Do Not Remain In Rebellion Running From The Light

John 3:20-21 (New International Version)

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Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 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.

VERSE OF THE DAY

John 3:20-21 (New Living Translation)

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All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”

Everyone who is rebellious and acts out in evil runs from the light refusing to go towards it in fear their wrongs will be exposed 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. Living by the image of Christ

What Does John 3:20 Mean? ►

“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

John 3:20(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Most wicked acts are carried out secretively and under cover of darkness, for even though evil men know that God exists, they do not honour Him as Lord, nor do they give thanks to Him for His daily provision. Instead the thoughts of their hearts are only evil continuously and their lives become futile and worthless.

Such ungodly people suffocate their God-given conscience and sear their sense of right and wrong. They wilfully ignore the clear evidence of His almighty power, which is displayed in the heavens above.. and they refuse to acknowledge the clear testimony on the earth below. The result is the rejection of God’s gracious offer of salvation by grace – through faith in Christ.

The pointless reasoning, and silly speculations of these ungodly men and profane women, allow their foolish heart to become corrupted by Satan and darkened by sin. Their lustful leaning and sinful habits cause them to hate the Light of the glorious gospel of Christ

John explains that everyone who engages in evil perversion and sinful wickedness hates the Light. Evil-doers do not embrace the Light of Christ. They shrink-away from the Word of truth, for fear that their deeds will be exposed.

Darkness is not so much the opposite of light, but the absence of light. The exclusion of the Lord Jesus Christ from the lives of evil men… the absence of the truth and a self-willed rejection of the glorious gospel of grace, corrupts the human mind and darkens his imagination, until the Presence of God’s light become painful and distasteful.

It was at the end of His interview with Nicodemus, that Jesus explained that all men are condemned – for all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. The true Light of life – the Lord Jesus Himself, Who is able to illuminate the heart and transform the soul, has already come into the world… but men love darkness more that the light – because their deeds are evil.

Jesus is the true Light of the world Who was sent by the Father to bring light and life and health and wholeness to a darkened world. But His Word was discarded, His message was rejected and His offer of salvation was spurned by fallen men, who did not want the pure radiance of His glorious light to expose their evil deeds of darkness.. for everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

During Christ’s present, High Priestly ministry in heaven, the Church have been entrusted to be lights in this dark world of sin. Ye are the light of the world, Jesus told us, and as His representatives on earth we are to shine for Him – we are to shine the light of the gospel of truth into a dark and hurting world.

As children of the light let us not only walk in the light of His love but be used as His channels of blessing and hope to others.. knowing that as many as receive the true Light of that lightens every man who comes in to the world – to them He gave the right to become sons of God and children of the light.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/john-3-20

What Jesus Did! ‘Doing What God Wants?’ — John 3:20-21

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

[Jesus said,] “All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”

John 3:20-21 NLT

Key Thought

A life dedicated to God comes to his light. A person living this kind of life doesn’t fear judgment or rejection or truth. Any tendency and temptation toward falsehood, dishonesty, sinfulness, greed, … can be overcome through God’s grace when those seeking righteousness come to the light. So the question you and I face each day is very simple: Do I gladly come to the light to let God show me his grace in ways that allow me to see my sinfulness, shallowness, and selfishness and to be transformed? My desire to open my life to the light of God’s truth and holiness reveals my desire to do what is right. My reluctance reveals how the power of sin has come into my life and my heart.

Today’s Prayer

Almighty Father, God of holiness and grace, search me and try me and convict me of my sin. I want to be holy and blameless, not just by your gift of grace, but also through the sanctifying power of your Spirit at work to transform me to be more and more like Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

1 John 1:5-7

Colossians 1:13

1 Peter 2:8-10

What does John 3:20 mean?

Light is an important symbol in the Bible. Jesus is described as “The Light” in several passages (John 1:9). This light reveals things, and some of what it uncovers we would rather keep a secret. Those who commit sin would prefer that sin stay hidden, and not be exposed. The Greek term here translated as “evil,” or “wicked,” is phaula, which also means “worthless,” “base,” or “no good.” A life without God may seem satisfying, for a while (Hebrews 11:25), but it’s ultimately hopeless, worthless, and ends in disaster (Mark 8:36). This is not just a Christian opinion—many atheists subscribe to this idea, as well. They look for ways to avoid living as though life has no meaning, but recognize that with no God there is no legitimate meaning to life. In order to live a life of purpose, rationally, a person has to believe in purpose.

Context Summary

John 3:16–21 begins with the most easily recognized portion of any holy book on Earth: John 3:16. This is a one-sentence summary of the entire gospel. Still, the verses which follow are just as critical for understanding the Christian message. Christ wasn’t sent to judge the world, but to bring salvation. This is an expression of God’s incredible love. However, those who do not believe in Jesus Christ are condemned in the eyes of God. Human preference for sin causes many to choose darkness over the Light.

Chapter Summary

John chapter 3 is one of the most important in the entire gospel. Many crucial ideas are explained in this passage, including the role of Jesus as Savior. After the loud, public commotion at the temple, John transitions to a quiet, nighttime discussion. These verses make it clear that Christ—and Christ alone—is the means of salvation for the entire world. This text also states that those who reject Jesus are rejecting God.

What does John 3:21 mean?

The Greek phrase translated as “practices the truth,” or “does what is true,” or “lives by truth” is poiōn tēn alētheian. This uses the same term used to describe Jesus as the “true” Light in John 1:9. The phrase implies those who are committed to reality, fact, and honesty—all of which lead a person to Christ. Verse 20 says that a life without Christ is meaningless, and ultimately ends in disaster. Hiding from Christ, the Light, is an effort to keep our evil actions hidden. In contrast, according to verse 21, life in Christ results in our actions being approved by God. Rebirth through Christ (John 3:5) gives us meaning and purpose (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10). Those who put their effort into pleasing God don’t have to be ashamed of how they’ve spent their time (2 Timothy 2:15). Those who want to cling to evil hide from the light, those who want to be free from evil move into it.

Context Summary

John 3:16–21 begins with the most easily recognized portion of any holy book on Earth: John 3:16. This is a one-sentence summary of the entire gospel. Still, the verses which follow are just as critical for understanding the Christian message. Christ wasn’t sent to judge the world, but to bring salvation. This is an expression of God’s incredible love. However, those who do not believe in Jesus Christ are condemned in the eyes of God. Human preference for sin causes many to choose darkness over the Light.

Chapter Summary

John chapter 3 is one of the most important in the entire gospel. Many crucial ideas are explained in this passage, including the role of Jesus as Savior. After the loud, public commotion at the temple, John transitions to a quiet, nighttime discussion. These verses make it clear that Christ—and Christ alone—is the means of salvation for the entire world. This text also states that those who reject Jesus are rejecting God

John 3:21

by Grant | Sep 16, 2016 | John | 2 comments

Read Introduction to John

21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

This verse is a contrast to those who live in the domain of darkness. There are, however, those who courageously and willingly expose themselves to the truth.

21 But he who does the truth

“Doing the truth” is to act according to the truth God has revealed. Proper response to revelation is the point here. When we do this, it will allow us to come to the light. Doing the truth is not doing religion or self-righteousness.

“Does” can mean lives. The idea is to be faithful to God’s revelation. This kind of person comes to the light. When people comes to faith, they are characterized by living with the truth. The person doing the truth is already a Christian.

This is a person who is opposed to falsehood and what is simply appearance. Truth involves action as well an abstraction.

comes to the light,

There are those who respond to truth in contrast to others who hate the light. They “come” to the light. They willingly expose themselves to the truth. There is a close relationship between the truth and the light. The idea is they are true to what God revealed about Himself. Coming to the light is the core issue because it determines whether we will spend eternity in heaven or hell.

There are some who welcome the revelation that comes with the light of Jesus. Jesus said in effect, “Nicodemus, if there are people who have positive volition toward the truth, why don’t you welcome the truth as well?”

Since the person “who does the truth” is already a believer, this coming to the light is more than exercising initial faith in Christ. He not only believes in Christ but he identifies with everything He stands for. This person will embrace what he believes.

“Does the truth” is antecedent to “comes to the light.” Doing truth is to act according to the truth. It is for people who accept God’s standard of righteousness and His estimation of their sinful condition. Doing the truth is a positive response to the revelation of that message. By accepting and acting on God’s truth, they come to the light.

There is a close connection between “truth” and “light.” Those who adhere to truth come to the light of who is Jesus. They are not afraid to expose themselves to that truth.

that his deeds may be clearly seen,

Although the light exposes sin, some still come to the light. Truth causes what we do to be manifest. Those that come to the light will show evidence of transformation. Light in the individual will show.

that they have been done in God.”

God transforms those who practice the truth. These are people who live under God’s action because they are truth oriented.

PRINCIPLE:

God transforms those who embrace the truth.

APPLICATION:

“Truth” is something with which many people do not like to deal forthrightly. This is especially true for those who think that they are right with God without Christ. They bury themselves in their deeds in an attempt to gain God’s favor or approbation. When they find that God will judge them even for their good deeds without Christ, they are appalled at the message of the gospel. They then turn from the light.

God places the responsibility to believe squarely on the shoulders of man. Those with positive volition are drawn to Him even though He may rebuke them for what they are. Works of art are not on trial; those that view them are.

Those who embrace the truth of Christ as the light will be transformed by God Himself. Transformation is not something man does but what God does. This is why it is supernatural.

MAY 17, 2009

This Is the Judgment: Light Has Come into the World

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.

The focus of this message will be on John 3:19–21. The main point will be that there is a kind of judgment that came into the world when the Son of God, Jesus Christ, came into the world, and this judgment reveals that the guilt of not coming to Jesus lies in the heart of man, and the grace of coming to Jesus comes from the heart of God.

Or to put it another way: The coming of Jesus into the world clarifies that unbelief is our fault, and belief is God’s gift. Which means that if we do not come to Christ, but rather perish eternally, we magnify God’s justice. And if we do come to Christ and gain eternal life, we magnify God’s grace.

That’s the conclusion of my study of this passage. And now my job is to help you see for yourselves in the Gospel of John (exposition) so that we can exult over this truth together (exultation). (More on preaching as expository exultation.)

Costly, Beneficial, and Free

Let’s set the stage for verses 19–21 by reviewing verses 16–18. We can summarize what we have seen so far in verses 16–18 in three steps. 

1. God loved the world. Verse 16: “God so loved the world.”

2. The act of this love was the giving or sending of the only Son of God into the world to die. Verse 16: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son.” We know his death is in view because in verse 14, Jesus says, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up” (John 3:14; cf. 8:2812:34).

3. The way this sending of the Son is love is…

a) …that he’s God’s Son, not a lamb or a bull or a goat. His Son! And so it was costly for God to send him. “God did not spare his own Son” (Romans 8:32).

b) …because it opens a door of eternal life to those who are condemned under God’s wrath (John 3:36)—and that is everybody.

c) …because the way to experience this eternal life is simply by believing on the Son, not by working for the Son.

Or, to say it differently: This sending of the Son is love because it was deeply costly for God, infinitely beneficial to us, and absolutely free.

Bridge: A Shift to Legal Language

Now to see the bridge from this to verses 19–21, notice the way verse 18 restates what verse 16 had already said. It’s the different way that verse 18 restates verse 16 that sets up what Jesus wants to say next.

In verse 16, Jesus describes two possible results of God’s sending his Son. Whoever believes on him will have eternal life. But whoever does not believe, Jesus says, will perish. Verse 16: “. . . that whoever believes in him should not perishbut have eternal life.”

Into the Courtroom

Now look at the way verse 18 describes these two possibilities: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already.” What’s the difference? The difference is that the result of believing and not believing is not described in terms of our perishing and eternal life, but in terms of being condemned or not condemned.

In other words, verse 18 shifts over to legal language—the language of the courtroom. The language of judgment. A judge says condemnedor not condemned. So Jesus has moved from the language of lifeand death to the language of guiltyand not guilty.

This shift in language had already happened in verse 17: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” The literal translation would simply be, “God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world” (NASB). That’s the language of the courtroom, legal language.

Condemned Already

Verse 17 raises the question: If Christ did not come to condemn, why are some condemned? And verse 18 explains that even though some are, in fact, judged and condemned, it is because they are already in that condition when Jesus came. Verse 18: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already.”

This is important. See the same point in verse 36: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” The word remains makes the same point in verse 36 that the word alreadymakes in verse 18. 

Not a Neutral World

Jesus did not come to a neutral world with the result that some people moved from neutrality to be anti-Jesus, and others moved from neutrality to be pro-Jesus. Nobody was neutral. And nobody is neutral. We have all sinned. We are all guilty. We are all perishing. Therefore, we are all under God’s righteous wrath. And we are already condemned.

Whether we stay that way depends on how we respond to Jesus. He came not to make neutral people into pro-Jesus people, but to make guilty people non-guilty, condemned people not condemned, and to make dead people eternally alive. God does not owe anybody acquittal or life. That Jesus came to offer it, and that some accept it, is all undeserved grace.

Now we are ready for verses 19–21.

“Not to Judge the World”

Jesus knows that there is something troubling about his coming into the world. On the one hand, he says in verse 17, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world.” The word is simply “to judge the world.” Jesus didn’t come to judge. He came to save.

And yet everybody knows that whenever Jesus opens his mouth, or whenever his name is proclaimed, there is a division. Some escape judgment, and others go away into judgment. You may remember that Paul described his own gospel ministry as “a fragrance from death to death . . . [and] a fragrance from life to life” (2 Corinthians 2:16). There is the lingering sense that even though Jesus did not come to judge, judgment is happening—not just already happened, but is nowhappening. 

“For Judgment I Came into the World”

Then you go over to John 9:39 and read this: “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” “For judgment I came into the world.” And if you were a superficial reader, you would quote John 3:17, “God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world,” and John 9:39, “For judgment I came into this world,” and you would say, That’s a contradiction.

But if you read carefully what follows now in verses 19–21, this will not look like a contradiction. You will see that in the very context of verse 17 (which says Jesus did not come to judge), Jesus explains that there is indeed a judgment that came into the world.

So let’s read verses 19–21.

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.

What we have here is a new description of the division that we saw in verses 16 and 18. There the division was described between those who believe and those who don’t believe.

Here in verses 19–21, that same division is described, only this time instead of using the words believeand not believe, he uses the words love and hate and come. Verse 18: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already.” In verses 19–21, that same division is described but the word believe is not used at all. 

Digging into Our Souls

Jesus is digging into our souls and explaining why some believe and some don’t. He is describing the kind of judgment that really does happen when light comes into the world. And it turns out that those who are condemned in this judgment are condemned by what they love and hate. And those who are rescued from this judgment are rescued by God’s grace.

Start with verse 19, “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world.” That light, of course, is Jesus, the Son of God, who in verse 16 was given to the world, and in verse 17 was sent to the world. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:1214:6).

Jesus, the Light—Sum of All Truth

I take this to mean that Jesus is the very presence of God himself whom John described in 1 John 1:5 like this: “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” And the Word was God. So when the Word became flesh, light came into the world, for God is light. This would mean that Jesus is the sum of truth. “I am the way the truth and the life” (John 14:6). All truth is summed up in Jesus. “In him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). If you would know anything truly, you must know it in relation to Jesus. “All things were created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16). So he is the purpose of all things. And the origin of all things. So the meaning of all things is in him.

When he comes, the truth about all things comes. The truth about God. The truth about ourselves. The truth about the way of salvation. The truth about what is good and beautiful. The truth about evil and ugliness. The truth about how we ought to live. All right thinking, and all right feeling, and all right doing is defined and measured by Jesus. That is some of what it means to be the light of the world.

So verse 19 says the coming of Jesus is a kind of judgment. How so? The rest of verses 19–21 describe two kinds of response to the light. The first is negative, verses 19–20:

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.

Five Steps Revealed

There are five steps revealed here in this kind of heart.

1) At the end of verse 19: “Their works are evil.” Verse 20 at the beginning: they “do wicked things.”

2) They do not want their deeds to be exposed. Verse 20 at the end: “. . . lest his works should be exposed.”

3) So they love darkness where there will be no exposure of their sin. Verse 20 in the middle: “. . . and people lovedthe darkness rather than the light.”

4) And they hated the light because that’s where their sin gets exposed. Verse 20 at the beginning: “Everyone who does wicked things hates the light.”

5) Therefore, they do not come to the light. The middle of verse 20: “. . . and does not come to the light. . .”

Now remember, this is Jesus’ explanation of belief and unbelief. The division into two kinds of people in verses 19–21 is the same division as in verses 16 and 18, namely, the division into those who believe on the Son of God and those who don’t. So what we have just seen is how Jesus understands the inner workings of unbelief. Why do people not believe on Jesus?

Out of Sync with God’s Worth and Beauty

We are all sinners who feel and think and do things that are not in sync with the infinite worth and beauty of God. That’s what evil is. We dishonor him everyday by falling short of loving him with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. And it makes us very angry, or very frightened, or both, if this sinfulness begins to get dragged out into the light. It begins to look as horrible as it really is in relation to Jesus. Shame for real corruption is a very painful thing.

Jesus is not saying that no sins happen in public. Many people flaunt their sins in public. But they only do this where the light of Christ is so banished that they can get approval from the people that matter to them. In other words, where darkness abounds publicly, you can sin publicly without coming into the light.

The Guilt Lies in Us

But when Christ, the light of the world, begins to shine on a person’s life, it must either break him and lead him to repentance and faith, or drive him further into the darkness. Because it is simply intolerable when our sinful works and thoughts and feelings are forced out into the light of Christ. Sin is so ugly and so monstrous and so hideous that it must surround itself with darkness. It must live in illusion and deceit. It hates the light and loves the darkness and will not come to the light. This is the inner working of unbelief in Jesus.

It will not come to Jesus. And that, Jesus says in verse 19, is the judgment. This response of loving the darkness and hating the light reveals that the guilt of not coming to Jesus lies in the heart of man. It lies in us. We don’t come because we don’t want to come. There is bondage here, but these are chains forged in the furnace of our own desires—what we love and what we hate. 

The Other Side: Belief

Which leaves us now to see what the other side of this judgment is. We just saw what the inner dynamics of unbelief looks like. What about belief? Verse 21: “But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

I think this sentence expresses not so much a single act but a principle of ongoing action. I’d bring it out by saying: “Whoever goes on doingwhat 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—his doing what is true—has been the work of God, not himself.”

Only by God’s Power

In other words, the ultimate contrast between the believer and the unbeliever is not that one hates the light and the other loves it. That’s true and vastly important. And the ultimate contrast is not that the unbeliever will not come to Jesus and the believer will come. That’s true and vastly important. 

The ultimate contrast is that the believer, the one who loves the light, the one who comes to Jesus, comes by the grace of God. That is, he comes with a profound sense of God-dependent humility that every good thing he does he is able to do only “in God.” And that means only by God’s power. “Whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

Unbelief Is Our Fault; Belief Is God’s Gift

So here’s the main point again: There is a kind of judgment that came into the world when Jesus Christ came into the world. And this judgment reveals that the guilt of not coming to Jesus lies in the heart of man that loves darkness and hates the light. But the grace of coming to Jesus comes from the heart of God. 

Or, to put it another way: Unbelief is our fault, and belief is God’s gift. Which means that if we do not come to Christ but instead perish, we magnify God’s justice. And if we do come to Christ and gain eternal life, we magnify God’s grace.

In fact, Jesus says, that is why we come: “that it may be clearly seen that our works have been carried out in God.” Believers love when God’s free grace is clearly seen!

Magnifying His Grace

Do you come to Christ? Is that why you come? It can be. In your heart right now come to the light and say to God as you come: Without your work I would not be coming. I magnify your grace.John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonistand most recently Providence.

Author: J. Palmer

Living under the wings of God and the angels around me keeping me going and safe. Sharing the love of Christ.

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