The Berean Expositor
Volume 23 - Page 206 of 207
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Simple gospel notes on John 3: 16.
(3:) Object, measure and gift.
pp. 238 - 240
"He that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (I John 5: 12).
We have already seen the twofold basis of the gospel, God and His Word, and have
seen something of its mainspring and the "manner" in which God's love in the gospel
was manifested. We continue our theme by considering the words: "The world"; "He
gave"; "His only begotten Son".
The manner in which the love of God was manifested can be more fully understood as
we view its object.
The object---The world.
In the first chapter of the Gospel, we read: "The world was made by Him, and the
world knew Him not" (1: 10). John the Baptist spoke of the Saviour as the One Who
"taketh away the sin of the world" (1: 29). But, though the world was so loved, we are
told in 3: 19 that men loved darkness rather than light:--
"This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness
rather than light, because their deeds were evil."
God has set no bounds to His love, the sin of the world has been taken away by the
Lamb of God; yet of those who did not believe, the Lord says that they "shall die in their
sins" (John 8: 24). The love of God has provided the Saviour, and the salvation is for
whosoever "believeth". But what if some do not believe?
When John 3: 16 uses the word "world", other passages speak of "sinners", of the
"ungodly", and of "enemies" as the objects of love. Some, however, will die in their sins;
some will be ungodly when the Lord comes; some will be enemies when the Millennium
is over.
The measure---"God so loved that He gave."
The measure of the love of God is the measure of His unspeakable, indescribable gift
(II Cor. 9: 15). This, too, is the measure of the love of Christ:--
"The Son of God Who LOVED me and GAVE Himself for me" (Gal. 2: 20).
"Christ LOVED the church and GAVE Himself for it" (Eph. 5: 25).
John 3: 16 is alone in stating that God loved the world. The statement is never
repeated in Scripture; of the 135 occurrences of agapao, "to love", this is the only place
where we read that God loved the world. We read that "the Father loveth the Son"