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A Life - A Life That Changed the World

A Life That Changed the World

John 3:16-18

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Jesus said, “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10). When I heard my pastor, Rev. Stanley Barnett, preach a sermon on that passage in 1964, it dramatically changed my life and my world for eternity.

When I truly grasped John 3:16, it too was a life changer. To me it said, “For God so loved ME, that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOEVER believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life.” That meant our perfect God sent His perfect Son to die for this imperfect sinner that I might have eternal life. On a hot July night in 1964, I simply told God, “I surrender all I understand of myself to as much of You as I know. You take all of me and change me according to your plans.” He did as I surrendered and asked, AND He is still in the process of revealing Himself to me.

This “One Solitary Life” changed everything…

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in an obscure village. He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty, and then for three years he was an itinerant teacher.

He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never traveled, except in his infancy, more than two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

While he was still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies. He went through a mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth, his seamless robe. When he was dead, he was taken down from the cross and laid in a borrowed grave through the courtesy of a friend.

Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone, and today he is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of all human progress. I am well within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever were built, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has this one solitary personality.

  1. A Perfect Love

    “For God so loved the world…”

    The “philosopher” Charlie Brown in the Peanuts cartoon once told Lucy, “I don’t have any problems with the multitudes; it is just the people that I have problems with.”

    Yes indeed. It is hard to comprehend how God not only tolerates mankind, but also that He was willing to give His only Son to redeem us from our sin.

    Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Just imagine the power of this love.

    Ephesians 2:4-5 says, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us to live together with Christ….” God loved us while we were separated from Him in sin.

    When we stop to think about our limited love and God’s unlimited love, it would seem that every person on the earth would want to receive that love, but not so. Only when we have our hearts convicted and our eyes opened do we begin to believe with our head and our heart.

    Second Thessalonians 2:16-17 says, “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.”

  2. A Perfect Life

    “He gave His only begotten Son…”

    Let’s let Scripture give us an explanation of this Life.

    Romans 8:31-32 says, “If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”

    The apostle declared in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

    John 3:18 affirms, “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

    We read in 1 John 4:9, “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.”

    We can do absolutely nothing to earn the grace and mercy of God, but His sinless Son freely gave all that He was that we might have all that He has.

  3. A Perfect Plan

    “That whoever believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life.”

    Again listen to the great truths of Scripture

    The prophet said in Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans that I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’” It is wonderful to know that God so loved us that He made a perfect plan for us.

    John 3:36 declares, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

    In John 6:40 we read, “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

    In John 11:25-26, we see where Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

    That last question Jesus asked brings conviction: “Do you believe this?”

    Remember “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

    Jesus went to say, “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).

    “Do you believe this?” Your answer will determine your destiny.

Kiely Young

Director, Sunday School Department, MBCB