It’s the Greatest

Yesterday morning I was privileged to preach twice at Gateway Community Church in Wylie, Texas. This is an exciting, fast-growing fellowship. As always, I shared the great message of the gospel and pointed the congregation to the Great Commission to get the gospel to every person and make disciples of every nation. God’s great love story assures us that all people, no matter their status, are of infinite worth. People are so valuable that heaven dispatched its greatest Prize to bring God’s rebellious creation eternally home.  John 3:16 is rightly termed “the heart of the Bible.”  Luther called it “the gospel in miniature.” I love the way John 3:16 begins in the Amplified Version: “For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten Son . . .”  Isn’t that beautiful?

In his book The Joshua Code O. S. Hawkins shares a good way to unpack this good news:

God – the greatest lover

So loved – the greatest degree

The world – the greatest number

That He gave – the greatest act

His only begotten Son – the greatest gift

That whoever – the greatest opportunity

Believes – the greatest simplicity

In Him – the greatest attraction

Should not perish – the greatest promise

But – the greatest difference

Have – the greatest certainty

Everlasting life – the greatest possession

John 3:16 may be “the gospel in miniature” but it is massive in scope. Embracing this good news changes everything. “All things become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).