My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
As we gather here today, we reflect on one of the most famous and beloved verses in all of Scripture, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
What a powerful statement of God’s love for us! It reminds us that we are not alone in this world, and that we are not without hope. It tells us that God has a plan for us, and that his plan is one of salvation and redemption.
But what does it mean to truly believe in Jesus Christ? How do we know that we have eternal life? These are important questions that we must all ask ourselves, especially in light of John 3:16.
To begin, let us examine the first part of the verse: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.” This is a statement of the great love that God has for us. He loved us so much that he sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins.
Think about that for a moment. God loved us so much that he was willing to sacrifice his own Son for us. This is a love that is beyond our human understanding, and it is a love that should inspire us to live our lives in a way that honors God.
But why did God send his Son to die for us? The answer is simple: because we are sinners. We have all fallen short of God’s glory, and we are all in need of a savior. The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So, what must we do to receive this gift of eternal life? The answer is found in the second part of John 3:16: “that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Belief in Jesus Christ is the key to salvation. We must believe that he is the Son of God, that he died on the cross for our sins, and that he rose again on the third day. We must also confess our sins and ask for forgiveness.
But belief is more than just an intellectual acknowledgement of who Jesus is. It is a deep and abiding trust in him as our Lord and Savior. It is a commitment to follow him and obey his commands.
This is not always an easy thing to do. We live in a world that is filled with distractions and temptations. We are constantly bombarded with messages that tell us to put our own desires and interests first. But as Christians, we are called to a higher standard. We are called to live our lives in a way that honors God and reflects his love for us.
This is where the promise of eternal life comes in. When we believe in Jesus Christ and commit our lives to him, we are promised not only forgiveness of our sins, but also the gift of eternal life. This is a life that is free from the bondage of sin and death. It is a life that is filled with joy and peace, and it is a life that is centered on our relationship with God.
So, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us take heart in the words of John 3:16. Let us remember that God loves us and has a plan for our lives. Let us believe in Jesus Christ and commit our lives to him, so that we may receive the gift of eternal life.
As we go forth from this place, let us do so with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment. Let us live our lives in a way that reflects the love of God, and let us share that love with others.