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John 3:16

The Heart of the Gospel

Luther called John 3:16 “the heart of the Bible—the Gospel in miniature.” It’s so simple a child can understand it; yet it condenses the deep and marvelous truths of redemption into these few pungent words:

  • “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 whosoever”..The greatest invitation
  • “Believeth”...The greatest simplicity
  • “In Him”...The greatest Person
  • “Should not perish”..The greatest deliverance
  • “But”....The greatest difference
  • “Have”....The greatest certainty
  • “Everlasting Life”..The greatest possession

Source unknown

Fort Hancock

Fort Hancock is on the farthest tip of Sandy Hook, which reaches out into the Atlantic on the New Jersey coast. During World War II it was a military training center. A civilian of the area was eager to bring the good news of Christ to the thousands of young men stationed there. The military authorities would not permit him to enter in person. Not to be denied, he asked a firm that specialized in novelties to make several thousand mirrors about three inches in diameter. On the back of each mirror he had printed the words of John 3:16. Beneath these words he had this direction, “If you want to see who it is that God loves, look on the other side.” As each soldier looked at himself he saw the person whom God loved.

Arthur Tonne, Source unknown

As a group of college students toured the slums of a city, one of the girls, seeing a little girl playing in the dirt, asked a guide, “Why doesn’t her mother clean her up?”

“Madam,” he replied, “that girl’s mother probably loves her, but she doesn’t hate dirt. You hate dirt, but you don’t love her enough to go down there and clean her up. Until hate for dirt and love for that child are in the same person, that little girl is likely to remain as she is.”

Source unknown