The Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday)
A Summary of the Whole Gospel
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” John 3:16
This Scripture passage from John’s Gospel is a familiar one. Oftentimes, at large public events such as sports games, we can find someone holding up a sign that says, “John 3:16.” The reason for this is that this passage offers a simple but clear summary of the entire Gospel.
There are four basic truths that we can take from this Scripture. Let’s look at each of them in a brief way.
First, it’s made clear that the Father in Heaven loves us. We know this, but we will never fully comprehend the depth of this truth. God the Father loves us with a profound and perfect love. It’s a love that is deeper than anything else we could ever experience in life. His love is perfect.
Second, the Father’s love was made manifest by the gift of His Son Jesus. It is a profound act of love for the Father to give us His Son. The Son meant everything to the Father, and the gift of the Son to us means that the Father gives us everything. He gives His very life to us in the Person of Jesus.
Third, the only appropriate response we can make to such a gift is faith. We must believe in the transforming power of accepting the Son into our lives. We must see this gift as a gift that gives us all we need. We must accept the Son into our lives by believing in His mission and giving our lives to Him in return.
Fourth, the result of receiving Him and giving our lives in return is that we are saved. We will not perish in our sin; rather, we will be given eternal life. There is no other way to salvation than through the Son. We must know, believe, accept and embrace this truth.
Reflect, today, upon this summary of the entire Gospel. Read it over and over and memorize it. Savor every word and know that in embracing this short passage of Scripture, you are embracing the entire truth of God.
Father in Heaven, I thank You for the perfect gift of Christ Jesus, Your Son. By giving Jesus to us, You give us Your very Heart and Soul. May I be open to You more fully and to the perfect gift of Jesus in my life. I believe in You, my God. Please increase my faith and love. Jesus, I trust in You.
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