I’m going to start a series of expositions on famous verses – so, let’s start with that well-known passage: John ch.3 v.16 – so familiar that we might overlook some of the detail. It’s time to look at it with fresh eyes.

It starts off with “For God” – this makes sense. God is the source of all creation, so he should be at the forefront – the prime mover in our salvation. It is after all, His idea, His plan.

Our transformation from sinful failure to righteous co-heirs with Christ is not a happy accident, not a consolation prize for being part of Plan-B after God’s original idea falls apart in Eden, not even something we can boast of as an achievement of our own.

God is sovereign, and we would do well to remember it. He is not here as our servant, to provide all our wants and make our life conveniently easy. Quite the reverse. we are here to serve Him – whether we like it or not, whether we realise the significance of what we do. He works through us, through our circumstances and through those around us to achieve what He wants.

We can choose to enter willingly into partnership with Him – but He even supplies the faith and power for us to do that. He owes us nothing and has the right to demand everything from us. Yet, He shows infinte patience and tolerance as we grow in the shadow of His grace.

To top it all – far from promising us a life of ease. He warns us in advance that His intervention in our lives complicates things. By setting us apart as participants in the solution to the world’s problems, he propels us into division, opposition, persecution. We are in conflict with the flow of a world that neither knows nor cares for the purpose of its creator. Yet we can stand with a calm assurance that He will not forsake us, for He has not forsaken His creation – that is why this passage starts with Him – not our problems, not our potential, not even our purpose.