The Love of God in Christ Jesus Our Lord

1. Even though John chapter three is about the new birth, the death of Christ is still the main thing in 3:14-17. And this is because God’s love for the world of the elect is defined by God’s love.

I John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Romans 5:8 God shows us His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us

John 10:13-15 the hired man cares nothing for the sheep…I lay down my life for the sheep

2. The result of Christ’s death is new birth and also justification. There is no word “justification” in John chapter 3, but two words point to the idea of justification. Eternal life in v16 is about a verdict, not about an ability given to believe.

The other word pointing to justification in verse 17 is “saved”; I take this as about justification because in context of the verse it’s the opposite of “condemned”, not the opposite of “corrupt” or “unable to believe”

God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world would be saved though Him (Christ, not the Holy Spirit)

We can over-react the confusion of new birth and justification by saying that the new birth is not the gospel. I don’t want to over-react. The new birth is part of the gospel, one of the blessings promised by the Son in the gospel.

Regeneration is not only how we come to believe the gospel. It’s self-involving; how the elect come to believe the gospel is in the gospel itself. So is “Christ in you, the hope of glory”.

But the new birth by the Spirit and the indwelling of Christ is not all the gospel. The first and main thing about the gospel is Christ’s death and then justification by that.

To give one analogy. Is election part of the gospel? Some would say no, it’s only what causes you to believe the gospel. But that is wrong. Because election is not only the decree that the Son will give the Spirit to some to believe. Election is that those in Christ were not chosen apart from Christ’s death which is God’s love. Again, it’s self involving: without telling them who is elect, the gospel the elect come to hear talks about Christ’s death for the elect.

Remember the end of Romans 8?—“nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I’m shouting. I’m tired but happy.
Did you hear what Jesus said to me:

your sins are all taken away
all
taken away
all taken away
all my sins

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