16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16
For God So Loved the Cosmos?
by John French
If there was one Bible verse you would want everyone to know, what would it be? More than likely you thought of John 3:16. We find this verse everywhere—written on bumper stickers, held up behind the goalposts at football games, and woven into country music songs. It is considered to be the gospel in a nutshell, capturing God’s heart for His whole creation.
This verse took on new meaning for me when I studied the word “world,” which is translated from the Greek word kosmos. It’s a word that literally means the universe or all that exists. It is not that God so loved just us or even just our planet. Rather, God loved the cosmos, including the sun, the stars, and all of the galaxies.
Before the fall, God declared all of His creation to be “very good.” But Paul says in Romans 8:22 that after the fall, all creation groans. The good news in John 3:17 is that God did not send His Son into the cosmos to condemn the cosmos, but rather that the cosmos might be redeemed through Him. He loved it all so much that He sent Jesus to one day bring healing and restoration to all things!
At a practical level, if God loves all His creation—which He does—then we are called as His children to be good stewards of that creation. All of the disorder and destruction we see is a result of our sin. Our decision to turn away from God was essentially cosmic treason, resulting not only in human destructiveness like wars and pollution, but also natural disasters as well.
Ultimately, God’s end game is the redemption of all things. We have hope, because we know Christ is coming back, and when He does, He will make all things new (Rev. 21:1-8). He not only will redeem all creation, He is coming to live with us forever!
So it’s good that we see John 3:16 everywhere. It reminds us that despite our sin and the disorder it has caused, God loved us so much that He sent His only Son, and whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
- How often do you dwell on John 3:16?
- How can you be a better steward of what God has entrusted you with?
- How does knowing God will redeem all things encourage you?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.