For God So Loved You!

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Source: https://aaacomputer4christ.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/img_3073.jpg

John 3:16 has been called “an ocean in a dew drop” because the meanings of this verse is oceanic. It has been called “a forest in the single leaf of tree” because of how magnanimous it is. It is the Word of God in a nutshell and there is no verse in all of the Scripture that so captures the attention of all people. Its truth goes far beyond anything that anyone can truly fathom. And it affects all people from every tribe, tongue, nation, and every color of people on the planet. In essence, it is the hub of the revealed truth of God Almighty who is able to still save today!

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever beleives in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

For God So Loved the World

God loves because He is love. It is His very nature to love. He loves people because He is the kind of God that He is. John the apostle tells us that God’s love is shown in the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. In recent times some scholars have argued that John sees God’s love as only for believers of Him, but here it is in plain language that God loves “the world.” Leon Morris adds that “The Greek construction puts some emphasis on the actuality of the gift: it is not ‘God loved enough to give,’ but ‘God loved so that He gave.'” This speaks of a costly love. God gave what is the dearest of all to Him, namely His only begotten Son.

Jesus Christ’s mission is bound to the supreme love of God for the evil, sinful “world” of humanity. These are the ones who are in rebellion against Him. As Paul the apostle puts, “There is none righteous, no not one,” and “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” The Bible says, ethnically speakng, that the world is divided into Jews and Gentiles. This statement from Jesus Christ “For God so loved the world” would have rocked Nicodemus’ world. As a Pharisee, as a Jew, he would not have in his mind that God loved the “world” but just the Jews. In essence, Nicodemus would be considered a racist today having an abhorrence for the Gentiles. But Jesus makes it clear that eternal life is a possibility not just for the Jews but also for the Gentiles. God’s love is not confined to any national group or spiritual elite. His love proceeds from the fact that God is love. John affirms that God loves all people regardless of their ethnicity.

God Gave His Only Begotten Son

John the apostle uses the word “gave” in two senses. First, God gave the Son by sending Him into the world, but God also gave the Son on the Cross. Notice the cross is not said to show us the love of the Son but that of the Father. The atoning work of Jesus Christ proceeds from the loving heart of God. It is not something wrung from Him–it is Him! God so loved the world that He gave His “only begotten Son” which means His Son who is the most unique of all. To be “only begotten” emphasizes the greatness and costliness of the Gift! As Paul the apostle exclaims, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” James Montgomery Boice says, “Unique means being without a like or equal, single in kind or excellence, matchless. It is an important word, and it is particularly important at just this point in our study since it occurs twice in the space of five verses.”

The Greek term for “only begotten” is monogenes. It means “monos = alone + genosbirth, race, kind. It comes from the Greek word ginomai meaning to come into being, to become. This means that which is the only one of its kind of class or specific relationship and thus is unique or “one and only.” We see that Jesus Christ–God’s only begotten Son–is unique because there is no one like Him. He is unique in His person, birth, doctrine, works, miracles death, resurrection, and future triumphs. Jesus Christ is the very gift of God the Father to all the world.

Whoever Believes In Christ Shall Not Perish

Sola fide is the great word of the reformers. “Faith alone” is important because it is one of the distinguishing characteristics or key points that separate the true Biblical Gospel from all of the false gospels. Paul the apostle says in Galatians 1 that anyone who preaches something different than what he preached then they should be accursed. So how is man justified by God? Again, Paul makes it clear that man is “justified by faith in Christ and not observing the law” (Galatians 2:16). The rest of the Bible concurs with this idea as well. “Whoever” is a pronoun that flings open the doors of heaven to any person who beleives in Jesus Christ for salvation. The belief is in Him–Jesus Christ–which is shorthand for saying believing everything about Him–that He is fully Man, fully God, that He is without sin, that He died on the Cross as our substitute for our sins, and that God showed He was satisfied with His Son’s “sin offering” by raising Him from the dead.

This means that this salvation which is believed gives to anyone a new birth, eternal life, and salvation. Whoever believes in Him experiences salvation and is saved forever. Conversely, those who are “perishing” are damned by their sin. The ultimate sin God will not forgive is the sin of refusing to trust His Son, Jesus Christ. If one refuses to believe, the consequences are they will perish, lose their lives, and destruction will befall them. There is no third option: we either believe or we do not beleive. We are either by faith turning to Jesus Christ or refusing this Gospel message.

When we believe this Gospel of Jesus Christ, it means that we are accepting it as being true, genuine, and real. It means that we have the conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of God to save us through His only begotten Son. It means that we have been fully persuaded to obey God by accepting the gift of His Son and to believe in Him for salvation.

Whoever Believe in Christ Shall Have Eternal Life

Jesus Christ in John 3:16 is contrasting the difference between those who believe and those who do not. It is between those who are perishing and those who have eternal life. Every soul of man will spend eternity either in a state of spiritual death or spiritual life based on whether they have received this gift of salvation from God the Father which is only found in His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Those who believe have a present possession and privilege as being a part of the family of God. And it will last forever.

As Dr. W.A. Criswell so aptly put it, “There are two words used for ‘life’ in the Greek New Testament. Zoe, meaning “life” in its absolute sense, as God has given it, is used in thsi verse. It signifies spiritual life in John. This word is frequently used for “eternal life” with its special emphasis upont he quality of life and its endless duration through the ages to come. Thsi life is available only through beliefe in God’s Son. The Biblical concept of ‘eternal life’ is more than immortality, and it involves not only the soul but also the body. From creation man was made for never-ending life, not for death. The death and resurrection of Jesus provide the basis for and give the picture of the divinely appointed redemption-life. “Life” in its purest and noblest sense is inextricably joined to regeneration.”

So Where Do You Stand?

Have you believed in Jesus Christ for salvation and eternal life? Have you accepted the gift that God the Father so lovingly has given to the world? Are you aware of how much God loves you? If not, re-read John 3:16 and believe that He loved you enough that He gave His only begotten Son for you! For God so loves you!

Our Victorious God!

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Source: http://blog.biblia.com/files/2014/12/Psalm_76_7-3840×2160-1-660×371.png

Psalm 76 is written by Asaph, one of the choir directors during King David’s days. Asaph praises God for His mighty power in this psalm. God destroyed the wicked and delivered His people. This is a testament to all leaders everywhere that they should submit themselves to the leadership of God and follow Him faithfully.

God is known in His City. 76:1-3

God is known in Judah and His name is great in Israel according to the beginning verses of this great hymn. Asaph speaks of how God’s name is known because He has defeated the enemies of His people–His chosen people, Israel. The glow of humble pride, of wonder and thankfulness, is perceptible in the fourfold naming of His great city, Jerusalem. He calls it “Judah, Israel, Salem, and Zion.” All of these names gathered together signify the eloquence of the word “there” in verse three. However, prior to verse three, it speaks of God’s self-revelation to His people. The reason Israel is the object of the acts is because that is where God has chosen to dwell. And since He dwells there, the act of judgment which the psalmist celebrates is performed there.

For whatever time God delivered His people, Asaph hymns his praises after an enemy attacked Jerusalem and was defeated. They were broken by God and ultimately their attacks were unsuccessful. God is known in His city!

God is known to His enemies. 76:4-9

God shines forth as perfect light; for He is Light in all of its perfection and glory. Being resplendent, God illuminates and is glorified wherever He is at all times without limitation. In this hymn, Asaph points out that this glory hails from the lofty heights of the mountains where God sits supreme. He is the great Conqueror and there is no foe that can withstand God. Because this is the case, God subdues the mighty men, puts them to sleep, and they can no longer find their hands to even offer a fight against Almighty God. They are robbed of their might, their weapons, and even their lives. The psalmist is very graphic in this scene that he paints setting before our eyes the process of destruction from its beginning. He shows us the warriors who have fallen in the drowsiness of death. At this point, their might is now quite feeble. With vain struggle these mighty men fought for as long as they could by shooting “lightnings of the bow” against Zion and now they are stiff for evermore. It only takes one word from the lips the God of Jacob, and all the noise of the camp is hushed. We look out at the field of the dead, lying in awful stillness, dreamlessly sleeping their long slumber.

God is to be feared among the nations. No one can stand in His anger. However, in God’s anger resides love as well. It is a blending of anger and love. While no creature can bear the terrible heat of God’s anger, nor endure the weight of His anger, the most awful manifestations thereof have a side of tenderness and an inner purpose of blessing. The core of God’s judgment is mercy. It is worthy of God to destroy those who oppress and to save those who are afflicted–those who not only suffer, but those who also trust in Him. When God makes His judgments to reverberate from on high, earth shall keep an awed silence and stillness, as nature does when thunder peals. At the end of the hideous tumult and the thunderous sound of God’s anger comes silence from all of Creation, but especially from God’s enemies. God is known to His enemies!

God is known by His victories over all. 76:10-12

This final strophe in this great hymn of the faith magnifies God’s name by His treatment of opposing men, who set themselves against Him. While they fume with fury ultimately it is brought down low to His praise. The wrath of mighty men ultimately surround God with praise while His wraths are brought down upon His enemies. This speaks of God’s unfailing wrath against His enemies. God girds Himself with the residue of His own wrath from eternity to time to eternity once again. His wrath–His judgment–has an unexhausted store ready to flame out if need arise. It is a stern and terrible thought to have of God, but it is solemnly a true thought to have. His lovingkindness out-measures man’s, and so does His judicial judgment. All of God’s divine attributes partake of Infinitude and the stores of His punitive anger are not less deep than those of His gentle goodness.

Therefore, man is summoned to make vows to the Lord and to pay their vows. While Israel is called to worship their God, all the nations around them who lie in the fields of the dead, are called to do homage and bring tribute to Him. This shows that Almighty God–the Judge–can cut off the breath of the highest, or can cut down their pride, as a grape-gatherer does the ripe cluster. Knowing this then brings the kings of all the nations to fear the King of kings: God Almighty–the Judge! God is known by His victories over all!

God Answers His Own Plea

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Psalm 75:1-10 is written by Asaph. It is a song that is given to the “choirmaster,” one who is a superintendent of music for worship in the synagogue. The song itself is set to the tune of “Do Not Destroy,” a common theme throughout Scriptures from God’s people. This phrase, “Do Not Destroy,” is identified as a popular saying and gives a reassuring word from God to His people. Moreover, this song shows us how God answers His own plea from Psalm 74:22, 23: “Rise up, O God! Defend Your honor! Remember how fools insult You all day long! Do not disregard what Your enemies say, or the unceasing shouts of those who defy You.”

God will judge at the appointed time. 75:1-3

Asaph thanks God for being near His people. God is Almighty and His wondrous works are seen everyday all around: from Creation, salvation, redemption, and glorification of His people. Asaph understands these wondrous works as coming from God. All of the these acts are supernatural acts of God and none of them are of man.

In the second verse of this song, we see God speaking. He is asserting His sovereignty as He sets the time and place of all world events. It is clear this is the case when we read Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 that God sets all things in their place and He works all things out for His good pleasure and according to His own will. He delivers on His timetable, on His schedule, not His people’s schedules and certainly not on His enemies’ timetable. Often judgment, even invasion, is His will! But one day He will set all things straight according to His timing and will. And when He does, He will judge with equity! He will judge the earth. He will judge fairly based on His revelation of Himself to mankind so that no one is without excuse.

And how will people react? Verse three says that the people will “dissolve in fear.” That is, they will be in utter terror when the Judge makes Himself known and brings down the gavel in His courtroom. But this melting is not just the people, God’s judgment even affects all of Creation! Micah 1:4 and Nahum 1:5 attest to the melting away or the dissolving of the mountains and the inhabitants of the earth.

However, before discouragement sets in, read what Revelation 21:1-5 says: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had ceased to exist, and the sea existed no more. And I saw the holy city–the new Jerusalem–descending out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her huasband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Look! The residence of God is among human beings. He will live among them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more–or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.” And the One seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new!” Then He said to me, “Write it down, because these words are reliable and true.” Wow! This is the promise of the One who is going to bring judgment to the earth and all its inhabitants, and yet He promises to bring His people a new heaven and a new earth!

God has appointed Himself as the Judge. 75:4-8

God speaks as the “Moral Guide” as His laws reflect His very character. God warns the wicked to change their heart attitude toward Him. They should not arrogantly defy God by lifting up their horns. This is a metaphor from the animal world which signifies a defiant strutting and a self-centered, self-interested, and self-confidence that they can do as they please apart from the Creator. It speaks of the defiance of the wicked against God. These pagans, wicked, trespassers, insolent, and iniquitous people. These are stiff-necked people, but God warns that they ought not speak with this stiff neck, this stubborn rebellion against Him. They need to come to realize that He will judge and that there is no help from any earthly direction to come to their aid or to their rescue.

For the time being, they may think they have the upper hand on God, or so it would seem, but God will set all things straight. There is no other arbiter but God. No worldly rank will bring any kind of provision and there will be no reversal to God’s judgment. Whom He exalts He exalts, and whom He judges He judges. God exalts the righteous and raises their characters to be that of righteousness. Remember what 1 Samuel 2:7 says: “The Lord impoverishes and makes wealthy; He humbles and exalts.” What shall our response be to God being the Judge? James 4:10 says: “Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you.” Humility must reign in our lives, knowing that we are sinful people and we need the Savior–the Lord Jesus Christ.

The wicked are warned by the psalmist because the Judge, who is God, will bring His full wrath against the wicked, His enemies. He will pour out His cup of judgment which is a mixture of “hot spice,” that is, something that will cause vomiting, crazed prostration, and reeling from the burning sensation that one experiences from God’s judgment. It’s certainly nothing that anyone truly wants to face, but those who are against the One true and Living God will.

God’s judgment is worthy of our praise. 75:9, 10

Asaph concludes this song publicly by praising God for judging His enemies. The horns symbolize strength, and they picture animals. Israel’s enemies will lose their strength, but God’s people will grow stronger. God is most likely speaking in verse ten. His role as Judge of all the earth means justice first for Himself then for His people. He will answer His plea for His justice to win at the end of the day. This day will inevitably come, and we need to keep it in view since God waits to judge. The Judge of all the earth will do justly because that is all that He can do. He is perfectly holy without limitation in perfection. He is perfectly righteous without limitation in perfection. He is perfectly just without limitation in perfection. God is worthy of all praise! He deserves our praise! All praise, honor, and blessing belong to Him.

So what can the wicked do today not to face God’s righteous judgment?

The Bible is clear! Romans 10:9, 10 says: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation.” Have you believed Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior? Have you trusted Him to wash you clean of all your wickedness and sin? When you turn to Him for salvation, the Bible also says in Romans 10:13: “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Call on Jesus Christ today to be saved, and His answer will be that you are saved in Him! Then you, too, will declare the wondrous works of our Everlasting God!

If you’ve made a decision to trust Jesus Christ today, text the word RESPOND to 817-592-8513. We will be glad to speak with you about your decision or any questions you may have.

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