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  to John 3:16

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The Gospel
According to John 3:16


The four gospels of the Bible are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, with John 3:16 perhaps being the best known verse of the gospels:

"for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life".  John 3:16



QUESTION:   What is the purpose of life? Fortune, fame, friends, food, fun?
ANSWER:       The purpose of life is to come to a relationship with God.

Ecclesiastes 2:11,3:14 - Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. ... I know that everything God does will endure forever.
Matthew 6:19, 21,3 3, 16:26 -"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth...For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also....But seek first his kingdom... What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?" (Also see Luke 12:13-21)
1 Timothy 2:3-4 ...God...wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
Philippians 3:8 ... I consider everything to be a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, ...

QUESTION:    Is there a reliable source of information about God?
ANSWER:        Yes: The Bible.

The Bible is God's written Word, given by God (Old Testament in Hebrew, New Testament in Greek) through prophets and apostles to be our trustworthy and complete source of information about God, and through which he works to bring us to faith and a new relationship with God.
Psalm 12:6  -  And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver
refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 - All Scripture is God-breathed [inspired by God] and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
1 Corinthians 4:6  ..."Do not go beyond what is written." [i.e. in Scripture, which is to be our only source of doctrine] Romans 10:17 ...faith comes from hearing the message, ... the word of
Christ. (also see Matthew 24:35, 2 Peter 1:20-21, Hebrews 1:1-2)

QUESTION:   What is the central message of the Bible?
ANSWER:        Jesus Christ!

John3:16 the gospel of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ and the salvation he has accomplished for all.  John 20:30-31 - Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.  (Also see Acts 10:43)

good news newspaper

    What is this message of Jesus Christ called?
ANSWER:         the "Gospel" (good news)

GOSPEL literally means "good news": God's unique message
of Salvation in Jesus Christ.  Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
(also see Romans 1:2-3,16, Galatians 1:6-8)

QUESTION:  What is the basic content of the Gospel?
ANSWER:       John 3:16.

JOHN 3:16 is sometimes called "the Bible in a nutshell" because it is a summary of the Gospel:
             "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son,
              that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

QUESTION:  How can we be sure that we are understanding the words of JOHN 3:16 correctly?
ANSWER:       By letting Scripture interpret Scripture!

Scripture Interprets Scripture - As Scripture is not an interpretation of God’s Word
(2 Peter 1:20-21), Scripture provides its own explanations. God calls upon Christians to be “in complete agreement with the faith” (as recorded in clear Bible passages - Romans 12:6) and thereby are also to agree with one another (1 Corinthians 1:10).

Clear Scripture passages are used to explain difficult passages, so that “the faith” (i.e., what is taught - Jude 1:3) is based upon “sound doctrine” taught by Prophets and Apostles and recorded in the Bible (Titus 1:9) rather than on uncertain human interpretations. By examining John 3:16 in the light of other Bible passages, we see why the Gospel is such Good News!

For   (i.e., "for this reason", the words which follow are an explanation of WHY Jesus came)

God   (specifically "God the Father", since John 3:16 speaks of Him sending his "only begotten Son." The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are three distinct "Persons" who are one being, one God.
This is known as the "Trinity" (which means "three-in-one"), a teaching supported by over 1,000 Bible passages. (For example, see: Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14, etc., etc., etc.)

GOD THE FATHER: Notice (below) that the word "LORD" is printed in all upper-case letters. This represents the Old Testament Hebrew word "Yahweh," sometimes pronounced"Jehovah." Since ancient times the Jews have said "Adonai" (Hebrew for "Lord") instead of pronouncing God's name ("Yahweh"). This practice has been passed down to our English Bibles by printing "Yahweh" as "LORD," (as distinct from "Lord"). In the passage below, "Yahweh/Jehovah" refers to the Father. Psalm 2:2,7  - The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD (Yahweh / Jehovah - God the Father) and against his Anointed One (Messiah / Christ) ... I will proclaim the decree of the LORD; He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”
( Acts 4:25-26, 13:32-33, Hebrews 1:5, 5:5;
Also Isaiah 53:5-7,10, Acts 8:32,35, Psalm 110:1,4, Hebrews 1:13, Matthew 22:42-45, Mark 12:35-37, Luke 20:41,44)

GOD THE SON: Not only is "The Father" the one true God (“Yahweh” / “Jehovah”), but so is Jesus Christ. John 1:1,14  - In the beginning was the Word [the Son], and the Word was with God [i.e. the Father] and the Word [i.e. the Son] was God. ... The Word [i.e. the Son] became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only [Son], who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(Also see Zechariah 12:1,10 & John 19:36-37, Jeremiah 23:5-6 (Father and Son are “Yahweh”), Psalm 45:6, Hebrews 1:8, Isaiah 40:3,
John 1:23, Joel 2:32, Romans 10:9,13, Acts 20:28, John 20:28, Colossians 2:9, and hundreds of other Bible passages)

GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT: (Holy Ghost) with the Father and Son, is the one true God (“Yahweh” / “Jehovah”). Acts 5:3-4  - Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?...You have not lied to men but to God." (Also see 1 Corinthians 3:16 & 6:19;
2 Samuel 23:2-3; Psalm 139:7-12)

ONE GOD: Deuteronomy 6:4  _ Hear O Israel the LORD [i.e. Yahweh / Jehovah] your God, the LORD [i.e. Yahweh / Jehovah] is one.
(Also see Isaiah 40:25, 28; 43:10; 44:6, 45:5,22; 46:9; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6;
Deuteronomy 4:15-19)
cross made of hearts
so loved   In English “so” can mean “so much,” but the New
Testament word used here means “in this way”. In English, the word “love” can refer to “friendship,” “feeling emotional,” or “sex.” The New Testament word used here (“agape”) means “unselfish / self-sacrificing” love; God’s love.
1 John 3:16 - This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us....
1 John 4:9-10 - This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  (Also see John 15:13)
Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While
we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

the world  (i.e., all people, who are by nature "sinners", separated from God, and born as enemies of God).  1 John 3:4, 5:17 - Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness...All wrongdoing  is sin. (Also see 1 John 1:8, Romans 3:23, Matthew 5:28, James 4:17)
Psalm 51:5 - Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (Also see Romans 5:12, John 3:3,6, James 4:4)
Isaiah 59:2 - Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you so that he will not hear.
(Also see 2 Corinthians 5:19; John 1:29; 1 John 2:15)
Romans 5:10 ...when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, ...
1 John 2:2 - He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

that he gave  (by God’s “grace,” an undeserved gift, or “God’s riches at Christ’s expense”). Matthew 20:28 "...the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Also see 2 Corinthians 5:21, Ephesians 1:6-7)

his only Son (Jesus Christ is God's only son, God from all eternity, man born of the virgin Mary, our only Savior from sin and the only way to heaven):
1 John 4:9
... God...sent his one and only Son into the world.... (Also see Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18,22-23; Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:6; Revelation 22:13,16)
Acts 4:12
- "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Also see John 14:6, Romans 1:20, 1 John 5:20)

                                       Jesus Christ Savior of the World

that whoever believes in Him (faith is more than knowledge of God):
James 2:19 - You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. Faith is trusting that Christ has reconciled you to God by living the perfect life that you have not lived, and suffering on the cross for your sins as your substitute. Faith also includes not trusting in your own goodness, just as you can’t take both the elevator and the stairway. Jesus is our elevator. There is no stairway.
Galatians 2:16,21 - Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in justified. ... I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing.
(Also see James 2:10, Matthew 5:48, Galatians 3:10)
Romans 4:5 - However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
(Also see 1 Peter 3:18, Romans 5:6, 10:4,9)

Ephesians 2:8-9 - For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.

shall not perish (The Bible not only tells HOW God saved us, but also FROM WHAT we have been saved): 2 Peter 3:9 - The Lord is ... patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Matthew 10:28 - Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.(Also see Matthew 25:41, Mark 9:48)
John 3:18 - Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. (Also see Mark 16:16)

but have eternal life (life with God now, and afterwards, in heaven forever) John 17:3 - Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
John 5:24 - "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." (Also see John 3:36, Romans 6:23, 1 John 5:11
John 14:1-2
- "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you."  (Also see Revelation 21:3-4)
2 Corinthians 5:1- Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Though we are not yet in heaven, through faith in Christ we are “in” a new relationship with God and have the promise of heaven. (Romans8:1-2, 39; 12:5; 16:7,9-10, 1 Corinthians 1:2,30, 2 Corinthians 5:17,19, Philippians 1:1,26, 4:21, Colossians 1:2, 4, 28, 1 Thessalonians 2:14, 2 Thessalonians 4:14-17, 1 Peter 5:14, 1 John 5:20)

QUESTION:  Can you be sure that you have eternal life?gift of eternal life
ANSWER:    Yes (because it is a gift):

1 John 5:13 - I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

QUESTION:  Since eternal life is a gift, is it OK to sin?
ANSWER:       No. Though we are saved by grace alone, grace is not an excuse to sin. God is at work in us as His new creation: 
2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
(also see Acts 2:42,45,Romans 6:1-4, Philippians 2:13, Ephesians 2:10, Hebrews 10:26

(Scripture quotations are from the New International Version)





Purpose of Life

Reliable Source of Information about God

Central Message
of the Bible

Central Message
the Gospel

Basic Content
of John 3:16

John 3:16

Eternal Life