John 3:16-21 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. 17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. 18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 “And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. 20 “For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” NASB
I write enough about political things and politics in other blogs I do not want to make this about the political. However, I am sure you have noticed the intensified angst toward the Bible, Christianity, and things moral as described in the Bible. I see no such assault by the people in positions of power elected or unelected against Islam. I am appreciative when any politician defends the Bible and our right to worship according to the dictates of our hearts.
In this text passage, most focus on 3:16 and never quote or note the other verses of this paragraph. I acknowledge that Salvation is the beginning place and am eternally grateful that the Father would allow His Only Begotten Son to come, live, and die for mankind.
In 3:17 we find a very interesting reality or declaration by the apostle from the Father’s heart. He begins the verse or sentence with “For” which is a call for us to take note of what the previous sentence declared and the benefit of that verse. God sent His Son to bring life rather than judgment. That is not to say, God will not judge the world but the reason for Jesus coming as a sinless sacrifice was not judgment but reconciliation and restoration.
John gives the qualifier for encountering the Judgment of God in 3:18. He tells us that the person who believes and by implication receives Jesus as their Savior is not subject to that judgment because of God’s grace. However, on the other side of that coin is the reality that the person who does not believe or rejects Jesus is “already judged” and in that judgment found guilty bearing their own sin which has no justification.
Then in 3:19-21 we have a powerful description of what that Judgment is and how it is displayed in the earth. “And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world…” We could stop there and either rejoice or weep because it clearly describes the ministry and purpose of Jesus. Light, (Jesus) has come into the world and wherever light is displayed it exposes or reveals everything it is shined upon. If there are flaws, they are exposed. If there is danger, it is exposed. Light reveals and that is what Jesus did, He not only revealed the Father and God’s incredible Love but sin and its ugly destruction.
The apostle then informed us that the light was rejected by men and religion because unregenerate man prefers darkness and the shadows to light and full exposure. They feel safe in the shadows because nobody knows the full extent of their deficiencies. Their deeds are not fully revealed, but in the light, everybody sees and knows.
Then he reminds us that the root cause of this preference is the wrongness of the heart and actions. He expands that in 3:20, telling us that the person who does evil ‘hates’ the light, refuses to come to the light fearing exposure. I have seen people weep at the altar because their sin had been exposed. They were not weeping in repentance but from the shame and discomfort of their exposure. They got caught and that was devastating, because it meant they could no longer live in pretense.
Then in 3:21, he brings us the incredibly good news that the person whose heart is right and practices the truth. Not just occasionally does a good deed now and then, but their lifestyle is following the precepts and principles of God’s Truth, that person seeks the light. Why? Not to call attention to himself but to bring attention to God who is working in him.
The intense hatred for God’s Word, Christianity, and the Truth by many in today’s world is evidence of the condition of the heart. It matters not what they profess, the fruit of their lives and their deeds betray them and expose them. It is not enough to say, “I believe in Jesus.” We must not only believe but receive Him in repentance and reception of His forgiveness. When we do that, we will desire the Light rather than the Darkness. The question could be, “Do You Love the Light?”
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Jesus!