Avoiding the Anonymous God

Biblical Text: JOhn 3:14-21
Full Text of Sermon

Defeated by John again. A little honesty, I’m pretty sure this was a muddled mess. Why oh why when Ephesians 2:1-10 was sitting right there, ripe for the preaching…but no, I have to pick John. Lured in by the same trap of an idea that looked ripe. There is always an idea with John. The problem is the there is always more than one idea from John. And Saturday afternoon, while 15 seeds are beating 2 seeds, you are trying to edit things down and put some structure on the mess. And Sunday morning you are just in prayer – “God this one is a stupendous mess, I know it is all you anyway, but this one is going to have to be ex nihilo – cause I’ve got nothing.”

Anyway, what I was attempting to make real and meaningful was two points:
1) You can’t take John 3:16 without John 3:14-15. The ground of John 3:16 is the cross. Otherwise you end up with an anonymous loving god who looks somewhat sad or pathetic. {Akin to saying, God loves you you mutts, now earn it. An amazingly bad evangelism method and very bad theology.}
2) When you ground John 3:16 in the context, you have a strong proclamation of the sovereignty of God and the doctrine of election. That should make John 3:16 all the more meaningful for believers as it has nothing to do with our reaction. God’s love is on the basis of God. And God will make it so. The believer’s works are good because they are in God (John 3:21). If no one believed, He would still have taken the cross. In John the cross is not an atonement act but THE SIGN, the revelation and act of God.