In China, some parents follow their freshman children to university. They’re allowed to camp nearby for a month in order to help them adjust to life away from home by, for example, cooking their meals or washing their laundry. Tianjin University offers “tents of love” for free so that anyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, can take part in what is becoming a move-in tradition.
God loves us even more than those devoted parents! On this second Sunday of Advent, we will focus on love, namely, God’s love for us, which He demonstrated by sending His Son for our salvation (v. 16). Today’s reading begins with a dialogue between Jesus and a leading Pharisee named Nicodemus. What did it mean to be “born from above” that is, to experience spiritual rebirth (vv. 3–7)? Jesus helps the baffled rabbi, using a comparison to Moses lifting up a bronze snake in the wilderness (vv. 14–15; Num. 21:4–9).
John 3:16 is one of the most well- known and often referenced verses in the New Testament because it clearly explains the message of the gospel. Nicodemus learned that being born again is the only way to enter the kingdom of God. It’s a work of the Holy Spirit, accomplished for those who put their faith in Christ. The same promise-keeping love of the Old Testament is now climactically seen in God’s gift of love, His Son.
By believing in Him, we receive eternal life instead of the death we as sinners deserve. But it’s important to remember that it is a gift; it can also be refused. Those who do not believe in Jesus will be condemned and receive the just punishment for their sin. Will you accept this gift today?
>> You could receive no better gift this Christmas than the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. If you haven’t done so already, choose today to put your faith in Jesus. Accept Him as your Savior; confess your sins, and accept His sacrifice on your behalf.
Dear God, we confess that we are sinners destined for eternal death, but your salvation gave us eternal life. We place our hope in your Son and ask your Holy Spirit to continue the work of renewal in our lives.