“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) This well known and often quoted verse was spoken by Jesus to Nicodemus as He explained the new birth. The heart of the verse contains the following truths. God loves and God gives. God loved those whom He created to the extent that He provided a remedy for their sin. The provision was in His Son and the benefit requires one thing, believing and receiving the gift. It demands the humility to accept that only God can do for us what we could never do for ourselves. No amount of morality, good deeds or self sacrifice can secure everlasting life.
As mentions earlier in this article, Jesus began His discourse on God’s love by telling Nicodemus, “Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 NKJV) The new birth is the act of God alone, in which He renews the human heart. He takes hearts that are dead in sin and makes them alive through Christ.
This great and awesome act of love and new birth on God’s part is necessary because all the descendants of Adam and Eve are morally and spiritually bankrupt. This does not mean that there is no spark of morality or human kindness, but rather that we are by nature self centered and not God centered. As sinners, we have no inherent desire to seek God.
What God has done is because of His grace. It is a supernatural work. Its effect takes us from spiritual death to spiritual life. It inclines our hearts toward God. The fruit of God’s all powerful love is faith.
– Pastor Terry