What We Learned Together Communion Sunday May 14, 2023
We are focusing on John 3:16 this morning for our communion study. One commentator wrote, “What proclamation of the Gospel has been so oft on the lips of missionaries and preachers in every age since it was first uttered? What has sent such thrilling sensations through millions of mankind? What has been honored to bring such multitudes to the feet of Christ? What to kindle in the cold and selfish breasts of mortals the fires of self-sacrificing love to mankind, as these words of transparent simplicity, yet overpowering majesty?” It is a great testimony in this verse. These words in John 3:16 are important for each of us here this morning. The message of salvation here in the Gospel of John through the words of Jesus. We have entitled the message “Whoever Is Believing in The One and only Son. May we all go forth from this time together telling others the truth in John 3:16. The message we can speak this week because of our time of communion this morning as those who are believing in Him.
In this Scripture passage we are given truth from God for us about salvation. Here in these verses we see The Grace of God through the Truths of Salvation in Giving His Son [3:16-18]
In verse 16 The Truth of The Greatness of The Love of God. In verse 17-18 The Truth of The Seriousness of The Judgment of God. Four simple points from this one verse. This one verse contains just a few words in which a sermon could be preached on every word in this one verse.
First, His One and Only Son was given to Display—The Love of God. Verse sixteen begins “For God so loved the world . . .” The first word “for” points us back to verses 14-15 in John chapter three. There The Deliverance by God for the Consequences of Sin in Providing His Son. The Old Testament reference in Numbers 21 His provision for cure from the poison of the serpents. As one commentator said, “Moses raised a bronze snake on a pole as a cure for a punishment due to disobedience. So Jesus would be lifted up on a cross for people’s sin.” In verse 15 “so that whoever [sing] believes might in Him have eternal life.” The character of those who are believing personal and presently. The great declaration that Jesus would be lifted up! He would be raised up on the cross and die in the place of sinners. Jesus is the remedy and cure for the poison of our disobedience within as the very One lifted up that we would look to Him for salvation. You Have This Salvation Who Believe in The Savior To Save Me The Sinner. Deliverance from sin in the look to the solution which God provided for them and for us! God so loved the world, meaning He loved the world in this way and in this manner. Not how great is His love, for it is great indeed! The very nature and character of God as The One who loved the world. We must begin with God for He is first in this truth. Not His emotion but His action. Not His feeling but His giving, doing, the sacrificing. His personal actual, and real love for the world where mankind dwells. “God’s love is to be admired not because the world is so big and includes so many people, but because the world is so bad.” John would write later in his epistle of First John, “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” [I John 4:9-10] He gave the greatest and the best, His only begotten Son, for the least and the worst.
Second, His One and Only Son was given to Provide—The Gift of God. Then John writes, “that He gave His only Son . . .” Language uniquely used of Jesus. For Jesus is “the one and only/only begotten” “unique,” and there is no other like Him or can take His place or has His importance. The one most precious and therefore God was most generous in giving His One and Only Son! “Who can estimate the value of God's gift, when He gave to the world His only begotten Son? One that thinks lightly of man's need and man's sin, would do well to consider man's Saviour. Sin must indeed be exceeding sinful, when the Father must needs give His only Son to be the sinner's Friend!” [J. C. Ryle]
Third, His One and Only Son was given to Believe—The Promise of God. Here the purpose is given for the giving of the Son “so that everyone who believes in Him . . .” This is the repeating of the phrase in verse fifteen. No matter who they might be and what they have done, and how bad of a person they are or what kind of sinner they have been. My belief which results in an active faith that looks at Jesus & His provision for me. He is the remedy. He is the cure. He is the Only Savior. “The love of God in the great gift, and then in the great plan by which that gift becomes available to guilty men.” [Charles Spurgeon] Whoever Is Believing In The One and Only Son!
Fourth, His One and Only Son was given to Testify—The Truth of God. “ . . . will not perish, but have eternal life.” In the context the consequence of not looking up to the snake lifted up that one would die because of their sin. Perishing does not mean that one ceases to exist but suffering the death as the consequence of the judgement of God. A reminder for us all there are two kinds of people. We gather here this morning as a people declaring we are believing in Jesus as the remedy for our sin, and the cure for the poison in our lives. There are some who are perishing because they would not believe and will receive the punishment of the judgment of God. This verse calls us to be such ones who are the believing ones, and even as we gather together as a church body giving testimony as ones who are believing in Him. As we celebrate communion together we are stating publicly, “I am a believer. I am believing. I look to Jesus. He is my Savior.”
Is John 3:16 more than words you learned a long time ago? Is it the way you live your life? Does this verse express who you are believing in the One and Only Son? If that is true than people would hear us declaring to them the truth of John 3:16. And there is the truth in the next two verses. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. The one who believes in Him is not judged; the one who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” [John 3:17-18] Our testimony this morning is that I am believing, that Jesus is my Savior. Our testimony that we are the one which John 3:16 describes as whoever is believing in Him. I know this is true for so many here today who are believers. But there may be one here today who has not believed. Understand what you see as wrong in your life that God see its also and that Jesus is the remedy for your sins in your life. Look to Jesus this morning!
As Charles Spurgeon said, “Will anyone refuse? This good gift, this perfect gift,-can you decline it? Oh, that you may have faith to lay hold on Jesus, for thus he will be yours. He is God's free gift to all free receivers; a full Christ for empty sinners. If you can but hold out your empty willing hand, the Lord will give Christ to you at this moment. Nothing is freer than a gift. Nothing is more worth having than a gift which comes fresh from the hand of God.”
Pastor Timothy J. Atkins
Husband, Father, Grandfather, Pastor, Teacher, Discipler, and Follower of Jesus.