John 3:16 is the decree of the Gospel proclaimed by Jesus Christ. It is so simple even a child could grasp it. So, what is the Gospel? Well, the Gospel is summarized into three suppositions: (a) God is holy (b) We are sinful (c) He (Jesus) alone is our substitute.
The first supposition one must know is that God is the ultimate, the Arche, the Aseity. He created the world and all things in it for His glory, and humans were of His image, the Imago Dei. Apart from God, man is nothing. In Psalm 19:1, David writes, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” The second thing to understand is that man is a sinful being. In the beginning, God established a covenant with Adam, to be fruitful and multiply, to dominate the creatures, but to not eat of the Tree of Good and Evil. Adam failed to keep the covenant with God, plunging his prosperity into sin, leaving man hopeless, lost, and under the wrath of God. With that said, the third and last supposition is that, in mercy, God has provided a substitute which is Christ. He came to overcome the curse and to undo what Adam did and he did what Adam failed to do. Through His passive and active obedience, Christ accomplished the work of redemption on our behalf. He took upon Himself our sin and gave us His righteousness. He is the ultimate sacrifice, the lamb of God. Through repentance and faith in Christ alone, man was given salvation. Man’s faith is justified by the propositions and the truths of the Gospel (notitia), mental assent and affirmation of those propositions (assensus), and an entire trust in those propositions and in the Person of Christ, who is at the center of the Gospel (fiducia).
John 3:16 is the embodiment of the Christian faith, but the second verse, verse seventeen, is just as important, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” All those in Christ are appointed His ambassadors, apologists, to proclaim the good news of the Gospel, to proclaim that God is making all things new, and to proclaim that God is all in all.
Gianna Turner is a student attending Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida. Gianna graduated last year from Alpine Christian School in west Texas with a passion for knowing more about theology and Scripture. She attended a Christian Counseling Conference in 2021 and discovered her purpose in life is to work with children and help them with childhood trauma and their development. She writes for Warriors for God in her free-time and shares her college papers in order to lend her college wisdom to our readers.