God So Loved

This originally appeared as an email delivered on
Saturday, September 16th, 2023.

“For God so loved the world…”

Though in a different dispensational context than today, John 3:16 is one of the most popular statements in the Bible speaking of God’s love.

It is also popular to misread the verse to say that God loved the world “so much” as to express how much love God has of the world.

This reading produces the wrong idea that God would never condemn, judge, or reject any sinner due to their sin because God loves them too much.

Not only is this a gross and unholy misinterpretation, but it also creates a contradiction with this verse:

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” – 1 John 2:15

If loving the world is not the love of the Father, then how did God so love the world in John 3:16?

“God so loved” is not explaining how much God loves the world, but that God loved the world “in this way”, “in this manner”, or “just like so”.

In what way did God love the world?

God loved the world by sending his only begotten Son into the world that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16-17).

His love was not of the world in its sin. His love was manifest in his purpose through Christ to save the world from sin.

God so loved the world.

God does not love the world like men love the world: by accepting men in their sin. John 3:16 explains what God did to love the world.

To understand the great depths of what God did in love, you must read the mystery of Christ revealed within Paul’s epistles (e.g., Romans 5, Ephesians 3).

For the love of God,

Justin “just so” Johnson

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