Break it down. Read it carefully. Think.
“For God” – creator, all-powerful, eternal, the one to whom we will all answer.
“So loved” – loved, loved this much, loved us so much he would give this much.
“The world” – all of humanity, everyone I have a problem liking, everyone I love, you, me.
“He gave his one and only son” – he gave his life to pay the death penalty for all of our sins.
“That whoever believes in him” – something to know, something to understand, something to trust, something to follow, someone to follow.
“Shall not perish” – the punishment is to perish, to die. The punishment was our sentence from our first sin—the first time we ignored his will and every time since. But his son paid our sentence and by trusting him the punishment is taken away.
“But have eternal life” – There’s more?! Oh yes, so much more. The sentence is gone for the believer, paid for by the Son. And all believers are made children of God to live eternally with Him as his dear children.
Oh, how great the Father’s love for us.