John 3:16-21 (The Love of God)


What is God like? When the subject of God comes up today – the ideas are vast and varied.


Children’s views of God

A)The two most popular views of God in the Secular world today couldn’t be more different.


B) On the one hand you have those who picture God as being:

1)Uptight – He is angry at the World. – He is hard / Cruel / Carries a Big stick – Waiting – step out of line


C) Those who see God that way: Also picture him as unfair / out of touch / and a Bigot.


Now on the other end of the spectrum are those who see God as sort of a big softy : He is broad minded / understanding and relaxed.

A)All loving grandpa who just loves his people and is glad they are trying.


B) Only the truly wicked individuals like Hitler and Charles Manson is God really angry with.


C) Well here in John Ch.3 those two opposite views about God Collide with the real truth!


D)The story revolves around our Lord’s encounter with a religious leader by the name of Nicodemus.

When it came to being a good person – Nic was as good as they come – he even genuinely – wanted to please God

A) As a Pharisee he had devoted his life – to studying the law of God and trying to follow it as well as


B) His life is dedicated to teaching others what it means to live according to the law of God.

1) V.10 Jesus calls him the teacher in Israel – Head Pastor guy


C) But as right and religious as Nicodemus was – He knew that there was something wrong – Missing in his life – was a Peace he saw in Jesus

1) An assurance that God was with him  - Nic just didn’t have –


D) SO intrigued by Jesus and his ministry – Nic decided to set up a meeting

1) Jesus in the mist of the meeting – reveals the problem – You MUST be born again!

                                                  Spiritual Birth !!!


Now I am sure that there are those today who would read this story and say: Jesus you are being way too narrow. 

A)Not being tolerant / Narrow minded fundamentalist.


B)You should be affirming Nic in his religion/ commending him for his good deeds

1) Complimenting him on his spirituality.

B) Jesus was not interested in being politically correct – He was interested in Nic being saved.

1)He was concerned for his soul


2) The problem was in all of his religiosity Nic had missed the boat. He was climbing the wrong ladder.


C) So Jesus tells him Nic you MUST be born again.  Nic respond – How


Jesus gives him the How in V.16 – There He gives the greatest description of the Heart of God in Probably all of the Bible. 

A)Balance – Loving Father / Perfect Judge.{ Truth and grace / Mercy and Justice all beautifully collide in this verse – to give us a great Picture of God.


John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life


DL Moody was preaching in England – Young Preacher named Henry Moorehouse came to hear – him – Young man Moorehouse – was bold – If I ever come to Chicago could I preach at your Church. – Moody – agreed thinking – probably never come


Next summer – Moody received a telegraph – coming – could he still preach – Moody reluctantly agreed. He was going to be out of town one Sunday anyway………

A)Moody returned in the middle of the week – asked his wife – how was the young man – On Sunday –


B)Sunday he was great – every night since then – great too. { Preaching every night?

1) Better than you


C) He is telling sinners that God loves them. She declared she had never before – heard someone – proclaim the love of God like this young preacher –


D) Every night he has preached from the same verse John 3:16 –

Deeper and deeper – Mrs. Moody insisted that Moody – go listen for himself. – He did and was deeply moved


C) Been said of Moorehouse – He was the man who moved the man who touched millions

1) From that point on Moody – Boldly and clearly shared on the love of God.



John 3:16 tells us that God is not mad at the World. On the contrary – He loves the World -  -

A)He sees the world in a very different way than we do. When he looks at the world – He sees what we often try to ignore.


B)He sees the hurt in people's lives, the shame that fills their hearts, the misery they are going through.

1)He sees drug-wrecked lives, & those who are bored and feeling the meaninglessness of life.


C) He sees murder, violence, hatred, bitterness and anger.

1) He sees greed, oppression, child abuse, famine, death, tears, depression and fear of every kind.


But he sees more. He sees that all this anguish of life is a direct result of the attempts we are all innocently making to find fulfillment for ourselves.

A)The result of people ignoring Him and doing only that which was right in their own eyes.


B) But his reaction to that is not one of anger, hatred, or ruthless justice.

1) According to this wonderful verse, God's reaction is compassion.


C) He was moved to act – He gave His Son!

1) Love and Justice hand in Hand -


D) When God looks at the world – He sees the sin / the rebellion – But he loves the sinner

1) His heart goes out to the sinner!



His love is Not selective: This verse flings its arms around the world not just the Jews or the white people, the rich people, or whoever. {

A)This verse flings its arms around the people of all five continents, all the islands of the sea, all colors, backgrounds and states of life.


A) God's love and compassion goes out to all.

    Hyper Calvinist all wrong – Not limited ….


B) But here is the thing: As God He is also a Judge: Being a just Judge – He doesn’t just ignore sin / wrong doing.

1) Doesn’t just forgive and say: It is ok – try not to do it again. – Wouldn’t be justice


C) Would not be right: Same way – Bank robber – Burglar – Forgive ok – off hook

1) That was not JUSTICE! – NOT RIGHT

2) Problem: SIN has to be punished !


D) At The very core of who God is He is JUST – HE HAS TO BE RIGHT

1) Solution:– He gave His son !


V.17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 



Jesus didn’t come to condemn the World – He could Have:

A)That is why, in every vignette we have of Jesus in the gospels where he is dealing with acknowledged, open, blatant sinners, we never hear a word of condemnation


B) He didn’t come to Condemn them – He came to save them. –

1) Show Life – Provide the way to God.


Story of a Young man estranged from His Father – Mother wanted him to come home for Christmas – But he wasn’t sure his dad would want him or had forgiven him


Mother said Let me talk to him – Forgiven I will give you a sign – White rag on the tree next to the railroad tracks closet to their .home, which he could see before the train reached the station.


If there was no rag, it would be better if he went on.

So the young man started home.

As the train drew near his home; he was so nervous he said to his friend who was traveling with him,


"I can't bear to look. Sit in my place and look out the window. I'll tell you what the tree looks like and you tell me whether there is a rag on it or not."

So his friend changed places with him and looked out the window.

After a bit the friend said, "Oh yes, I see the tree." The son asked, "Is there a white rag tied to it?"


 For a moment the friend did not say anything. Then he turned, and in a very gentle voice said,

"There is a white rag tied to every limb of that tree!"


That, in a sense, is what God is saying in John 3:16 and 17.

A)God has removed the condemnation and made it possible to come freely and openly home to him.


B)Because He Tied not a white rag to a tree – but his son to a tree –


Who is that Salvation and forgiveness available to? – Anyone who believes!

A)V.16 Those who believe will not perish – but have eternal life.


B) Believe: Not just intellectually { -– Cling to trust in rely upon.  – It means to put your full weight on something. CHAIR - 

1) It speaks of a total commitment to Christ.


Barth this I know


C) Promise: Eternal life- Not just a longevity of life – Quality of life.

1) Begins now – V.18 tells us where it starts -

18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned;

D) No condemnation for those who are in Christ –

1) God sees us Holy -  Righteous –



But what about those who don’t believe: What about those who reject ?

v.18b but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.


They are already condemned:

A)When I visit a prison I don’t have to convince the prisoners that they are condemned – they know it. -  Why they are locked up


B) Same is true today of mankind – man is condemned – He is in a prison – called Guilt

1) Tries to escape – tries to forget – { Still there – Prison – bondage to sin


C) Feels it – Guilt of it – He can’t get away from it. Awaiting our fate.


Two states of living: Condemned or uncondemned

A)Well why would anyone want to be condemned ? Good question?


B) The Lord answers it in V. 19-20



19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.


C) Men love darkness – rather than the light!


A Minister and his unbelieving barber were walking down the street as their conversation turned to the love of God. Said the barber to the preacher, "If God was as loving as you say, why does He permit all the poverty, disease, and squalor that exists in the world? I cannot believe that a loving God would permit these things."

The minister was silent until they met a man who was especially unkempt and filthy. His hair was hanging down his neck and he had a half-inch of stubble on his face. Then he said, "You can’t be a very good barber or you would not permit a man like that to continue living in this neighborhood without a haircut or shave."

Indignantly the barber answered: "Why blame me for that man*s condition? I can’t help it that he is like that. He has never come into my shop; why, I could fix him up and make him look like a million dollars, if he’d only let me!"

Giving the barber a penetrating look, the minister said: "Then don*t blame God for allowing people to continue in their evil ways, when He is constantly inviting them to come and be saved. The reason people are slaves to sin and evil habits  is that they refuse the One who died to save and deliver them."

The barber saw the point. Do you?

A)People are condemned because they don’t come to the light.


Light exposes

A)Never see well lit bars – don’t expose me – 10am drinking


B) Well lit clubs – people are doing things – don’t want to be seen-


C) That is also why those living in Sin – Don’t like to be around those who are living for Jesus –

1) Their light exposes


D) Christian unsaved friends are not going to be able to take a steady diet of you …


E) Christian your friends who are living in a back sliden state are not going to like having you around for the same reason. –

1) Put a damper on their darkness










Sign of our conversion: Hate the darkness -


Two states of existence – Hate the Light  or come to the light.



Joe was a drunk, miraculously converted in a street outreach mission. Before his conversion he’d gained a reputation as a derelict and dirty wino for whom there was no hope. But following his conversion to Christ, everything changed. Joe became the most caring person at the mission. He spent his days there, doing whatever needed to be done.

There was never anything he was asked to do that he considered beneath him. Whether it was cleaning up vomit left by some sick alcoholic, or scrubbing toilets after men had left them filthy, Joe did it all with a heart of gratitude.


He could be counted on to feed any man who wandered in off the streets, undress and tuck him into bed, when he was too out-of-it to take care of himself.

One evening, after the mission director delivered his evangelistic message to the usual crowd of sullen men with drooped heads, one of them looked up, came down to the altar and kneeled to pray, crying out for God to help him change.




The repentant drunk kept shouting, “Oh God, make me like Joe! Make me like Joe! Make me like Joe!” The director leaned over and said, “Son, wouldn’t it be better if you prayed ‘make me like Jesus?”

After thinking about it for a few moments, the man looked up with an inquisitive expression and asked,

  “Is He like Joe?”

What a great story and what a powerful way to live. Are you living your life in such a way that you are reminding people of the only ‘forgotten’ Son of God?


My wife and I are going to celebrate 20 yrs of marriage this week –

A)Anniversary is actually in July – CR trip – so this week – carve out a day to celebrate


B) But 20 yrs ok I was asked the question – Would I take her to me my bride – I said yes

1) She was asked the same question: Yes – as well thank God


C) At that instant, by virtue of our expressed willingness to commit to one another, Denise and I entered into a special love relationship that has forever changed our lives.




The Bible tells us that, "God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us," (Romans 5:8  N L T)


Centuries ago, God gave an answer to the question of whether or not He was willing to enter into a love relationship with us.


Through His coming to earth in the person of His Son, He answered that question with a resounding, "Yes!"


Through graciously giving His one and only Son, God has expressed His willingness to give Himself to us.

Now, the question is put to each of us. And if we answer "Yes, I am willing give myself to Christ," then we will enter into a personal love relationship with the glorious God of the universe that will forever change our lives.