16 “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.”
Greek Textοὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ’ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.
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 he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men 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 his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
For God so loved - This does not mean that God approved the conduct of men, but that he had benevolent feelings toward them, or was "earnestly desirous" of their happiness. God hates wickedness, but he still desires the Happiness of those who are sinful. "He hates the sin, but loves the sinner." A parent may love his child and desire his welfare, and yet be strongly opposed to the conduct of that child. When we approve the conduct of another, this is the love of complacency; when we desire simply their happiness, this is the love of benevolence.
The world (κόσμος kósmos) - All mankind (literally, “something ordered”) - an “ordered system” (like the universe, creation); the world. The English term “cosmetic” is derived from kósmos, i.e. the order (“ensemble”) used of treating the face as a whole.
It does not mean any particular part of the world, but man as man - the race that had rebelled and that deserved to die. See John 6:33; John 17:21. His love for the world, or for all mankind, in giving His Son, was shown by these circumstances:
1. All the world was in ruin, and exposed to the wrath of God.
2. All people were in a hopeless condition.
3. God gave His Only Son. It was a gift - an undeserved gift.
4. He gave Him up to extreme sufferings, even the bitter pains of death on the cross.
5. It was for the entire world. He tasted “death for every man,” Hebrews 2:9. He “died for all,” 2 Corinthians 5:15. “He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world,” 1 John 2:2.
That he gave - It was a free and unmerited gift. Man had no claim and when there was no eye to pity or arm to save, it pleased God to give His Son into the hands of men to die in their stead. It was the movement of His great love, the expression of His compassion that sinners should not perish forever.
This is the highest expression of love of which we can think of. How many parents can give up their only son to die for others? So it shows the depth of the love of God, that He was willing. to give His Only Oegotten Son into the hands of sinful men that He might be slain, and thus redeem them from eternal sorrow.
His Only Begotten Son - μονογενής monogenḗs (from misthōtós, “one-and-only” and génos, “offspring, stock”) – properly, one-and-only; “one of a kind” - literally, “one (monos) of a class, genos” (the only of its kind).
This term is never applied by John to any but Jesus Christ. It is applied by him five times to the Savior, John 1:14, John 1:18; John 3:16, John 3:18; 1 John 4:9. It means literally Jesus is the Only Beloved Son of God the Father and there is no other son in this kind.
Lord Jesus, You are the Only Begotten Son of God and sent by God to take away the sins of the cosmos, the world.
We believe that we will not perish but have eternal life because we believe in You as our Lord and Savior.