For God So Loved The World
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 8.5 inches
- Pages: 8
- Version: KJV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the KJV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
The word gospel means good news. The message of who Jesus is and what he accomplished has been told to people across the world since Jesus’ time on earth. At the heart of this good news is a message of profound love, and God has been using this message to change lives since the day it was first preached.
What exactly is this good news?
Before we talk about the good news of Jesus Christ, we must first start with some serious and sobering news about who we are and what we’ve done.
The Bible (God’s word) says:
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” Romans 3:10
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
The Bible is clear. None of us are righteous and we have all sinned. We’ve all done things that are wrong.
So, we’ve all sinned; what does that mean in the grand scheme of things?
That’s a really good question. To understand what our sin means in the grand scheme of things, we have to understand a little bit about who God is.
God is uncreated. He has always just been in existence.
“Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Psalm 90:1-2
Though this is a bit of a mind-bender, we don’t have to understand every nuance of this. We can, however, understand the concept of one who is uncreated … and we can believe that.
God is perfect.
“To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” Psalm 92:15
“For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness, neither shall evil dwell with thee.” Psalm 5:4
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48
God has never sinned. God has never had a wrong thought and has never acted in a wrong way toward anybody … ever! He is perfect. He is never weak and cannot even be tempted to do wrong.
“… for God cannot be tempted with evil, … ” James 1:13
This awesome description of God is what the Bible refers to as holy. God is holy. He is set apart. No one is like him. He alone stands in sinless perfection.
Now that we understand that God is perfect, that he is holy, we can get back to our question … we’ve all sinned, so what does that mean in the grand scheme of things?
We deserve punishment for our sins.
Just like it would be unjust for a judge to let a murderer go free without punishment, so it would be unjust for God to turn a blind eye to our sin.
“For the wages of sin is death;” Romans 6:23
We deserve to die because of our sins.
Furthermore, God has said that because of our sin, his wrath is coming.
“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” Ephesians 5:6
And if our name is not found written in God’s book of life, we will be cast into the lake of fire for eternity because of our sin.
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15
That’s heavy. That is not good, but fearful news.
So, in summary, we have learned that the Bible teaches that everyone on earth has sinned, that no one is righteous and that God is perfect. In addition, we learned that our sin deserves punishment and God will not turn a blind eye toward sin. Sin must be punished. These are the very serious and sobering truths about who we are and what we have done. If things were to stop here, there wouldn’t be any good news at all.
But at the beginning of this pamphlet we learned that the word gospel means good news and that Jesus did indeed bring good news. Let’s get to it and learn exactly what this good news is!
What is the good news?
The good news is this: God loves us with a love so great, he made a way of escape from the punishment our sins deserve! This way of escape is referred to as salvation.
“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.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:16-17
The word so in the above is not there by accident. It’s there to provide the necessary emphasis God wanted that verse to have. God didn’t just love the world, he so loved the world. With great love, God came to rescue us from the judgment our sin deserves, and give us eternal life.
Remember how much God hates our sin (yours and mine)? That was some heavy stuff. In the light of God’s holiness and hate for sin, consider the greatness of his love in the following verses:
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8
Though God hates sin, he showed his love for us while we were sinners. While we were sinners, he sent Jesus to die for us (more on this soon). What great love!
Jesus’ death satisfied God’s righteous anger.
As people, oftentimes our anger is not justified. We get excessively angry or we get angry when we shouldn’t. God’s anger against sin is just. It is the right response to your sin (and mine). Remember who God is? He is uncreated, all-powerful and holy. He stands alone in sinless perfection. God will not let sin go. Sin must be punished.
God sent Jesus to be punished for us.
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:5-6
The chastisement (punishment) that brings peace for our soul was upon Jesus. God put all our iniquity on Jesus when he was put to death on the cross.
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10
To propitiate means to appease one who is offended and render him favorable. Take a minute and let the verse above sink in. Sin was punished. God’s righteous anger was satisfied. Salvation has now been accomplished!
You might be saying I’m not sure I get it. God punished Jesus and I get off free? That doesn’t seem fair! That doesn’t seem right! You’re right. It isn’t fair. I’ll tell you what it is though … it’s the mercy of a loving God who wants to be in a relationship with us and doesn’t want to see us suffer for our sins. It’s the gospel of Jesus Christ!
How do we receive salvation?
The salvation of God is free. There are no strings attached. God is rich and powerful. He is the Creator and accomplished salvation single-handedly and doesn’t need our help. The truth is, we have nothing to offer him anyway that could have helped him to accomplish salvation for mankind.
Remember how John 3:16 says, “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.” According to that verse, what do you have to do to be saved?
The answer is believe. We only have to believe on Jesus—who he is and what he has done.
Take a look at these verses:
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
The word grace means rich kindness or unmerited kindness. This type of kindness is given not because we deserve it, but because the one who is giving it is generous.
So we see in Ephesians 2:8-9 that we are saved by God’s grace through faith and not works. Salvation is a free gift from God that cannot be earned—it can only be received, and that by faith.
Let’s look at a few more verses to drive this point home.
“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; … ” 1 John 5:1
Christ is the Greek word for anointed one. Anointed means to be “set apart or prepared for a special purpose.” God anointed Jesus to be the Savior of the world, the one who would redeem sinners from their broken fellowship with God. There weren’t two anointed ones or three anointed ones. There was only one anointed one, only one Christ, and he was anointed to come into the world. He became a human being, lived a sinless life and died for sins he didn’t commit to redeem us to God. Jesus is the one who was set apart to do just this. Jesus is the Christ.
In the book of Acts, Paul and Silas were in jail for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. God did a mighty miracle that night and shook the prison so hard the jail doors came open. The keeper of the prison was afraid and thought the prisoners were going to escape. It’s a good story, you can read the rest of it later. The key part I want to point out to you is that the jailer wanted to know how to be saved.
“And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:30-31
We see here in Acts as we saw in John 3 and Ephesians 2, that we are saved by belief (faith), specifically, believing on Jesus Christ.
And what does it mean to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?
It means to believe who he is and what he did. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. He was sent into the world to be punished for our sins so that we could be forgiven and saved from the punishment our sin deserves. And all this because God has great love for us (for you)!
So now what?
If you believe the Scriptures regarding the gospel of Jesus Christ, God promises that you ARE forgiven, that you ARE saved! Praise the Lord!
Enjoy the grace of God. Get yourself a King James Bible and begin reading it. I suggest starting with the gospel of John followed by the book of Romans, but I trust that God will direct your steps. Ask God to help you find a Bible-believing church near you.