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
John 3:16 is perhaps the most important verse in the New Testament. In this one verse, Jesus sums up the Gospel message and unlocks the secret to everlasting life.
The book of John was written by a fisherman. He was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. John was an eyewitness to Jesus’ life.
In this verse, John is recording some of Jesus’ teachings to Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader. (Read John 2:24 – 3:21 to read more of Jesus’ conversations with Nicodemus.) Nicodemus had heard about Jesus’ miracles and teachings, and about Jesus righteous life. He was convinced that Jesus was sent from God and that He knew the secret to everlasting life. Nicodemus went to Jesus secretly and asked Him how to have everlasting life.
Here’s what Jesus told him:
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16, NLT
Jesus tells Nicodemus about God’s love, and Jesus’ own mission to save a lost world. He explains to Nicodemus that all people are lost, but that God’s love still extends to everyone.
Surprisingly, He told Nicodemus that everlasting life is based upon what Jesus himself has done for all people. No deeds that we have done are enough to give us everlasting life. He explains that those who believe in Him and the sacrifice he made will have everlasting life. Just agreeing with the facts of Jesus’ life and death is not enough. Jesus is talking about making a personal commitment to follow Him and His teachings. You must trust and love Him as your Lord and Savior.
According to eyewitness accounts in the New Testament, Jesus endured unimaginable suffering to pay our debt in full so that we can have everlasting life.
All we have to do is make that choice to commit to and follow His teachings, and believe in the sacrifice He made. Wow! Isn’t it amazing to know that the debt of your sins has already been paid in full?
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