Friday, August 04, 2006

John 3:16 - The Gospel In A Nutshell

For God (the greatest Giver)
so loved (the greatest motive)
the world (the greatest need),
that He gave (the greatest act)
His only begotten Son (the greatest gift),
that whosoever (the greatest invitation)
believeth (the greatest decision)
in Him (the greatest Person)
*believeth in Him (the greatest opportunity)
should not perish (the greatest deliverance),
but (the greatest difference)
have (the greatest certainty)
everlasting life (the greatest possession).

~ Adapted from several sources ~
*Alternative point given.

I used the above outline of John 3:16 as the outline for my message today at the Gospel Mission. It went very well. I would like to share it with you too. Please keep a man from the Mission in prayer. I do not know his name (but the Lord knows who he is!) - but he was obviously fascinated by the message. He is a big muscular man, covered with tattoos - rough looking, but the Lord can save him too - and today he heard the Gospel and was listening attentively. Let's pray that this seed sown would bear fruit in his heart.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

1) For God (the greatest Giver)

The Bible starts with God. The very first verse in Genesis says, "In the beginning God..." God doesn't spend anytime defending His existence - He just declares it as a fact! He declares that He has put the knowledge of Himself in every person that He has made, therefore we are without excuse.

The evidence of creation proves there is a Creator:

Romans 1:19-20 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

The evidence of our conscience proves there's a Lawgiver who made us:

Romans 2:13-15 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

2) so loved (the greatest motive)

Love is part of God's nature, one of His attributes. Twice in the book of 1 John, it is declared that "God is love" (4:8, 16).

Yes, God is holy and righteous, therefore He must punish sin - but He is also merciful, gracious, longsuffering, so He has provided a way for mankind to be saved and pardoned from their sin. He planned man's salvation out before He even created man, knowing that one day we would all rebel, go our own way, and sin against Him.

3) the world (the greatest need),

The world, the greatest number of individuals. God does not look at us as one big mass of humanity, but as individuals - individuals whom He wants to know personally, whom He wants to give the opportunity to be saved.

The world includes me - and it includes you.

Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

4) that He gave (the greatest act)

God the Father sent His own Son to die for fallen man - what love!

Not only did God the Father give His Son for us, we see the Son also gave Himself:

Galatians 1:3-4 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

The Father and the Son both gave the Son to die for our sins upon the cross. The Lord Jesus Christ was our ransom to die in our place - as our Substitute bearing the penalty and curse we deserved - and to buy us back from the slavemarket of sin. The price was His precious, sinless blood - and His payment was entirely sufficient to cover all the sins of mankind - past, present, and future.

Romans 1:3-4 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

Jesus' physical resurrection from the dead on the third day was proof positive of who He was, and proof that God the Father has accepted His payment - otherwise He would never have risen from the grave. Now He is alive forevermore, and ascended into Heaven at the right hand of the throne of the Father, able to save to the uttermost all that come unto Him for salvation.

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

5) His only begotten Son (the greatest gift),

The sending of Christ to die for our sins and to provide salvation for us was a gift. As a gift, salvation is not something we could ever earn or purchase. There is nothing we can do but to receive it, which we can through repentance and faith.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

6) that whosoever (the greatest invitation)

Whosoever means me, whosoever means you - anybody and everybody - the Gospel invitation is open to all. God gives everyone the opportunity to be saved and receive His gift of salvation.

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

If anyone is trying to work their way to Heaven, there is a burden upon them that no man can ever lift - it is an impossibility for sinful man to ever be good enough to earn Heaven by his own merits - but praise the Lord Jesus Christ! He lived a completely righteous life and He went to the cross in our place; He paid the penalty that we could never pay and offers to give us spiritual rest in Him.

Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Salvation in Scripture is often pictured as living water - Jesus Himself is that Living Water, that Bread of Life - only Jesus can ever fill that aching hunger and thirst in your soul!

7) believeth (the greatest decision)

To place your faith in Christ or to reject Him is your own choice.

Matthew 27:22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

Pilate was given this choice and he gave the same choice to the nation of Israel - yet they chose to reject Jesus Christ. However, that is the most important decision each and every one of us will make in this lifetime. In our 50 or 100 or however many years down here, we are given a choice of what we will do with Jesus Christ - and that choice will forever affect where we will spend eternity when we die. What are you doing with Jesus?

8) in Him (the greatest Person)

Salvation is in a Person, not a program; in a personal relationship with Jesus, not in a religion. It is interesting to note that God's gift of salvation is the gift of His Son - they are one and the same - to receive salvation is to receive the Lord Jesus Christ!

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

9) believeth in Him (the greatest opportunity)

Isaiah 55:6-7 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

The opportunity to be saved, to have a relationship with your Creator, to have your sins forgiven and a home in Heaven - that is the greatest opportunity you will ever receive!

10) should not perish (the greatest deliverance),

In the Bible, when referring to salvation, perish means to spend eternity in Hell. God is not willing that any of us perish, He does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked (ie. those who die without Jesus Christ as their Saviour), because those wicked people will spend eternity separated from Him in Hell.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Today God gives you a choice.

11) but (the greatest difference)

In the Scriptures, salvation is always in the present tense. It is not something that will happen in the future, but something that happens the moment you receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour. You are saved, you are redeemed, you are forgiven and washed from your sins, you are sanctified, you are justified in His sight. You are one or the other - if you are saved you have passed from darkness to light, from being a goat to being a sheep, from being lost to being found:

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

12) have (the greatest certainty)

Right here, right now, you can HAVE eternal life. It is not something you MAY get in the future, but something you can HAVE right now - and know you have it!

1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

13) everlasting life (the greatest possession).

Salvation is a gift which can be yours today. The Bible defines eternal life as knowing God.

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

You can have that relationship and that gift by receiving that Saviour today - it all depends upon what you do with Jesus.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16 - The Gospel in a nutshell!

Outline of John 3:16 compiled from several sources
Study written and preached August 4th/06
Jerry Bouey


Anonymous said...

This was awesome, Bro. Jerry!! Just awesome!

Unknown said...

Really blessed by 'the 'greatest' on John 3:16,Jerry. Im off to house group to share my favourite verse,( guess which!).I was saved at 8 yrs old(54 yrs) ago as a result of this verse.
Praise God!!

Michael Schmid said...

this is a great focus on the message of maybe the greatest verse in the bible. i used it in our church bible study tonight and it was a big blessing to us all. thank you for posting this!

Jerry Bouey said...

Thanks for leaving your comments.

Michael, I am glad the Lord was able to use this study in your ministry. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

from Louise

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for this breakdown of John 3:16 for some time. My pastor gave it to me and I used it back in 1975 in one of my first sermons. This may be slightly different, but it looks like the same one.
God bless,
Tim Gentry

Jerry Bouey said...

It is a neat outline, and helpful in using that verse as a springboard to present the Gospel. I am glad that you found something you were looking for.

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