He Gave His One and Only Son
Andrew Ogea
09/10/17

 

Scriptures: John 3:16; Philippians 2:5-11

 

Sermon Summary:

During the first two weeks of our series we learned about how huge and awesome our God is, and how much he loves the world (everyone, no matter who you are or what you have done). In this sermon, we learn that God loves the world with such intensity that he gave his one and only son. God is one, yet he is three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. And, the truth of the trinity helps us understand how much God gave.

Thus, his gift is special: Jesus is one of a kind, and unique in that he is perfectly God and perfectly human at the same time. God's gift is also selfless. Jesus left the splendor of Heaven; the glory place for the gory place. God's gift is sacrificial. He gave Jesus totally, even to death on a cross to forgive us of our sins. And, finally, God's gift is supreme. God exalted Jesus to the highest place of honor, and every knee will bow and tongue confess that he is Lord. Since God gave so much to provide us with salvation, how much more should we be willing to give our lives to him?

 

Community Group Discussion Questions: 

1. We first learned that God's gift is special. Jesus is one of a kind! He is God's one and only Son, yet he is still God at the same time. Describe your thoughts on the uniqueness of Jesus.

2. Secondly, we learned that God's gift is selfless. He left the splendor of Heaven and humbled himself by becoming a human. Explain your appreciation for God's selflessness. In what ways can you be more selfless in the way that you give to others.

3. Thirdly, we learned that God's gift is sacrificial. The high priests of the Old Testament would sacrifice lambs without defect as a sin offering to the Lord. But, Jesus lived a perfect life and became the perfect lamb who was sacrificed. He became the substitute for our sins once and for all and the scapegoat who took away the sins of the world. Describe your thoughts on the necessity for Jesus to sacrifice his life for us. In what ways can you be more sacrificial in the ways that you love God and others?

4. Finally, we learned that God's gift is supreme. God exalted Jesus to the highest place of honor. He has all authority in Heaven and on earth. Jesus is the center of everything. How is the center of your life? How do you display that to others?

 

Sermon Notes

Good morning everybody. I hope that you are doing well today!  My name is Andrew Ogea and I am the Community Groups Pastor here at Northshore, and I humbled to have the opportunity to share this message from God’s word today. Our pastor, as you have already seen, has returned from his trip to Japan to visit his son, who teaches English there. Next week, he will resume preaching God’s Word.

Today we are going to look at two main passages of Scripture: John 3:16 and Philippians 2. So, if you have your Bibles with you today, you can turn there now. John 3:16 and Philippians 2. 

We are right in the middle of the series, The Gospel Magnified. We are studying the Gospel message that is packed into one verse, John 3:16. If you listen to Christian music, you have probably heard of the band Third Day, and the lead singer Mac Powell says that

I love John 3:16 because it is the gospel in a nutshell. It shares God’s great love for us, and our great need for him.” Mac Powell, Lead Singer of Third Day

So let’s look at the verse once again 

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Now, we are breaking this verse down into its various parts and over the course of five weeks, we are sharing a sermon based on each one. Pastor Jay Victory began the series and preached the past two Sundays. The first Sunday, he preached on “God.” 

God is the Creator of all things: the universe, galaxies, stars, the earth and everything in it, including mankind. God is Omniscient, meaning he is all-knowing. God is Omnipresent meaning he is everywhere. God is Omnipotent meaning he is all powerful. God has always been and always will be. God exists beyond time. And there is so much more!!!

I was speaking with a man in our office after Jay preached the message on God. And he said, I tell you what, that message made me feel really small. I think that is appropriate. God is God, we are not. He is the creator, we are the created. 

Last Sunday, Jay preached on the second part. “So loved the World.” “God, So loved the World.” If you didn’t know this already, the New Testament was originally written in Greek. Much like English is a common language in today’s world, Greek was the same back then. 

Jay taught that there are three words for love in Greek: Eros, Philia, and Agape. Eros is used to describe a passionate desire. It is where we get the word erotic from. Then, Philia is a love or fondness expressed in close relationships. And then, agape, is a word that describes the highest form of love. Agape is the word used for love in this verse. It is the highest, and the greatest form of love.

So, Eros is all take. Philia is give-and-take, but, agape is all give. It is an unconditional giving of love, and there are not conditions to be met for it to continue.It is a love not based on the worthiness of the object but on the character of giver. A love that centers on self would be a fraud. And God is not a fraud. He loved and loves with agape love because that is exactly what he is, love.

But, let’s not forget about the word “so,” which enhances this agape love to a greater level as well. It should not be read, “for God so loved the World” and just gloss over the word so. Emphasis should be put on “so.” For God SOloved the world.” So, this sentence could be read: “God loved the world in such an intense manner.”

This makes me think about my interaction with my children when they were really little. When I would say, “I love you” to my children, sometimes they would ask, “how much?”  I would respond, “I don’t love you a little much.” “I love you SOOO much!”

God loved the world. Everyone. Those who are bad. Those who act good. The church-goer. The gambler. The slanderer. The gossiper. The rich. The poor. The black. The white. The very pale white. The murderer. The thief. The joyful and those with grief.

God loved the world (everyone; you; me) with such intensity that he gave his one and only son. That is what we are going to be talking about today in the third part of this series. What does it mean that God gave his only son? What is the significance of this gift to the world? 

In Philippians 2, there are some verses that really captures the essence of God’s gift and describes in more detail its significance. So, if you would, turn to Philippians 2:5-11.

5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God

 

The Significance of God’s Gift to the World?

  1. Special (Phil. 2:6a)

So, what is the significance of God’s gift to the world? He is special. There is something special about him. I am not even two sentences in, and my brain just exploded. So, our attitudes should be the same as Jesus. Though he was God. Wait a second. John 3:16 says that God gave his only son, but it says here that Jesus, the son, is also God.

I don’t know about you, but I wonder about stuff like this. How does that work? Well, it turns out that if you look more closely at John 3:16 in the original greek language, the word used to describe His Son is monogenēs.

monogenēs - the only one of its kind; unique

Now, you might see two familiar words within this word. The first word is mono,  which is used to form words like monotone or monopoly. And the second word, genes, is where we get the word genetics or genes. So, in most translations, we see the word monogenēs translated as one and only, or only begotten as translated in the King James Version version. 

But, don’t miss the significance of this.  This word means that he is the “only one of his kind.” There is not another like him. It also means that he is incredibly unique because genetic makeup, for he has the same same genetic code as God if you will. I read this quote by Max Lucado this week that says,

“When parents beget or conceive a child, they transfer their DNA to the newborn. Jesus shares God’s DNA. Jesus isn’t begotten in the sense that he began, but in the sense that he and God have the same essence, eternal life span, unending wisdom, and tireless energy. Every quality we attribute to God, we can attribute to Jesus.”

What we are just beginning to scratch the surface on is the Doctrine of the Trinity, or what the Bible says about the Trinity. This truth about God is difficult to grasp, and I don’t want to get too deep into it today, but it so crucial to our understanding. God is the Father, and yet he is the Son as well.  And even more mind boggling is that the Bible teaches that he is God the Spirit!

Pastor Larry preached a message series on the Holy Spirit about three years ago. It is still on our website. If you scroll back far enough you will find it.  In his message on the oneness of God, I believe he did a great job of summarizing the truths of the trinity found in Scripture in this way:

There is only one God, but we know Him in three ways: We know Him as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God the Father took on human flesh and we knew Him as God the Son. 

After Jesus' death and resurrection, He went back to heaven, but He did not leave us alone or without His presence. He gave us His Holy Spirit, so that He could be with us in this world through His Holy Spirit! 

Jesus said it himself in John 14:9, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. The writer of Hebrews agrees, “Christ is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature.” 

Nate Welch is one of our Leadership Team members, and we were speaking of this the other day and he said that one way to view is also through the lens and dynamics of my immediate family. To my family, my name is Drew. They have always called me that. But, I have three distinct roles in my family. 

I am Drew the Daddy, Drew the Son, and Drew the Brother.  I am known in three different ways, but I am still Drew. Now, here is the thing…Every analogy for the Trinity will break down at some point. But, the three basic truths that we find in Scripture regarding the trinity is this:

Foundational Truths of the Trinity

  1. God is three persons; 
  2. Each person is fully God; and
  3. There is One God

So that is all I am going to say about that this morning, but I felt it necessary to cover it to show the significance of the One God who loved the world so very much, and how unique his gift to the world was. God the Father, gave God the Son, Jesus Christ to the world. His gift is one of kind. It is Special. So, what else? What is second? Let’s look at Philippians 2:6-7

 6 Though he was God,[a]

    he did not think of equality with God

    as something to cling to.

7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b];

    he took the humble position of a slave

    and was born as a human being.

And he appeared in human form

 

The Significance of God’s Gift to the World?

  1. Special (Phil. 2:6a)
  2. Selfless (Phil. 2:6b-7) 

God’s gift to the world is selfless. I believe that one of the most difficult things to do as a human being is to give a gift selflessly. The Lord Jesus said, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” And that is a great truth, but it is not easy to implement. Giving a gift without without selfishness is not easy.

One of the best gifts my wife and I ever gave our children when they were smaller was a DVD player for the car. The reason that it was so good is because for the first time in years, we finally had some peace and quiet in the car. It was like a switch had been flipped. No more whining, fighting, screaming. Just quiet. Great gift. 

But it wasn’t really given because we wanted to bless our kids. There were some selfish motivations. I’m sure we are not the only ones who have done something like this. Many times there are selfish reasons behind the gifts that we give. But there is nothing selfish about what God did in giving his Son. Listen to what the Apostle John says about Jesus at the beginning of his Gospel.

John 1:

1 In the beginning the Word already existed.

    The Word was with God,

    and the Word was God.

2 He existed in the beginning with God.

3 God created everything through him,

    and nothing was created except through him.

4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,[a]

    and his life brought light to everyone.

5 The light shines in the darkness,

    and the darkness can never extinguish it.

10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

14 So the Word became human[d] and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.[e] And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

God sent Jesus from the splendor of Heaven. He left Heaven and its perfection, to come to earth, full of imperfection. 

We just read that He made himself nothing. Now, he didn’t lay aside his divinity, but he laid aside his mighty power and glory, and, he humbled himself and was born in the likeness of men. A man did not become God, but the eternal son of God became flesh and came as a man, Jesus Christ. 

He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin in a smelly manger. He was both fully divine and fully human. And he lived among us. Jerry Vines, Pastor Emeritus of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, describes this selflessness in such an awesome way. Listen to this. He says,

“God sent his Son tenderly, wonderfully, and lovingly on a mission. I sometimes imagine that God, knowing mankind would sin and need a Savior, surveyed the farthest reaches of heaven. He looked at the cherubim and and seraphim. None of them would do. He looked at the archangels and angels. None was good enough. 

Then, his Holy gaze fell upon the Son. In the counsels of the Trinity, it was agreed that the Son would come to be the Savior of the world. Imagine how it was when Jesus left heaven. The angels must have cried, “Don’t go down there, Jesus; they will misunderstand and mistreat You.” But down He came. 

As He passed by Jupiter, it said, “Don’t go down there Jesus; they slap will you and beat you.” But down, down He came. As he passed by the sun, the sun cried out, “Don’t go down there, Jesus; they will thrust a spear in your side, crush a crown thorns on your head, and drive nails into Your hands.” But down, down, down He came—all the way from the glory place to the gory place.

God’s gift to the world is special, one of a kind. Secondly, it is selfless, just look at what he left behind. Let’s go once again to our scripture to see the significance of his gift in a third way. Philippians 2:8, says,

8 he humbled himself in obedience to God

    and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

 

The Significance of God’s Gift to the World?

  1. Special (Phil. 2:6a)
  2. Selfless (Phil. 2:6b-7)
  3. Sacrificial (Phil. 2:8) 

God’s gift is sacrificial. Jesus was sacrificed on the cross. God so loved the world he gave his son to the cross. That word used for give in the Greek has a emphasis on totality. God withheld nothing. He gave Jesus totally.

For hundreds of years prior to Jesus’ death, the high priests of Israel would fulfill the law that God gave to Moses, by going into the temple, into the Holy of Holies, and offering the blood of goats to the Lord, so that their sins would be cleansed.

This was called the Day of Atonement. It happened once a year and was intended to deal with the sin problem between God and humanity. One commentary that I read described the day like this: Two goats without defect were chosen; they were therefore fit to represent sinless perfection.

The high priest would take the first one and slaughter the innocent goat, which acted as a substitute for the sinners who rightly deserved a violently bloody death for their many sins. He then sprinkled some of its blood on the mercy seat on top of the Ark of the Covenant inside the Most Holy Place. 

Leviticus 16:15 tells us that the goat was no longer innocent when it took the guilt of sin; it was now a sin offering for the people. As a result, its blood represented life given as payment for sin. The dwelling place of God was thus cleansed of the defilement that resulted from all of the transgressions and sins of the people of Israel, and God’s just and holy wrath was satisfied.

Then, the hight priest, acting as the representative and mediator between the sinful people and their holy God, would take the second goat and lay his hands on the animal while confessing the sings of the people. This goat, called the scapegoat, would then be sent away to run free in the wilderness, symbolically representing the sins of the people being taken away.  

What the High Priest would do on a yearly basis to offer up sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins helps us to see the significance of God’s gift in giving his Son as the sacrifice for the sins of the world. I cannot explain it any better than what is already written in God’s Word. Listen to what Hebrews 10 says,

Hebrews 10:

1 The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. 

2 If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared.

3 But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. 

4 For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

8 First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). 

9 Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 

10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 

12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 

13 There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. 

14 For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.

15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says,

16 “This is the new covenant I will make

    with my people on that day, says the Lord:

I will put my laws in their hearts,

    and I will write them on their minds.”

17 Then he says,

“I will never again remember

    their sins and lawless deeds.”

18 And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.

The Significance of God’s Gift to the World is that His Son, Jesus was the final sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. And no one took his life, God gave his life. God gave him to beatings, so severe that his flesh was ripped of his back by pieces of bone and steel that were attached to end of a whip. When whipped, those pieces could go so deep that even the lungs would be bruised, making it difficult to breathe.

After enduring all of this, he was forced to carry a wooden cross for about a mile, and it was so heavy that his body collapsed under the weight of it, and it crushed him. They had already driven the crown of thorns into his head, and to add insult to injury they pulled his beard out and spit on him, and mocked him.

Then, they laid him on the cross, and they drove nails into his hand, and his feet. They lifted him up and his body hung there in agony for at least six hours before he died. 

God the Son, who from the beginning existed in perfect oneness with God the Father, experienced the brokenness of that fellowship as he took upon himself the sins of the world. Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, was offered up to God the Father as the final sacrifice for our sins. Jesus became the scapegoat that took away the sins of world. As a result, let’s look at Philippians 2:9-11, 

9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor

    and gave him the name above all other names,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,

    to the glory of God the Father.

God’s gift is special, one and only, one of a kind. It is selfless, just left look at what he left behind. It is sacrificial—he gave up his own life for us. And finally, His gift is Supreme. 

The Significance of God’s Gift to the World?

  1. Special (Phil. 2:6a)
  2. Selfless (Phil. 2:6b-7)
  3. Sacrificial (Phil. 2:8)
  4. Supreme (Phil. 2:9-11)

The name above all names, Jesus, means “Yahweh Saves,” or “God saves.” Because Jesus left the splendor of Heaven to come down to earth, and put on flesh to live among us, living a perfect life, to become the perfect and spotless lamb who was sacrificed on the cross for us, it says here that God exalted him. All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus.

And the gospel, or the good news, is that all may know the joy of the kingdom of God which comes in Jesus his Son. But the truth remains, Jesus is Lord, no matter we respond. This passage does not guarantee that everyone will be saved, but it does promise that Jesus is Lord over all, whether you receive God’s gift of salvation through faith that He is Lord, or if you reject him.” 

Pastor Larry is going to be preaching on that aspect of John 3:16 next week, so I don’t want to spoil that, but this is what I want you to hear today: The supremacy of Christ is a reality. Jesus is Supreme over everything—The Kingdom of Heaven, earthly kingdoms, you, and me. He is Lord over all of it. 

And because of what he is done, we have access to a relationship with God. The blood of Christ has provided forgiveness for our sins, and by believing in Him, you will be forgiven. The gift that God selflessly gave us is available to be received. So, salvation is available for those of you here today that have never received that gift, and do not have a relationship with Jesus.

And, for those of you that have already received God’s gift of salvation, I believe that we have a challenge from God today. It was the first verse that we read in our scripture today. Philippians 2:5: 

5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Jesus is God’s gift to the World. Jesus is special. He is one of kind. Are you getting to know him on a daily basis? We spend time with those who are special to us. Is Jesus that special to you? 

Jesus is selfless. He left the comfort of Heaven for you. Maybe God is calling some of you to leave something comfortable to show people the love of Christ. 

Jesus is sacrificial. He gave his life for you. Maybe God is calling some of you to sacrifice something in obedience to him, to put to death something in your life that is hindering you from following him.

Jesus is supreme. Is he the center of your life? Does everything in your life revolve around him? At his name, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he is Lord. Is that a reflection of your relationship with him right now?

For God loved the world SO much that he gave his one and only son. Will you give your life to him. Let’s pray.