God So Loved the World (John 3:16)
Topic: John Scripture: Luke 3:16
First Scripture Reading: Luke 2:1-21
Second Scripture Reading: John 3:1-21
Sermon Text: John 3:16
We put a lot of effort into showing the people we love how much we love them. Husbands buy flowers for their wives; children give presents to their parents; parents speak to their children using loving words, and they also show their children affection. There are many examples of how we demonstrate our love to others. But what is the greatest demonstration of love? How did God show us his love? John Calvin writes:
For as people are not easily convinced that God loves them, in order to remove all doubt, he has expressly stated that we are so very dear to God that, on our account, he did not even spare his only-begotten Son. Since, therefore, God has most abundantly testified his love towards us, whoever is not satisfied with this testimony, and still remains in doubt, offers a high insult to Christ, as if he had been an ordinary man given up at random to death. But we ought rather to consider that, in proportion to the estimation in which God holds his only-begotten Son, so much the more precious did our salvation appear to him, for the ransom of which he chose that his only-begotten Son should die. To this name Christ has a right, because he is by nature the only Son of God; and he communicates this honor to us by adoption, when we are engrafted into his body.
- For review, read John 3:1-15. How would you summarize Nicodemus’ understanding of salvation before he spoke to Jesus? Why were Jesus’ words so surprising to him?
- How does John 3:16 connect with verses 1-15?
- Read Psalm 136. What do you learn about God’s love from these verses? How do you think verse 23 connects with John 3:16 and Christ’s incarnation?
- Read Westminster Larger Catechism Q/As 46-48. When did Christ’s humiliation begin? How did he humble himself throughout his earthly life? How does knowing and understanding Christ’s humiliation benefit us?
- What is the meaning of “eternal life” in John 3:16? How do we begin experiencing that life in this age? Read Colossians 3:1-17 to help you formulate your answer.
- In preparation for our next study through this gospel, read John 3:16-21. Why do you think people love “darkness rather than the light”? How might this help you understand what true, saving faith looks like?