Mission 3:16: God's One-Verse Invitation to Love the World, By Paul Borthwick alt

Mission 3:16

God's One-Verse Invitation to Love the World

by Paul Borthwick

Mission 3:16
  • Length: 152 pages
  • Dimensions: 0 × 0 in
  • Published: June 09, 2020
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3689
  • ISBN: 9780830836895

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"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." —John 3:16

Paul Borthwick unpacks the Bible's most famous verse to unveil God's intentional, sacrificial mission for the world. He examines every word in John 3:16 to reveal the underlying motivation for mission, the global scope of God's call, and how we are invited to enter into partnership with God. This mission statement highlights the centrality of Jesus and the relational nature of the invitation to follow him—for the world to escape perishing and enter eternal life.

God still loves the world, and we can too. Come join him on this mission of love and discover how he brings the world back to life.

"'John 3:16 is a beautiful summary of the entire gospel in fewer than thirty words. If the whole Bible had been destroyed or lost except for John 3:16, that would still be enough for any person to come to know God and to receive eternal life,' as Timothy George has noted. Paul Borthwick, a highly respected, well-traveled, seasoned missionary spokesperson, masterfully weaves the meaning of this core mission text with some of his most compelling mission encounters. He brings to life these wonderful words of Jesus in a fresh and practical way."

Marvin J. Newell, staff missiologist with Missio Nexus, editorial director of the Evangelical Missions Quarterly

"Paul Borthwick skillfully weaves together his missiological expertise—as a global scholar and a crosscultural minister—with a gentle but unignorable call for each of us to live as whole-life, whole-world disciple-making disciples. This invitation comes through sound biblical exegesis and inspiring stories that honor the faithful witness of women and men from around the world."

Ruth Hubbard, vice president, Urbana, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA

"Sometimes, we just need to get back to the basics. And when we do, we often find that we hadn't learned the basics as well as we thought. Mission 3:16 does this by taking a well-known Bible verse, illustrating it with stories from around the world, and offering winsome applications that make you want to go and do it right away! I have my takeaways already, and if you read this book, you'll get yours."

James Choung, vice president of strategy and innovation with InterVarsity/USA, author of True Story and coauthor of Longing for Revival

"Paul Borthwick's books have been gifts to the body of Christ and this title is no exception. With great clarity Paul provides a way for people to understand the depth of God's mission and our responsibility within it. I wholeheartedly recommend it to young people wanting to understand how their lives fit within God's greater purposes, and to pastors who want a clear way to help people in their congregations stay focused on what is truly important."

Mary Lederleitner, founder and executive director of Missional Intelligence, author of Women in God's Mission

"What do you do when something becomes so familiar that its wonder and magnificence fades into the common and the ordinary? Paul Borthwick's new book takes us into the passion and the heart of the most familiar verse in the Bible, John 3:16. Through extensive study, he examines each phrase of the verse as one would investigate the sides of a prism. Readers gain not only clarity to the history and the call of the words but also discover the urgency of the mission of Jesus' words. This book is for all who are familiar with—or even memorized—John 3:16 and yearn to live a mission 3:16 life."

Sharon Hoover, director of missions at Centreville Presbyterian Church, Virginia, and author of Mapping Church Missions

"Paul Borthwick profoundly brings us back to the heart of God's message for us, reframing the familiar and injecting fresh insight into it. It is not only backed by solid exegesis (informing the head) but also by the author's own missional experiences recounted in his uniquely winsome style (touching the heart). Ultimately it is a call to go and do (engaging the hands). You will never read John 3:16 the same way again!"

Allen Yeh, associate professor of intercultural studies and missiology at Biola University

"John 3:16 is not just some text of Scripture for Paul Borthwick but a life he has embraced and lives out. Ever since we first met in Kasarani (Kenya), I've appreciated his genuine and contagious love for people in God's world in all our diversity. Be it around Boston, where God has brought the world to his doorstep, or other parts of the world he has crisscrossed (including Bela-Bela, South Africa, where we most recently met), Paul both speaks and lives out the love of God in drawing people to his saving grace. I commend Mission 3:16 to all who have experienced this love of God are eager to invite others to do the same."

Femi B. Adeleye, director of the Institute for Christian Impact, Ghana

"Paul Borthwick has given us an inspiring and eminently readable introduction to mission. While being steeped in Scripture, the book gives real-life examples of how the principles presented have been applied and also gives practical guidelines on how ordinary Christians can adopt a missional lifestyle. A special value of the book is Borthwick's willingness to grapple sensitively with issues such as lostness, which many today avoid."

Ajith Fernando, teaching director of Youth for Christ, Sri Lanka, author of Discipling in a Multicultural World

"C. S. Lewis famously contended that overfamiliarity with a subject can all too easily lead to its unfamiliarity. In Mission 3:16, Paul Borthwick successfully helps Christians recover the missional nature of the Bible's most well-known verse. This practical and compelling book is a discipleship resource sure to empower leaders, small groups, and churches all over the world."

Dave Ripper, lead pastor of Crossway Christian Church, Nashua, New Hampshire, and coauthor of The Fellowship of the Suffering

Read an Excerpt


Introduction: Jesus' Elevator Speech
1. Entering into John 3
2. "For God": God: The Great Pursuer
3. "So Loved": Love: The Underlying Motive
4. "The World": The Target of God's Love
5. "That He Gave": Sacrifice: The Foundation
6. "His One and Only Son": Jesus: The Center Point of Salvation
7. "That Whoever Believes in Him": The Invitation: A Relationship with God Through Jesus
8. "Should Not Perish": The Warning: To Escape Condemnation
9. "But Have Eternal Life": The Goal: A Living, Vital, Eternal Relationship with God
10: The Challenge: Living a John 3:16 Lifestyle
Epilogue: Always on Mission



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Paul Borthwick

Paul Borthwick (DMin, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is senior consultant for Development Associates International. His books include Western Christians in Global Mission; Six Dangerous Questions to Transform Your View of the World; Great Commission, Great Compassion; and The Fellowship of the Suffering.