Thursday, January 9, 2014

Light of the World John 3:18-21

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Yesterday we talked about the first few verses of this passage, and about condemnation. Today we'll end on a high note -- much happier!

Did you see in verse 19 the reason why some people resist the Light of the world? Well, they do wicked things. They do evil things. They do wrong things.

And they don't want to be seen.

Well, let me back up a minute. There ARE people who flaunt their sins in public. They want to be infamous and they gladly show off their guilty, sinful deeds.
But most people feel and think that things are not quite in sync when they do wrong. Perhaps a tiny smidgeon of a moral compass is still within them, and they begin to feel frightened, or angry, or both, when their evil deeds get dragged out into the light.
Let's think for a minute; remember how Adam and Eve reacted after they disobeyed God's instructions?  They didn't exactly frolic around and rejoice, right?
Nope, they hid.
OK, now let's think about a time when we did something that wasn't quite right. Maybe it was out-and-out wrong. Didn't make us very happy, did it? We didn't exactly want to go and shout about it, or spread the word around? Kinda made us want to shrink back into the darkness so no one else would see that we'd done something we were ashamed of?
Yep. That's what we're talking about.
When Christ, the Light of the world, begins to shine on a person's life, it will either break us and lead us to repentance and faith, or it will drive us further into the darkness. Because it's simply intolerable when our sinful thoughts and feelings and deeds are forced out into the light of Christ.
But what happens if we do respond with brokenness and repentance?
God enables us to have faith, to believe and receive His gift. His mercy and grace cleanse us from our sins:
 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9
In verse 21 the verb is one of ongoing action . . .it is as if John was telling us, "Whoever goes on doing what is true (acting in accord with the light) will always come to the light and not run away from it. And the reason he will come is so that it will be clear that this ongoing behavior has been the work of God!"

You see, it is only by the power of God that we can hope to continue doing what is true and good. Because He has saved us:
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time      II Timothy 1:9
And He will empower us, as Paul said in Ephesians:
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  Ephesians 3:16
Surely we've been blessed beyond measure -- by His grace and power we are saved, by His son, the Light of the world!


Belinda said...

It seems my comment from yesterday can flow over to this post as well.

What a blessing to know that even when we mess up, our sins are paid for and forgiven. I'm so thankful for God's mercy and grace and the first thing I do in every prayer I pray, is to thank Him for them.

Carrie P. said...

I am so glad I responded the right way and God had mercy on me.