GOD’S AWESOME LOVE TO THE WORLD
Key Text: John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
To understand the passage it might help if we put it in the context of the world's greatest demonstration of love, God's gift — His Son. Ephesians speaks of four specific dimensions. What are the width and length and depth and height of His love? Each of these dimensions can be seen in a verse many people can quote, but don't really "lay hold of." That verse is John 3:16
Taken in phrases, this familiar verse demonstrates and defines the four dimensions of which Paul speaks.
- The Four Dimensions of God’s love – Ephesians 3:14-21
1.1. The width
The width of God’s love is embedded in the phrase, “For God so loved the world.” One cannot begin to describe God in physical terms. Suffice it to say that the width of God's love is so broad that when Jesus stretched out His arms on the cross He encompassed the entire universe, even me . . . even you.
1.2. The length
The length is represented in the phrase, "That He gave His only begotten Son." Think about it this way. If someone who had shown contempt for you needed a heart transplant, would you take your son to the hospital and say, "Take my son's heart and give it to him"? Imagine a love that is so forgiving that it gives up the very thing it loves the most. That is what God did for even me . . . even you.
1.3. The depth
The depth is represented in the phrase "whoever believes." The people around the foot of the cross did not understand that the death they were watching meant life. Certainly, they didn't seize the concept of life for Jews, Gentiles, or the "whoever" of the world. But, the reality was and is that death meant life for even me . . . even you.
1.4. The Height
The height is represented in the phrase, "everlasting life." This life they would later come to understand was not just some earthly carnal form. Its very nature would be eternal. But, the height would not be contained in some life form. You can only "lay hold" of the height when you realize that this life is a personal, permanent relationship with Christ, Himself. In other words: For God loved YOU so much that He gave His only begotten Son that YOU might have everlasting life.
- God’s nature is love. God is nothing and knows nothing but love.
God’s love is beyond human comprehension.
2.1. 1 John 4:8
- The object of His love – Romans 8:32
3.1. Fallen mankind – He who did not spare His Son, but delivered Him up for us
3.2. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
- For what purpose?
4.1. Whoever believes in Him shall not perish but enjoy eternal life
4.2. Only the person who accepts Jesus as His personal Savior can come out of common grace and enter a sanctifying and saving grace.
4.3. The person who experiences this satisfying and saving grace is antidote of the second death and this second death we are immunized against is everlasting death .
God loved you and me so much that He gave what He possessed best: His one and only Son. He gave the best of all and gave the best he knew how. In Christ is imbedded all divine gifts. There are all in One! What is your response to this great love? The only thing God requires of us in exchange of His selfless love is our hearts.
He says, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11
John 13:34,35 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 17: 20,21 – “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
May the Almighty God help us to love as he loved. This is the only prerequisite to enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:48