Thursday, September 8, 2011

NO GREATER LOVE- What John 3:16 looks like

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
~ John 3: 16
"For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." ~ Romans 5: 6-10

Who exactly did Christ die for on the Cross? Before you answer that question, you must first consider what actually took place on the Cross. Did Christ's death actually atone for the sins of every single person or did it simply make salvation possible for all men? If infact the wrath of God was poured out on His Son for all people, then why is there a hell? If the Cross only represents a potential redemption, then in order to receive the free gift of salvation, one must 'do' something to earn it. Since we know that salvation is not the result of our good works, then we are left with only one thing: Christ's death on the Cross actually accomplished something; He actually paid for the sins of people.
Those who will be saved.

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." ~ John 15: 13

"...even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep." ~ John 10: 15 

"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."
~ Matthew 26: 28

While the sacrifice Christ made was in some sense intended for all men (the whole world),
His blood was not shed in vain; Not a drop was wasted. All whom the Father has given the Son will be saved.

"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." ~ John 6: 37

"...and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified."~ Romans 8: 30

Those references in scripture to "all" or "the whole world" with regard to God's love demonstrated through Christ's death on the Cross are best understood to mean 'many' and not specifically that every single person ever born will be saved. The "whole world" refers to the children of God scattered throughout the whole world. From every people group throughout time will be those who are saved.
All of mankind, even those who reject Christ as Lord & Savior, have benefited from the effects of the Cross in some ways. Through God's immeasuable mercy, He has temporarily withheld His wrath and the instant consequence of sin; death. Both the saved and the unsaved enjoy the goodness of God's mercy. From the air we breath to the simple pleasures in life, all of it comes from a loving God who desires that none perish. Salvation is available to all & there is nothing we can do to earn it.

Believe. Repent. Trust.

One Way:  Jesus Christ.


For a more detailed explanation of Atonement and what took place on the Cross, check out John Piper's article,