John 3:16 is without a doubt the best-known Bible passage. It has brought comfort and hope to millions—perhaps billions—of people, and contains an important message for you today. At its core, this verse tells us about salvation: the means by which God rescues the perishing and gives everlasting life to all who believe its message.
The message of salvation begins with God. You and I might be tempted to look at ourselves and say, “What have I done?” or “What can I do?” But God wants to draw our attention to what He has done for us.
What could move an all-powerful God to take an interest in what happens to you and me? Here we discover a wonderful thing about God—He loves us! Even though we have rebelled against our Creator, His love has provided the way of salvation.
God’s love extends to everyone. No one is too young or too old, too rich or too poor, too exceptional or too ordinary to receive His love. It reaches around the globe to find you, right where you are.
THAT HE GAVE
Giving gifts is a natural expression of love. While our giving is always limited by our resources, God is able to give us blessings of infinite and never-ending value.
HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON
Here we find the first of two gifts mentioned in this verse: Jesus! The eternal Son of God came to earth and was born as a baby. He was given the name Jesus, which means “the Lord is salvation.” His miraculous arrival fulfilled many ancient prophecies, one of which says “unto us a Son is given” who will be called “Mighty God” and bring forth a kingdom characterized by justice and righteousness (Isaiah 9:6-7).
To enter God’s holy kingdom we must be perfectly righteous. And that’s a problem, because God knows our sinful hearts and has declared that “there is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). God’s holiness demands that a price be paid for sin. This is why God gave His Son to pay the price on our behalf. When Jesus laid down His life on the cross, bearing God’s punishment for our sin, He opened the way for us to be made righteous. He then rose from the dead on the third day, proving that God was pleased with His sacrifice.
God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ is offered to everyone. Regardless of who we are or what we have done, Jesus has promised to receive us: “him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
BELIEVETH IN HIM
“Believeth” means two things here. First, we must believe what the Bible says about Jesus. This means acknowledging who He is and what He has done (Hebrews 11:6). But it’s deeper than just accepting facts about Him; the belief spoken of here also implies “total trust.” To receive salvation, we must lay aside any thoughts of our own worthiness and come to Him just as we are. When we rest our souls completely on His grace, trusting Him alone for salvation, our sins are washed away and we are clothed in His righteousness. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5). “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
SHOULD NOT PERISH
The Bible says we are born in sin, and if we reject God’s forgiveness we will also die in sin, separated from God forever. “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). I trust you will turn to God so you do not perish!
BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE
“Everlasting life” is the second great gift of God mentioned in John 3:16, and includes more than you might realize. Not only does God bless those who trust in Jesus with never-ending joys in His presence for all eternity, He also fills their earthly lives with many wonderful blessings:
- He forgives their sins and makes them brand new in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:7; 2 Corinthians 5:17)
- He adopts them as His children and promises them an inheritance in His kingdom (Romans 8:15; 1 Peter 1:3-4)
- He sends His Spirit to dwell in them, giving them the ability to live a life that is pleasing to Him (Acts 2:38; Galatians 5:16)
- He promises to be with them through every difficulty of life, never leaving them and never letting them go (Romans 8:28; John 10:27-28)
How can you have everlasting life? When you receive God’s Son, you receive everlasting life. It’s as simple as that. You can’t have one without the other: “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:12). “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12).
Will you receive Him today? Carefully read and think about the Scripture verses quoted above. Then talk to God in your own words, confessing to Him that you are a sinner in need of salvation. Thank Him for sending Jesus to take the punishment your sins deserve. Put your total trust in what He has done for you. Ask Him to save you, and He will!
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
The above Gospel tract was written by MWTB Moments With the Book Ministries and can be purchased in a convenient pocket sized tract so that you can share it with others. Please visit them at their website for more information by clicking the link below!