Unlike with the Coronavirus, when it comes to sin’s infection there is no vaccine against its contagion. All are born sinners, and find themselves alienated from God and objects of His wrath (Eph. 2:3). Nor can people develop immunity to it. In fact, the Scriptures describe them as already dead in sin (Eph. 2:4).
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, NKJV)
Without the Coronavirus there would be no talk of a vaccine for it or immunity to it. A cure for COVID would not make sense without the reality of the virus and would make no particular difference were it not a threat to life.
That’s how it works with the love of God in John 3:16. Remove perish and the meaning of love loses its potency. The existence of the disease of sin and the peril it presents provide the bleak backdrop against which the love shines so gloriously.
We see the same thing when Paul showcases the love of God in his letter to the Romans. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Rom. 5:8–9).
God’s love is presented against the threat of His wrath. God’s love is understood as giving His Son to die for our justification by His substitutionary sacrifice and salvation from the wrath of God due us. Remove the threat and the love loses its redemptive relevance.