We may never fully understand the depth of our Heavenly Father’s love for us, but as we think about the sacrifice of our Savior, we come a bit closer.
(This article comes from a new missionary website. Please visit www.gospelideals.org)
Perhaps the most well-known and oft-quoted verse in the Bible is this: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son that whoso believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Why is this verse so familiar to us? Why do we see “John 3:16” on billboards, bumper stickers, and on some fast-food bags?
This verse encapsulates, in just one sentence, the major aspects of the gospel of Jesus Christ: Love, sacrifice, faith, the Atonement, eternal life. If I were to point a person to just one scripture to explain what Christianity is all about, this is the scripture I would choose.
In addition, this verse strikes a chord deep within us. “For God so loved the world …” tells us that we are each part of the world, you and I, our children, our neighbors. This verse gives us a connection with God. It conveys to us the message that we are important to Him, that we matter, that His feelings for us are deep and fatherly. He is not a dispassionate god, devoid of feeling and impersonal. He loves us.
How Much Does God Love Us?
God loves us so much that He sacrificed His child for us. He sent Jesus Christ to act as our Savior because of that deep love, and because we are His children too. As we think about the love we have for our own children, can we imagine the anguish God must have experienced, knowing what Christ would suffer? And yet, because of His great love for all His children, He allowed it so we might all be given the chance to repent and return to live with Him.
What Is Our Part?
God did His part in securing our ability to repent by providing a Savior. Jesus Christ did His part by willingly submitting to the will of the Father. We do our part by believing in Him, as outlined in John 3:16. As we believe in Him, we will receive blessings beyond anything we can imagine on this earth.
How Are We Blessed?
We conclude the verse of John 3:16 with, “should not perish, but have everlasting life.” What greater gift could our Heavenly Father give us than that of eternal life? There is no gift greater, and He makes it available to us because of His supernal love for us. He desires to give us all that He hath (D&C 84.38), and this is possible because of the sacrifice of His Son.
For God So Loved the World …
Whenever we start to doubt our self-worth or feel that we are nothing to God, let us pull out this scripture and read it over carefully. God would not have sacrificed Christ if it were not for a very good reason, and that reason was us-you and me. The love our Heavenly Father has for us is beyond our ability to comprehend and our ability to repay, and yet He wants to keep guiding us and blessing us eternally.
Do you love missionary work? Take a look at our dynamic new website for Internet missionary work: www.gospelideals.org. Here are some ways you can help this Internet missionary project:
- Write. If you have writing or editing skills (or other talents), contact our managing editor, Tristi Pinkston: firstname.lastname@example.org”
- Tell your friends and family about Gospel Ideals: www.gospelideals.org.
- Non-members. If you have a non-member friend, send them an article to help answer his/her question.
- Submit your conversion story to Tristi Pinkston (email@example.com“) to be included in “Why I’m a Mormon.”
- Submit entries to the Blog about your everyday Mormon life and experiences. Contact Tristi.
Become part of the Internet missionary movement!
Here are articles we published this week:
- <a href="http://www.
<hr class=’system-pagebreak’ /><hr class=’system-pagebreak’ />gospelideals.org/life-after-death” target=”_blank”>
Larry Barkdull, president
Tristi Pinkston is the author of fourteen books and is the managing editor for Gospel Ideals. You can learn more about her by visiting her website at www.tristipinkston.com