Sunday: Salvation Is a Gift From God

In John 3:16 two verbs are used to describe what God did for our salvation. How do these verbs relate to each other? What do they reveal regarding the origin of our salvation?

Image © Rolf Jansson from

Image © Rolf Jansson from

The English verb to love, especially the casual way it is often used today, is totally inadequate to express the depth of solicitous interest expressed by the Greek verb agapao, to love. In the New Testament, this term and its related noun agape, love, reveal God’s deep and constant love toward His creatures, who are completely unworthy of this love. Love is the preeminent attribute of God’s character. He not only loves us, but He is love (1 John 4:8).

God’s love is not an impulse based on His feelings or preferences. His love is not selective, nor does it depend on what we do. God loves the world, that is, all human beings, including those who do not love Him.

True love is known by the actions it generates. Sometimes as human beings we may say we love someone, while our actions demonstrate the opposite (1 John 3:17-18). The same does not occur with God. His love is reflected in His actions. Out of love, He gave His only begotten Son for our salvation. In so doing, God gave us all He had, which is Himself.

Read Luke 18:9-14. What does this story teach us about what our attitude toward God and His grace should be?

We have probably read this parable so many times that we are not surprised by Jesus’ verdict: I tell you, this man [the tax collector] went down to his house justified rather than the other (Luke 18:14, NKJV). However, those who heard Jesus when he pronounced the verdict must have been astonished. Wasn’t this an unjust outcome?

Yes, it was completely undeserved. That is the way salvation is. It is a gift from God. Gifts are not earned; they are simply accepted. We cannot buy salvation; we can only receive it. Although Jesus never used the term grace, He clearly taught that salvation is by grace, and grace is being given that you don’t deserve.

If God gave you what you deserved, what would it be, and why?



Sunday: Salvation Is a Gift From God — 10 Comments

  1. If God gave me what I deserved, I should be dead. because the wages of sin is death. But my loving heavenly father had mercy on me with His abundant grace. His wish has always been that no one died in his/her sin. Thank U God for giving us, 'extra chances' i e Your Grace.

  2. The mystery of our God, dying to pay the penalty of sin, defines not just how He loved us but His justice that demands that the sinner dies. It is His character and can't be changed. To love the sinner means He sacrifices Himself settling justice. Only Love can bring the sinner to life at the cost of its life.

  3. The thing is we go to church we hear the Word of God, but we do not let it nourish our roots properly, so that there is corresponding growth, our experience can easily degenerate to the level of the Pharisee. We start trusting in our routine and ability. in Luke 18:9-12

  4. Jesus died for us to be saved,therefore salvation is for everyone,but for us to receive this gift of salvation we need to reflect ourselves,to see how worthy we are in the eyes of God,as Romans 6:23 put it clear that the wages of sin is death,but the gift of God is eternal life,now the question comes to us,how can we win this salvation?

    • Hi Jn Chuube,
      I just want to clarify that we don't win salvation; it is a free gift that we accept. I think that the question really is (and probably what you meant): How do we respond to such a free gift?

      Salvation is a gift that needs to be shared.

  5. If there is a verse so central in the entire holy scripture is john 3:16..
    for in here the summary of all that there is and what we ought do to receive the gift
    of salvation so freely given is stated in so clear and simple terms..
    Let every soul give gratitude to The Only Son offered for us as a sacrificial lamb..

  6. God favors, or gives us good things that we do not deserve and could never earn. Anything good that we experience is a result of the grace of God.

    Because of the mercy and grace of God, our response should be to fall on our knees in worship and thanksgiving. Hebrews 4:16 declares, "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

  7. If you read from the book of john 3:16, what we must at first is that in the garden of eden, God condition to Adam was that if adam was to eat the forbiden fruit then he would surely die, and what happened after Adam had eaten the fruit, did he die? No. why? ...God's Agape..! Perfect relationship between human being and God had been ruined and totally broken but God still did not destroy mankind, so when God has desided to renew the broken ties, He presents to us solemly in John, plz mark that no one has compelled to offers us salvation, but it is out the unfathomable love at the same time He is also not forcing us to receive it but He is saying "whosoever believe, shall not perish but have eternal life. A WONDERFUL GIFT OF SALVATION, thank you jesus you are great. happy sabbath saints?

    • I believe there is a death worse than our bodies ceasing; and I believe Adam did die that death. Even though his body was still functioning, his soul was contaminated with sin. As I see it, Eve believed the serpent, and became as cursed as he whom she believed in. Thus, Jesus said that anyone who believes in Him shall inherit life everlasting.

      I also think Adam knew well not to eat, but in taking in the fruit, chose to follow his wife over his Maker; which then caused a switch in his source of existence to the same source his wife went to. I see how their error in their choices severed them from their connection to the source of life, which was God. I also believe that because of the nature they took on when they fell, all hope of returning would be gone, save the work of the cross by the wonderful, kind, generous and loving Savior, Jesus Christ.

      This is how I understand that the only way can be Jesus?

  8. It's only Jesus who died while was innocent. It's therefore we as sinners can be saved and hav life eternally.


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