By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO
John 3:16 has to be the most often quoted verse in the Bible. “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.”
As part of my 2013 devotional plan I am using “The Joshua Code,” written by my friend and president of GuideStone Financial Resources, SBC, Dr. O.S. Hawkins. By the way, all royalties from the book go to support Mission:Dignity, a GuideStone ministry that enables thousands of retired ministers and widows who are living below the poverty level to live out their days with dignity and security.
In the book, O.S. reminded me the late evangelist Angel Martinez referred to John 3:16 as salvation’s formula revealed in one verse – the entire gospel in a nutschell. During my growing up years in Mississippi in the late 1950’s and early 60’s our church had Angel Martinez as the spring revival evangelist on several occasions. O.S. further observed Martinez suggested John 3:16 revealed salvation’s cause, cost, condition and consequence.
First, God’s love for every person is the motivating cause of His salvation plan, and not just that God loves us, but He so loves us.
Second, the forgiveness of our sin and the promise of life abundant and eternal come with a cost. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners. Christ died for us.”(Romans 5:8). Our salvation in Christ came at great cost: God gave His one and only Son.
Third, our good works are not the pathway to eternal life. Our salvation has been purchased for us by the blood of Jesus Christ. The condition is to believe, or as O.S. Hawkins stated, to transfer our trust from ourselves and our own efforts to His finished work on the cross of Calvary.
Fourth, those who do not believe in His finished work are perishing; and those who believe have the promise of eternal life. And what a promise! What a consequence!
Let’s share the good news in 2013 like never before!
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The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.