The Only Begotten Son

“‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life’” (John 3:16).

There are no words in human language that can adequately express the magnitude of God’s saving gift to the world. Even the apostle Paul refused to try, declaring this gift to be “indescribable” (2 Cor. 9:15). The Father “gave His only begotten Son”—His unique, one-of-a-kind Son. He is the one of whom He declared, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” (Matt. 3:17); the one whom He “loves . . . and has given all things into His hand” (John 3:35); the one whom He “highly exalted . . . and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:9); the one with whom He had enjoyed intimate fellowship from all eternity (John 1:1). The Father sent Him to die as a sacrifice on behalf of sinful men. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf,” wrote Paul, “so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).

By “sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3). Just as the supreme proof of Abraham’s love for God was his willingness to sacrifice his son (cf. Gen. 22:12, 16–18), so also—but on a far grander scale—the Father’s offering of “His only begotten Son” was the supreme manifestation of His love for lost sinners.

Ask Yourself
The heart of the good news is always worth returning to and reminding ourselves of, causing us to fall down in reverential awe at every fresh glimpse of this astounding grace. As you read this cherished verse of Scripture again, let each word resonate in your spirit. Into your needy heart has come the gift of God’s Son. Never get over it.

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610