It's Really True
God so loved you and every other person that He gave His one and only Son (John 3:16). But what does that mean? It doesn't just mean God wanted the world to know how much He loves people. It's more than that. It doesn't just mean He felt the need to impart His wisdom. It's more than that. There are likely other ideas about who Jesus is and why He came. But nothing could be more important than to get this right. God loves you so much that He sacrificed the life of His Son to purchase your salvation.
This salvation is necessary because we are all sinners (Romans 3:23). Because God is holy He must punish sin. What is meant by God’s holiness is that He is righteous and He is devoted to righteousness in His creation. He will not make any excuses for any of us. Because God is holy He will not allow sin, or sinners, into His heaven. He must exact the right penalty for our sin. The just penalty from a holy God for our sin is death and hell (Romans 6:23). We are in no position to disagree or argue with Him. So how can we, who are not suited for it, ever get into heaven? God must deal with the sin problem.
This is where John 3:16 comes into focus. God is holy, but He is also love. He want's you in heaven but you are a sinner. This is a delemma God solves through the cross. He cannot just wink and let our sin go unanswered for that would be evidence that He is not holy. So God is holy and God is love. The cross is the instrument of God for the sacrifice of the His Son’s life to provide us a way out of the just penalty for our sins and into the favor and blessing of God. Jesus went to the cross to pay our death penalty for sin that only we deserve to pay. But God put His Son on the cross and our sin on Him so that He would die in punishment for our sins. Not His sins, for He had none. He took our sins upon Himself there on that cross. He became our sin substitute. God solves the dilemma (2Corinthians 5:21). Our sins are punished to satisfy God’s justice and we can go to heaven as those who have had their case dismissed by God Himself.
This leads to the miracle of Christ’s resurrection. The hope of salvation hinges on Christ’s own victory over death. If He went to His death without conquering it His work of salvation would have been a failure. But Christ has risen, and we are guaranteed to follow Him in resurrection life if we believe in Him (1Corinthians 15:20). Jesus paid it all on the cross. God’s requirement for the payment of sin was met there entirely by Him.
Our loving God offers salvation from sin and entrance into heaven as a free gift. We acknowledge our need for Jesus and His work of salvation and accept freely what Jesus did there on the cross by faith. Faith is the spiritual hand that receives the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. So God’s great love is magnified in the context of His uncompromising holiness. This only shows how great a love God has for us! The cross is actually the greatest demonstration of love and mercy the world has ever seen. Salvation is free. It cost God the best He had. Now we can accept the free gift having our sin problem already taken care of on the cross. A gift cannot be earned. There is no hidden fine print. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved (Acts 16:31). It's your gift from God because He so loves you. Will you accept God’s indescribable gift? (2 Corinthians 9:15)