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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
For God So Loved the World
The greatness of God’s love is measured in terms of its unsearchable riches as well as in terms of its unimaginable reach. The “world” spoken of in verse 16 is the rebellious world of God’s image-bearers. God loved rebels, fools, and idolaters so much that he gave his only Son, Jesus, to redeem them—to actually purchase a pan-national, trans-generational family for himself (Rev. 7:9–10). Everyone the Father gives to Jesus will be saved (John 6:37–40; 10:14–18). There is no other way. There is no greater love.
For John, eternal life is a quality of life before it is a quantity of life. Eternal life is defined in the Bible as knowing God and his Son (17:3)—a sharing of the life and intimacy of the Godhead. It is earthly entry into the everlasting and ever-blessed life of the age to come, the age of the Messiah—the fullness of covenant life. Through Jesus this promised age arrived, and at our rebirth we are ushered into the initial stages of that eternal life. Indeed, the movement from deservedly condemned sinner to perfectly justified believer is instantaneous and complete.
*These devos are taken from Crossway's, ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.