Touchdown (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

John 3:16 is a verse of Scripture sometimes seen held up by fans seated behind the goalpost at football games and other sporting events, though less often in recent times, as it appears that God is slowly being kicked out of our stadiums, too. Thankfully, there is no power on earth that can maneuver a trick play and cause penalties that could expel God and His Son from our heart’s foundation or separate us from their heavenly love for us (Romans 8:37-39). “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4). I titled this Bible study “Touchdown” because John 3:16 is the greatest and loveliest event that has ever happened in the world.

John 3:16:
For God so loved the world {i.e., the people in the world}, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Our goal is heaven; our final destiny is to be with God to enjoy our everlasting life in the end zone of heavenly pastures, where we will play and run on heavenly turf, as there are no losers on God’s team! God has given eternal life to us who believe in the completed work of His Son, Jesus Christ who while on the front line, down in the trenches, died for our sins, and made our reception of eternity a reality in the world’s stadium.

John 3:17:
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him {through the accomplishments and completed work of Jesus Christ} might be saved.

God in love gave His Son, and in turn, His Son by his own free will was not only willing, but indeed did give his life for you and for me. It was Jesus himself who knew that it would take the love of God within himself to accomplish the task before him to secure our salvation. When we confess and believe in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, we will score the everlasting life that God passed to us through His Son. This was not a Hail Mary pass, and not a blind, shot in the dark, but with perfect execution of the game plan of life, as God, “called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (I Peter 2:9).

Romans 10:9-10:
-9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
-10: For with the heart man believeth unto {God’s very own} righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto {your very own} salvation.

The resurrection of Jesus literally kicked off a new age wherein anyone on earth can come down from the stands as mere spectators to actually participate and enjoy the celebration of our reception of victorious salvation. When we believe in the resurrection and confess Jesus as our Lord, we become team members (on God’s team) who have received the greatest reception of all time — our salvation! Jesus Christ is the world’s hope; he is the thread who connects our hearts to our heavenly Father’s love and His offer of salvation which is a walk-on invitation for one and all to be on God’s team and score eternity.

Coming to know the prophesied (game) plan of our redemption, and learning how Jesus Christ, the Captain of our salvation, fulfilled the Scriptures for our redemption is an awesome daily adventure, as he strengthens our desires to be successful in the arena of life.

I John 4:10-12:
-10: Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation {the filled payment} for our sins.
-11: Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
-12: No man hath seen God at any time. {But} If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

From these verses, we see the depths of God’s love for us, that He always has loved us even before we ever gave Him a thought, before we were born or took our seat in the stadium of life, for God, “hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). In God’s eyes we were all first round draft picks, and scouted before the world began. We may enjoy the truth in the game plan of the ages, that God has not only — always loved us, but now He wants us to share His love by handing off His love to one another so that we may all share in the glory of His victorious love (John 17:20-26). II Thessalonians 2:13 reads “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation.” The timing of God’s unending love for us was from before the foundation of the world, and from the beginning, so He had a long wait for us to come around and accept the eternal truth that we are worthy to be so loved by His Excellency!

The absolute proof of God’s love for us was that He sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. This is the basis for encouraging us with the awesome privilege to return His love to Him in the true running game of life by handing off His love to one another. Today we are in the trenches, down on the front lines, facing the offences of darkness, hopelessness, and despair, and there we are encouraged to stand our ground and advance God’s love by fending off, blocking, and taking down the darkness with the light of love in our hearts. We may become athletes of the spirit, wherein we can “quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (Ephesians 6:16). We may huddle up with our heavenly Father in our prayer life and receive a game plan for each day and enjoy daily victories as God protects our blindside. We have been called to be defenders of the faith with the truth and love of God in our hearts.

Colossians 3:15:
And let the peace of God rule {umpire or referee} in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

God’s peace is our arbitrator, our heavenly Father is our eternal coach, His Word is our rulebook, and His son, Jesus Christ, is our Captain who sends in the plays to “love one another” (John 13:24-25), as grace and peace is “multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.”

II Peter 1:2-8:
-2: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
-3: According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
-4: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
-5: And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
-6: And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
-7: And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
-8: For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus willingly gave himself for us, he died for us, and he was raised for us, so that we could experience the love of God in us. We currently also have the same love of God that Jesus Christ had when he gave himself for our sins so that we would be eternally worthy to enjoy the love of God. The celebration of this reception of God’s love is not only enjoyed today, but we are invited upstairs to the eternal pro-bowl as the honored guest where we will also partake in the greatest after-party of all time in the heavenlies at the right hand of God where there will be pleasures and treasures for evermore. When we apply this God-given love in our lives, we can be assured of knowing and realizing that God Himself dwells in us, causing us to personally experience the greatest touchdown of all time.

Psalms 16:11:
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Matthew 22:37-40:
-37: Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
-38: This is the first and great commandment.
-39: And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
-40: On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

“Sometimes it seems like God is difficult to find and impossibly far away. We get so caught up in our small daily duties and irritations that they become the only things that we can focus on. What we forget is that God’s love and beauty are all around us, every day, if only we would take the time to look up and see them.” ~Matthias~

“For centuries now we’ve tried everything else; the power of wealth, of mighty armies and navies, and machinations (scheming) of diplomats. All have failed. Before it’s too late, and time is running out, let us turn from trust in the chain reactions of exploding atoms to faith of the chain reaction of God’s love. Love — love of God and fellow men. That is God’s formula for peace. Peace on earth to men of good will.” ~Richard Cardinal Cushing~

“John 3:16 contains the most preeminent love story ever told:

For God — the supreme Creator and our heavenly Father,
so loved the world — the loveliest act of a commitment ever made,
that He gave — the ultimate present,
His only begotten Son — the most perfect being,
that whosoever believeth in him — the greatest offering to one and all,
should not perish — the endless promise,
but have everlasting life — this is your eternal reward.” ~LMJ~