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. (John 3:16).Imagine this:
A guest preacher is introduced in your church. He mounts the pulpit. He does all the usual pleasantries, announces his theme; then asks everyone to turn to John 3:16. Most probably, there would be three responses: One group of persons would not refer; because they are familiar with the text and can recite it from memory with ease.
Others, still with an attitude of familiarity, will develop apathy towards the preacher: "what has he got to say?". The third response, would be like the second; but apathy would be replaced with fervour: "what has he got to say?"
Again, still with familiarity to the text in mind, try hard to imagine how a child who has spent enough time in a Sunday school class would recite John 3:16. It might go like this(the breaks indicates the sloppiness of child-like speech): 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.
In its familiarity and imagined child-like reading lies what I will describe as the core and heart of Christian doctrine. In John 3:16, we find a breathtaking synopsis of the entire gospel. If we split these words of Jesus, we will be staring at a stockpile of biblical truth: "God"..." "love" "the world"..."gave"..."only begotten son"..."believe"..."not perish"..."eternal life". In subsequent posts, I will attempt to tackle this text from a four point approach :
1: The relationship between God and the world
2: God's greatest gift
4: Eternal Life