There is only one God and no other. And God is Trinity. The Father has sent and revealed himself in His son Jesus and the Holy Spirit who has descended and has been sanctifying the world. On this Fourth Sunday of Advent, 2021, As we gather to give our worship to our Triune God, we also become instruments and channels of God’s saving love to humanity. Today, the faithful are encouraged to celebrate an incomprehensive moment, with pure love just like the love that God has been giving us. It was love which moved God the Father to send his Son Jesus to save us. It is because of God’s love that we enjoy life. Love is the reason why God is still present among us through His Spirit, the Advocate, the Helper.
John 3:16-18 Authorized (King James) Version
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. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.
Christianity is the only organized religion and faith-system in the world wherein God also became man like the rest of us. This is really unimaginable and unfathomable to some—for God becoming man like us. God became flesh in Jesus who was born from a woman whose name was Mary. He lived among us, grew up, He ministered unto a people, and had done great things in the name of his Father in heaven. Jesus, the Son of God, was obedient to his Father until his death. He practically did everything except to commit sin, as He is God.
In the Hebrew (Old) Testament, God our Father through His Spirit had been calling, inviting, anointing, and sending people to the world as his messengers. We have witnessed God’s heart throughout the stories shared with us and in the prophesies found in the scriptures. In the different testimonies and messages of the patriarchs, prophets, judges, kings, and most significantly from the simple and lowly people, we come to know the heart of God. God who revealed Himself to the very heart of mankind who knew how to listen, keep his commandments.
The ancient prophecies have been fulfilled in Jesus: “For God so loved the world that he sent His only begotten son to save the people and would have eternal life with Him.”
In the New Testament, Jesus’ life and ministry is unfolded and was revealed to all who listened. The promise of love and salvation came to fulfillment in Jesus who was sent by the God so we may not perish and in order that we may live in forever God’s presence.
It was because of an immeasurable love, the love of the Father to us that he gave us his only Son for our ransom, so we may all live, so we may be restored to life.
This much-beloved verse of Scripture outlines the glorious GOSPEL of grace so clearly and simply. It reveals to everyone Jesus Christ died a sacrificial death on the Cross to pay the price for our sin and break its power in our lives. It tells that Jesus was sent of the Father as a glorious expression of the indescribable love of God our Father for us, Listen! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
This astonishing truth was told to Rabbi Nicodemus by Jesus, as He unfolded heavenly truths to this secretive, synagogue leader. He explained the kingdom of heaven was only open to those born of the Spirit, who look in faith to Christ – their Kinsman-Redeemer. He explained when Moses lifted up a brass serpent on a pole in the wilderness to heal all who believed; it was a type of Himself – the Son of Man Who would also be lifted up as the sacrifice for sin – and that ALL who believe on Him would be healed, declared righteous, and live eternally.
God hates sin, hates sin with a passion we cannot understand, and God hates with equal passion this long corrupted world-system, which is blinding the perishing to the glorious GOSPEL of grace and leading many more into a lost eternity. But sin must be punished because God is righteous, and the wage of sin is death. Every member of the human race is a sinner who has fallen short of God’s glory, so all are equally deserving of death – eternal separation from God.
It was God Who purposed that the only way man’s death sentence could be ever reversed was if a perfect, sinless Man was willing to pay the price for sin. But no man was good enough for all are sinners. And so out of love for us, God gave His only begotten Son as the sacrifice for sin and to take the punishment that WE deserve, “so that all who believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
The maximum force of God’s wrath had to be poured out on a sinless member of the human race if the price of sin was to be paid, and God determined before the foundation of the world, that the eternal Son of God would become the sinless Son of Man. He would be born into His own creation and willingly pay the ultimate price for the sin of the world through His substitutionary death.
It was out of an unfathomable love for His creation that God gave His only Son… out of love for fallen humanity who were made in His image… yet who sinned against their Creator God, causing an unbridgeable gulf to be erected between man and his Maker. But in His infinite goodness, grace, mercy, and love, He gave us His beloved Son to live a perfect life and die a sacrificial death – so that all who came to believe in Him will not be condemned but shall live eternally.
The enormity of God’s sacrificial love should never be underestimated. The entire world was condemned to divine judgement because man sinned. God loves sinners with an unequalled passion but cannot look in sin – and so He Who knows the end from the beginning, had predetermined in eternity past to redeem His fallen race by providing a substitute for sin – One perfect Man Who would pay the price of sin and receive the punishment that WE deserve… so that WHOSOEVER believes on Him would not perish but have eternal life. GOSPEL!
The once and for all-time forgiveness of sin, life everlasting, and the gates of heaven itself are flung open wide to whosoever will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for everlasting salvation. There is no need for even one member of the human race to perish, for God’s invitation for salvation is open to ALL (Isaiah 1: 16-20, 2:1-5, 55:1-13) The only condition placed upon man, receive His free gift of salvation and to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ – and you will be saved.
The eternal Son of God set aside His glory and was born into the fallen race of man, to die on Calvary for your sin and mine (Philippians 2:5-11). If you and I were to miraculously travel back to the furthest reaches of the universe, or go back to the beginning of time, there we will find love … for “God is love” …. the most precious treasure in the universe is know the reality of His love – by faith.
Come! Let us ask ourselves, how are we in our following of Jesus? Are we truly enjoying life and salvation in Him? Have we somehow arrived at that moment in time when we have genuinely changed our old ways to the GOSPEL of God?
Do we follow His will heartily just like Jesus who obeyed his Father until his last moment here on earth? Do we bring the gift of ultimate love and salvation unto our families, into our circle of friends, our neighbors, or into our communities?
The Lord has not condemned the world even if the people have disobeyed and displeased Him very much. He has come to save us all and do we believe in this?
During the time of Jesus, a few faithful faith-filled men and women believed in him and followed him. Though we are not always faithful and obedient, God’s mercy is enough for us. It is not of human standards but of God’s. Jesus is God’s best gesture of his love for us for only thru Jesus that we are reconnected to God every time we stumble over our own two feet, falter and fail. Do we truly believe the great love of God to us? Faith is a gift for those who are willing to receive it.
When a person has love, one has salvation. When a person has love, one truly experiences God. When a person has love, one is not condemned but they are saved. When a person has love, one grows in grace and lives in peace. The fact is, God the Father sent his Son, and the Son obeyed so too must we obey to God. When we are sent to love, do we love without conditions and boundaries? When we are sent to share His love, do we share it willingly and joyfully with others?
Let us pray, reflect, and ask ourselves:
Do I believe the GOSPEL of GOD?
Do I believe that Jesus is the only Son of the Father who saves and gives life?
Do I believe that God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are One, “One God” in three persons/characters?
Do I share the Trinitarian love with those who do not know God and to those who had gone away from God?
In the name of God, the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, let us pray,
Almighty and Ever-living God, we thank you for saving and loving us through Jesus your Son, who is our Lord, Savior, and brother. Thank you for giving us a life lived in grace through the blood of Christ. May we not forget your love for us and so we do our part of loving and serving others, friends and strangers. May your saving Word inspire us to take the challenge, task of new evangelization in our much-troubled world today. This we ask through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.