was ready and willing to give His greatest treasure, His only begotten Son. And why; for what purpose? “That whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
2. The word “whoever” includes you and me. What a wonderful thought! It includes all people, if they will only believe. Oh, what a perfect plan of salvation! And to really believe God also means to obey Him. Those who truly believe the Word of God will obey it. He who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ with all his heart also does everything that He has commanded. And the one who believes in Jesus and obeys Him will also gain eternal life.
God does not want anyone to be lost, but He “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”(1 Timothy 2:4). But all who do not accept this salvation, who do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not obey Him, will be lost. And this despite all it cost God to make man’s redemption from possible.
3. Since God has such a great and amazing love for us, He has also made preparations for us to live with Him and dwell with Him forever. Eternal life! What a glorious promise! This promise is given to all of us. All who receive and accept the Lord Jesus in faith will become happy and blessed children of God already in this life on earth. They will receive spiritual and godly life. And when they depart from this earth, they will go into heavenly glory, to be with the Lord forever and ever. They will then be privileged to see the face of the Lord, who redeemed them from their sins with His blood.
This great love of the Father first became visible when His Son was born in Bethlehem.