John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The word “world” is used three ways in the Bible. It is used to represent God’s creation (John 1:10), the human race (Acts 17:31), and ungodly humanity (1 John 2:15). Here God speaks of the human race, for it has a great need.
Mankind needed the release of sin from his earliest times (Genesis 3:6). As we leave the time of the patriarchs, the Law of Moses made extensive mention of the blood of a guiltless substitute which was needed to atone for sins. In fact, the first seven chapters of Leviticus instructs the people and the priests about the various offerings required by the Lord for atonement. Every person needs redemption from sin because all the world is in ruin, exposed to the wrath of God. No one is sinless!
Paul said in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (cp. Romans 6:23). Only a few people get sick, but sin is a malady which results in spiritual death. Isaiah 1:5-6 says, “Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.”
This condition is a truly hopeless situation. How can we change it? We will begin to see in the next post.