“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” vs. 16
This often memorized, regularly quoted verse contains what many believe to be the core of the gospel message. It speaks clearly of God’s inclusive love and the revelation of that love in the person of Jesus. No one is left out of the picture…there are no “un-lovables” mentioned or designated. What is described here is the wildly expansive love of God for the entire sinful world. And to make things even better, the gospel writer has attached a promise. Everyone who believes will have eternal life, a blessed relationship with God that begins now and continues beyond death. Now there may be some who wonder why belief would be necessary to get eternal life. Why not just everyone with no strings attached? It’s a good question, one not easily answered except to say that a connection to God in this life can never happen where there is no faith. After death, we can hope that God will give life to all…that would seem to be consistent with unmerited, universal grace. But for life now, there’s just no getting around the need for faith. It’s as we trust God in the here and now that we find the peace and serenity that we crave. Through faith in the risen Christ we gain access to all the gifts God has for us and all the treasure of the kingdom becomes ours.
Thought for the Day: Why do we need faith to connect with God?