The Gospel in a Nutshell
The basic thing we need to know about God's love for us.
A Bible and a nut shell. (A walnut that can be separated in half and the meat removed is ideal.)
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. John 3:16 (NIV)
Suppose that you wanted to tell your best friend about God's love. What would you say? Everything you need to know about God's love is in the Bible. You could take your Bible and go to your friend's house and read about God's love from the Bible. Let's see, what should you read? The Bible is divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament, sixty-six books, 1189 chapters, and 31,173 verses. That is a little bit scary isn't it? It would be easy to for you to get lost and confused. What if we could shrink the message of God's love down so small that it could fit inside this nutshell? That would be great, wouldn't it? Well, I think we can do that this morning.
I did a search on my computer for the top 10 verses in the Bible. I searched for the top ten verses that people know, love, and read the most often. Can you guess what the number one verse is? John 3:16! How many of you can say that verse with me? "For God so loved the world that he have his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." That is good news, isn't it? That is everything you need to know about God's love. Now let's take a closer look at what this verse tells us.
Who is this verse about? - God
What does God do? - loves
Who does God love? - the world (that includes you and me)
What did God do to show his love? - gave his one and only Son
What must we do in return? - believe that Jesus is the Son of God
What is our reward? - eternal life
The Bible is full of the promises of God's love. You and I should be ready to share those promises with our friends. We should read our Bible daily and study to learn more about it, but when it comes time to share God's love, remember the "Gospel in a Nutshell" that we studied this morning. It is a message that the whole world needs to hear. "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son."
Our Father, we thank you for your love — a love so great that you gave your one and only Son so that we could have eternal life. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.