“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
The Bible stands unequaled in all Literature. Yes, there are many volumes of sacred writings held in high esteem by many peoples; works of history, poetry, philosophy, spirituality, humanity, philanthropy and mystery. They each have their place, and have undoubtedly contributed in some way or another to either the maintenance, or advancement of their respective cultures. But, still, none of them equal the Bible in its depth of inspiration, or its sweep of influence.
We readily recognize numerous references from Scripture that fill our daily lives with spiritual trivia. That lump in people’s throat is their Adam’s apple. A person enduring extreme adversity has the patience of Job. Someone who’s been around forever is as old as Methuselah.
The dove and the olive branch remain the global symbol of peace; the serpent, an image of evil. Jezebel is to this day the quintessential stereotype of a controlling woman, and Judas is the all-time bad guy. A little bird told me is another saying gleaned from the Bible.
We speak of walking on water to suggest the impossibility of some task, and soaring with wings as eagles to suggest attaining some great and noble goal. These are but a few of the many famous expressions that come from the Bible.
There is one text of Scripture, however, that towers above and beyond all others. It is without question the single, most known Bible verse in the entire world. And the expression it produces is always one of awe.
It is known by the youngest of children who are first learning to read, and it is pondered by the oldest of the aged who stand on the threshold of eternity.
Of course, I’m referring to John 3:16 — “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.”
It is that singular sentence that stands uniquely alone – needing no commentary, and soliciting only reverence.
I collected this from my devotional written by James Ryle. This singular Bible verse (John 3:16) is the most know in the world.
Another runs a close second. It is called the Lord’s Prayer. Matthew 6:9-13 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
The truth of the first verse (John 3:16) tells of the reason the Christ was born on the earth. He was literally born to die for the sins of man. The second verses are for us to realize what God the Father does for us on a daily basis. That it is important to realize the Holiness of God.
The word ‘hallowed’ means to render or acknowledge God’s name as Holy, sanctified, and the author of all blessing.
I sometimes scratch my head in wonder at how confused the world has become about the scriptures. As James Ryle tells us, we use parts of the world of God in our everyday speech. Why? Because it used to be part of our everyday life.
John 3:16 was a wedding favor. Some ingenious person took an English walnut, cut it in half, cleaned out the insides and placed the scripture verse inside of it. It was called the gospel in a nut shell and was very popular in the 1970’s. The truth of that verse is evident to those that already believe, but those that are lost don’t understand its simplicity. That is why Christians have been given the ministry of reconcilation (2Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;) so that we might teach others its simple truth.
Need some help seeing it? For God (who spoke the world into existence), so loved (even though it was sinful) the world, (all of human kind), that He gave, (willingly supplied a solution for that sin) His only begotten son, (born in the flesh of man), that whosoever believeth in him, (this is our part…we must have faith that this is true), should not perish, (that is, go into a burning, firey eternity of torment), but have everlasting life, (everlasting means eternal, which means to live forever).
Still confused? Come visit us at Vian Baptist Church.