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  JOHN 3:19-21

MEN LOVE DARKNESS? THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT OUR TEXT SAYS! WHY DO SOME PEOPLE ACT THIS WAY?

"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."

THESE VERSES WILL ANSWER OUR QUESTIONS. AFTER ALL, THEY ARE PART OF THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD.

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1, THIS IS THE CONDEMNATION:

I love these days when we begin a new Text. Analyzing these precious words will take several days, a new lesson each morning, Lord willing.

John's Gospel contains this paragraph. And it is absolutely filled with wisdom, as is all Scripture. In fact, Jesus is the Speaker!

"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." John 3:19-21

Light and Darkness, here they are contrasted. As if in a war, in fact they are! God versus Satan! Truth against error! Holiness contrasted with sin!

And which wins?

1st John 1:5 answers that one.

Darkness is constantly trying to overtake the light. To dispel it. But it will never happen, not permanently!

"The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." Yes, darkness lost the battle! That verb "comprehended" translates "katalambano," meaning "to lay hold of, to apprehend, to arrest, to capture!"

The Devil has fought God since his original sin! Darkness has tried to extinguish the Light! But it will never happen. Darkness cannot overtake or dispel or conquer Light!

Jesus just said so!

Still, we need to begin our paragraph, often called a pericope of Scripture. Pronounce that pe-rick-o-pee, and accent the second syllable, pe-RICK-o-pee. What does it mean? I'm sorry, we've stopped here to enlarge our vocabularies a bit. The Lord will not mind at all. An online dictionary defines it as: "An extract or selection from a book, especially a reading from Scripture."

Anyway, our Text begins, "And this is the condemnation." What a start! Rather confrontational, isn't it?

But Jesus could often be that way!

You see, He is that Light! Listen to Him later, "I am the Light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12

Light and darkness do not mix!

And in our upcoming discussion of Light and darkness conflict will arise! They are incompatible.

Just expect it.

"And this is the condemnation."

What condemnation?

Jesus had just said this, "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18

The noun "condemnation" being batted around here means "an accusation, a trial or contest."

"Krisis" is the Greek word, our very noun "crisis" by the way, proving that light and darkness are in a "contest, are "on trial," are being "examined" for reality!

"And this is the condemnation."

And those who are of the Light are not condemned.

But those in the darkness are condemned. Already to some extent, but completely in the future, even being consigned to Hell forever. If they do not leave that darkness, repent of their sins, and be saved.

"And this is the condemnation."

I thought Jesus was a Preacher of love!

And Sweetness and Grace!

But here, as early as John chapter three, He is already delving into some pretty heavy "condemnation" sermons.

Wow!

Again, what must a person do in order to avoid the condemnation of God?

According to Jesus. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24

No wonder if an individual is living in darkness, in open sin, and loves it ... he or she will hate the Light!

That's only natural.

Which leaves humanity in a dilemma.

A choice must be made!

Darkness?

Or Light?

Turn from iniquity.

Or face God's condemnation.

But if he or she is so entrenched in sin, so dedicated to a wicked lifestyle, to the pleasures of this world or the delicacies of the flesh, they will react to the Light!

They may say bad things about the Light!

They may even deny that Light exists!

And that's exactly where our Text is headed.

To war!

Good verses evil.

The Spirit versus the flesh!

More tomorrow, Lord willing.

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Thank God for the Light!

Are you "in" the Light today?

 

 

LESSON 2, LIGHT IS COME INTO THE WORLD:

What a powerful clause we study today! In grammar class we learned that a "clause" is "a group of words containing both a subject and verb and forming part of a sentence."

Now here's the clause we must investigate. "Light is come into the world." John 3:19, part of the verse.

But what Light?

I've capitalized the word because it is, I'm sure, talking about Jesus!

But I looked back through John's Gospel for a similar usage of the word. Plenty exist!

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In Him was life; and the life was the LIGHT of men." This is John 1:1-4. The "Word" is Jesus, by the way.

So now we know Who the Light is, with Biblical authority supporting our interpretation.

Now, when did the Light come into the world?

Again John helps us, in John 1:14. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

The Light came the day Jesus was virgin born!

"Light is come into the world."

And would you agree with this?

This was a dark world when the Light arrived!

Jesus invaded a cosmos of sin and depravation and iniquity!

Spiritual darkness!

That's the Greek noun for "world," just "cosmos." It is believed to mean that which is "in order, properly arranged." But I'm afraid the world today is in the wrong order! The "god of this world" is the devil, Paul said. And Jesus called him "the prince of this world" in John 16:11.

The world is in order all right, satanic order!

That's the place the Light came!

"Light is come into the world."

So I will make a little prediction.

When pure, holy, unblemished Light hits this dark sin-infested earth, something is going to happen!

Clashes will occur!

Confrontations, one after another!

Men hated Jesus because he was sinlessly living in front of their very eyes! "He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:14

By the way, if you are saved, if Jesus, The Light, indwells your heart and life ... any darkness there will scatter!

The Light will dispel it!

John 8:12 best explains this. "Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness."

Wow!

A whole worldview can be built on this Light-Darkness paradigm.

A Biblical worldview at that!

John 12:46 is good too. Jesus is talking "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness."

But what if a man will not leave the darkness?

What if he loves certain deeds he can commit there, unnoticed by passers-by? What if he prefers a lifestyle that breeds best in the darkness, no, only in the darkness?

Again then I say this.

Warfare will develop!

Between Light and darkness!

And guess what?

It's raging today!

Where do you live?

In the Light?

Or in the Darkness?

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, MEN LOVED DARKNESS RATHER THAN LIGHT:

Tons of philosophy are tucked into today's Text. Godly philosophy included! And "philosophy" simply means, in its proper sense, "love of wisdom." In Greek "sophia" is wisdom and "phileo" is "to be fond of, to love" something.

Mountains of sociology too, in Today's verse. Really it's not a whole verse, just a clause.

And theology, maybe its very heart is to be found here, especially the branch called "anthropology," meaning "the study of mankind, of humanity."

What's the Scripture, you're surely asking by now?

Words of Jesus, as one would expect, from John 3:19. "And men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

That's it.

Each word weighs a million pounds, spiritually.

"Men" translates "anthropos," a word blended from "aner" and "ops," we think two Greek nouns. "Aner" means the "male" of the species, but very often indicates men and women, humankind. And "ops" is one's "face," his or her "countenance." So any "human faced" individual is a "man," a member of the great sea of humanity.

So, Jesus is talking about us all, about everyone! "Men" as in "every human being alive!"

Then by nature, we love darkness! "And men loved darkness"

But we had a choice!

"And men loved darkness rather than light."

The Light, maybe, hurt our eyes?

Or too easily revealed our faults?

Or was not in accordance to "our own way" of doing things?"

We by nature did not like it!

Man in his heart defaults to darkness.

Listen to Jeremiah the Prophet. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9

Darkness!

We do not merely "choose" darkness either. Jesus said we "love" darkness!

We love the absence of God's Light, of God's awesome righteousness, of God's Son Jesus!

Christians, don't get to bothered now. This is our condition before God saved us!

We loved doing things "independently!"

We enjoyed those wild weekends!

We didn't mind living like the world, after all, life is short!

Have a ball!

"And men loved darkness rather than light."

The noun "light" translates "skotos." Which can mean "blindness" at times, too. Symbolically it's spiritual ignorance at best, utter rebellion at worst! "Skotos" comes from "skia," the Greek word for "shadow or shade."

We had rather live in the dark, dingy shadows ... than in the bright daylight of God's Essence. Under God's watchful Eyes! I just learned that the word "dingy" comes from the noun "dung." Dingy means "clouded with smoke or grime or filth, squalid and drab."

What a terrible picture of humanity, lost and apart from Jesus Christ!

"And men loved darkness rather than light."

But things are worse than that!

Jesus, the greatest Theologian alive, tells us why we so automatically drift to the darkness!

"Because our deeds are evil."

The whole clause now.  "And men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." John 3:19c

The word "deeds" means "works." It's "ergon" in Greek, one's energetic activities!

What we do!

In fact, watch this! When a man is lost, wicked in his heart, everything he does is sin! He can't possibly please God, even when he's out plowing his field! Or driving his truck! Or watching the ballgame! How do I know this? "An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin." Proverbs 21:4, Wow!

And our deeds were what?

"Evil," says Jesus! Using the noun "poneros." It means "bad, sinful, wicked," but in this deadly sense, "malignant." Sin that spreads and ultimately kills! Unless it's eradicated. 

In summary now.

Men will not come to Jesus for one man reason!

They love, "agapao," their sins more than anything else!

They enjoy the darkness. our own ways, far more than doing things God's Way, walking in the Light!

This verse, if believed, could cut short many a philosophical discussion!

About sexual preferences, including adultery and fornication.

About financial dealings, including bounced checks and fraud.

About going to Church, especially when the weather is nice.

About abortion, especially if it's the wrong sex! Or had the wrong Daddy! Or was one too  many.

About every area of life!

"And men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

Now I think Jesus was One Great Preacher!

But goodness, he was a Prophet too!

And best of all, He's my Saviour!

Is He yours too?

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, HATING THE LIGHT:

Jesus continues His great Sermon about Light and Darkness. "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light." John 3:20a

Pretty strong language!

The verb "doeth" is "prasso," essentially "to practice." Some lexicons say "to exercise, to perform, to accomplish." It's a present participle here, meaning that the action is habitual.

"Evil" is surprisingly a translation of "phaulos," a rare word meaning "worthlessness," that which is of "no account." Ethically bad, at times even "ordinary, slight." This is a different word for evil that the Holy Spirit used last verse. There it was "poneros," the "champion" of all the words about sin and ungodliness.

It appears that these people Jesus is describing are "wicked" on more than one level. They love "big" sins and "little" sins too!

Then our Lord uses that word "light" again. John loves the word too, employing it 24 times in his Gospel, if I've counted correctly. Half a dozen more times in His First Epistle, too!

"Light" is "phos" in Greek. As in our word "phosphorus," that light emitting element on the periodic chart! One of the light emitting elements I should say! Also "photography," which means "writing in light!" Aptly named!

And remember, Jesus is the True Light! "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12

But still we may not have yet arrived at the crucial word in our text for today. Until now!

"For every one that doeth evil hateth the light."

They "hate" the Light!

What a verb!

"Miseo" in Greek, it means "to detest." To despise. At times it can carry a more civil tone, but it's still animosity in human flesh. Then it still means "to disregard, to be indifferent" to something.

Sin is not merely incompatible with the Lord Jesus.

Sin hates Righteousness!

Reacts to it!

Attacks it!

And if not that, it's at least "indifferent" to things godly, for sure.

"To dislike strongly!"

"To express hostility!"

Like the demons who accosted Jesus!

Or the Anti-Christ during the Tribulation!

Or the militant atheists of today!

God haters!

It's the old darkness hates light scenario, all over again!

Jesus, in a parallel statement, expressed things this way. "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other." Matthew 6:24, in His great "Sermon on the Mount."

Then, since the wicked so hate the light, and also hate the Lord's people, people absolutely filled with God's Word, then God's Word must be "Light" too! "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them." Jesus praying in John 17:14. Plus, Psalm 119:30. "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple."

They hate us!

Rather, their "darkness" hates our "light!"

Another way of saying, the Devil hates the Lord Jesus!

Isn't the Devil once called the Prince of Darkness, or something like that? Both Luke 22:53 and Colossians 1:13 mention him as the "power of darkness," I think.

Yes indeed.  "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light." Every bit as much as water flows downhill, so does wickedness hate light!

Lord, help us all to walk in the Light!

John uses this term beautifully. "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1st John 1:7

Paul describes it well too. "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light." Ephesians 5:8

Oh, I just rediscovered this verse too. "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." But that's part of tomorrow's Lesson, Lord willing.

Warfare!

Darkness versus Light!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, neither cometh to the light:

Maybe I am dividing these verses into sections much too small. We must not lose the overall picture of what Jesus is saying.

"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." John 3:19-21

Still, our journey through this "gold mine" of Truth has brought us to yet another short clause. Speaking of sinners, of evildoers, Jesus said: "Neither come they to the light."

The statement at first seems patently obvious!

They love darkness, sin and depravity, and they are not going to have anything to do with bright light!

"Neither cometh to the light."

They hate the light, why would they then approach it?

"Neither cometh to the light."

They do have some choice in the matter, too. They are "alive" enough to select a sinful lifestyle, a "dark" one Jesus says.

But when it comes to choosing the True Light, no way!

"Neither cometh to the light."

The verb here for "cometh" translates "erchomai," but as an indicative mood, present tense, middle voice verb. The ungodly man's refusal to come to the Light is a day after day pattern. And the middle voice suggests that his rebellion against the Light will change him! For the worse, no doubt!

The adverbial "neither" uses two words, "kai ouk," meaning "and no way!" Well, I gave a rather loose definition there! "No, definitely not!" That's much better. "Ouk" is the absolute negative in Greek. No exceptions!

Wow!

And the "Light" is still a metaphor or word picture for Righteousness, for Jesus Christ our Lord.

"Neither cometh they to the light."

Sometimes at night hungry fish will gravitate toward some distant light, the security lamp at the end of the pier for example. They can see any potential food source much better that way. Fish and light!

And my petunias and marigolds on the front porch, in the planter, they also grow toward the light, the sun! They even "point" that way throughout the day. Plants and light!

But rebelliously lost men and women, perhaps even reprobates by now, will not come to the light. Period!

They defy all the laws of nature!

By the way, if you were once lost and on your way to hell, it's a miracle that you ever came to the Light!

Someone helped you!

Someone "drew" you!

God Himself!

"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him." Jesus said this in John 6:44.

Jesus is still inviting sinners too. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

But they, for the most part, are still refusing to come! "Neither cometh they to the light."

Their love for the darkness far outweighs the lure of the Light!

It's so sad.

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, lest their deeds should be reproved:

We've been studying light versus darkness. And they are at war, when considered as symbols of good and evil! Jesus said so in John 3:19-21.

Light versus darkness, as in theism versus atheism. People who say "God is," contrasted with those who say, "No God!"

Same as morality versus perversion!

Honesty verses thievery!

Kindness versus brutality!

You get the picture.

That which is wrong does not enjoy being compared to the Standard of Rightness!

Here's Jesus again. "Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." John 3:19-20.

It's that last clause today, our focus of attention.

Why will "wrong" or "sin" or "evil" not gladly come to the God of all Rightness, of all Righteousness?

"Lest his deeds should be reproved."

That's why!

Who wants his or her lifestyle to be "blasted?"

Who needs that?

Deviant behavior, by that I mean various ways of living that are not approved in Scripture, is rather enjoyable!

Apparently!

To multitudes.

Maybe even to the majority today.

Yes, there are pleasures in sin. In case you haven't noticed! Even the Bible admits that, Hebrews 11:25.

And to go somewhere, knowing in advance that your ways of doing things will be condemned?

Stay away!

Especially keep your girlfriend away! She might change her mind, about promiscuity or casual sex!

Do not get near that Man Jesus!

He will "reprove" you of any sins!

 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."

Let's talk about this.

Why the atheist will never come to Christ! His or her manner of living will not "pass the test" Jesus administers!

They will no doubt be "reproved," an embarrassing situation!

Blot this Jesus out of your mind.

Live for the moment!

If it feels good, do it!

Eat, drink and be merry!

Let's party!

There's no God, they say.

If He did exist, guess what?

"Lest his deeds should be reproved."

The verb "reproved" is "elegcho." It means "to convince" one of wrongdoing! To rebuke that person! To tell her or him where she or he is at fault! To admonish severely!

The lexicons even suggest that some "shame" will actually be involved! Embarrassing the perpetrator over his sins!

Sounds humbling, if you're meek.

But infuriating, if you're cocky! Proud or vain! Goodness, wrong words again, self-assured, confident, assertive!

And sinful?

"Lest his deeds should be reproved."

That's why a bunch of blatant sinners are not going to come to the Light!

That's why atheists will always exist.

And fornicators and adulterers.

And homosexuals.

And gossiping Baptists!

And lustful church members!

The noun "deeds" translates "ergon," one's "works." And yes that's the right word. Sin does expend energy!

"Lest his deeds should be reproved."

I am so thankful I know the Reprover!

The Holy Spirit of God!

"And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." Jesus talking in John 16:8.

That's what the lost world will not do!

Come to the Light!

And now we know why!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, HE THAT DOETH TRUTH:

This last verse is pretty straightforward. Still, its first clause is absolutely revolutionary! To my theological mindset anyway! Let's read it together. "But he that doeth truth cometh to the light." This must be right, Jesus said it!

If I had written that line, my doctrinal framework would have demanded that I say, "He that cometh to the Light ... then doeth truth."

Light first, of course!

And man must be saved before he can do anything truly "truthful."

But that's not the approach Jesus takes.

"But he that doeth truth cometh to the light."

Mercy!

And "doeth" is our old verbal friend "poieo," as a present participle. This individual is constantly doing "truth." Before he "cometh" to the Light!

Sure looks like that to me.

And as we've already seen, and you already know anyway, Jesus is that Light!

Here's what I think our Lord means.

Those who "do" darkness will not come to the Light, almost never does it happen. And "darkness" is the symbolical equivalent of sex, sensuality, gossip, bitterness, major unforgiveness, plus the live-only-for-today "party" spirit that has intoxicated America these days!

They will not come to Jesus, to the Light because they love their exciting lifestyles too much! They know Jesus does not allow that kind of behavior!

It's either sin or the Saviour, but not both! "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24, part of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.

But now among the others, the fairly moral or at least decent and respectful lot of humanity, they just might "come" to the Light!

Because, using John's context here for "truth," these folks already live near the edges, the margins of Light anyway!

They are not saved, but are not reprobates either!

Not born-again, but not ultra skeptical of Scripture and God, as far as His existence is concerned anyway.

They might fall into the category Paul used to call "God-fearers!" Listen to the Apostle as he preached in Antioch. He notices two groups present that day, not counting the lost Gentiles. "Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience." See them, men of Israel and the God fearers?

In this kind of backward way, they are "doing" the truth! Not killing it, anyway! Isaiah lived in a truth-hating day too! "Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street." Here "fallen" means "overthrown," in Isaiah 59:14.

"But he that doeth truth cometh to the light."

Now we know whom to target! Our main "mission field" will not be the atheists or the homosexuals or the serial adulterers, but the law-abiding, tax-paying, God respecting people of our land.

In that sense anyway, "But he that doeth truth cometh to the light." And he that doeth wickedness, culture defying depravity, will not come to the Light! Probably never.

This is a serious Lesson!

A sobering Lesson!

Scares me. Particularly as far as the ever worsening population of our Nation is involved, moving every day further from the Light!

And into the darkness!

                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Of course now.

I don't want to cause anyone to give up hope, about a loved one being saved. Every salvation experience is a miracle! It's just that the lower into the slime of darkness one sinks, the less likely it is that he will ever come to the Light.

But still, here is our collective testimony, all of us really! "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: then walk as children of light." Paul writing to the Ephesians, in 5:9 of that great Epistle.

 

 

LESSON 8, WHEN OUR DEEDS ARE MANIFEST:

I want to talk to you today about "shame." And how it fits into the schema of John 3:21. "But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." Our discussion will be centered around that middle clause, "That his deeds may be made manifest."

The wicked of our Text, John 3:19-21, do not want their works to be "made manifest!"

Why?

Because they are ashamed of them!

In the bright light of the Law of God, adultery and fornication and homosexuality and bisexuality and lying and abortion and hatred and all the rest of the "works of the flesh" do not appear very acceptable!

They're ugly!

So naturally the "wicked" will not come to the Light, to Jesus! Truthfully, more and more these days, the wicked are attacking the Light! Hating the Light! Denying that the Light even exists!

But the non-wicked, I'm not even saying they are all "saved," don't really mind if their deeds are made manifest!

"That his deeds may be made manifest," no problem!

By the way, just for information's sake, here is Paul's list of the works of the flesh. It will surprise you in some ways! "Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like" Wow, all from Galatians 5:19-21.

Of course that crowd does not want their activities exposed, publicly somewhere! They naturally do not want their deeds made manifest!

Again I ask why?

There's only one possible answer.

Shame!

Oh, they deny it.

In fact, Paul says they will "glory in their shame." Brag about it, "show" it off! Gloat in it! All the while destroying their consciences and sending themselves to Hell! Philippians 3:19, the whole verse. "Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things."

Mercy!

And we wonder why the atheists are fighting God like they are currently doing? Why every day they are becoming more belligerent, more intolerant of believers?

They're afraid of the Light!

But not us, not anyone who is even semi-moral and decent!

He or she will just march right up to the Light. "That his deeds may be made manifest." 

Nothing to hide!

Now this model may not "fit" into some of our little theological boxes, but Jesus just said it was true. And that's good enough for me.  "But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest.

The noun "deeds" is "ergon," that person's "works." Her comings and goings, his way of life. Their habits and thoughts and goals even.

And the whole verb, "may be made manifest" translates but one Greek word, "phaneroo." It means "to make to appear, to show off, to make known." It's ultimately from the little noun "phos," meaning what else? Light!

In fact, if you've been doing "good" things, as opposed to ungodly things, you sort of want someone to notice! To appreciate your works!

Even political leaders, am I really saying this, can present their works to the Lord for approval. Some of them He has pre-approved even! This next passage applies to the President, and the Chief of Police, and the District Attorney too. "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same. FOR HE IS THE MINISTER OF GOD TO THEE FOR GOOD." Romans 13:1-4.

These prominent men and women should be able to bring their platforms and accomplishments to the Light, unless they of course have perverted their offices to condone and defend wickedness! Then "woe" be unto them. In such unsavory cases, they will certainly flee the Light!

This is a good character test today! "Our deeds being made manifest!"

Would you mind if your "words" your "actions" were exposed? I mean properly and respectfully. Not mockingly or lewdly put on display.

If a little Light does not bother you, I say "Amen!"

If such a thought petrifies you, better check up!

What is it that you're doing of which you're so ashamed?

Any "hidden" secrets out there?

Just one more clause in this whole Text, this whole series, tomorrow morning, the Lord willing. "But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."

Hey, the Light is coming!

Jesus is on the way, to judge our lives.

Better get ready! "Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

"Even so, come Lord Jesus!"

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

At its heart, atheism is not really an intellectual issue!

Itís a moral issue, more emotionally charged than mentally motivated. Eternity will reveal the truth of what I just said. Cause itís based on the Bible, God's Holy Word.

 

 

LESSON 9, DEEDS WROUGHT OF GOD:

"Wrought of God," what does that mean?

Jesus uses this phrase in John 3:21. "But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."

So, we are studying a significant bit of truth today! Straight from the lips of our Lord.

A good man's deeds, "wrought of the Lord."

And I still maintain that this is a "good" man or woman, as opposed to the "wicked" man or woman mentioned earlier by John. Here it is. "Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." See the dichotomy here in John 3:19-21? The two sides of the issue, two kinds of people, "wicked" and "good!"

Not yet necessarily "saved" or "lost."

Truth doers and truth deniers!

God respecters and God rejecters!

People who seek darkness and people who seek light!

The "works" or "deeds" of this first category, the truth seekers, are one way or another "wrought of God!" That's what Jesus is saying.

The verb "wrought" is "ergazomai," a perfect passive participle which means "energized, empowered, performed, worked out, and ministered," among other definitions. But you get the idea surely.

An honest stonemason, decent and moral and responsible, can do his work with the approval of Almighty God! In fact, Jesus is saying that God helps the man lay those rocks in place!

And a God fearing pilot? The same thing. Someone who does not love and cherish depravity, utter darkness! Not pushing the limits of propriety. God helps him fly that plane.

"That their deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."

What about a surgeon, one who loves his wife and is faithful to her and is trying to raise their children in a Judeo-Christian manner? God "works" with him too, in the operating room. In the examining room. In the car driving home.

His deeds are wrought of God.

But those "way out" there, reprobates and perverts and rebels and what can I say, activist God haters, their works are sourced somewhere else!

Maybe this verse sheds some light!

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him." John 8:44, the old saying "like father, like son" comes to mind.

But we don't even need to leave our own context here. "Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

Those deeds are not "wrought" of God!

They and the men and women who habitually perpetrate them, these "evil deeds," will spend eternity there too, in total darkness.

In outer darkness!

"Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 22:13

Now that's condemnation!

Remember how our Text began, a week ago. "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light." John 3:19, one last time.

Come to the Light!

Bask in the Light!

Let the Light permeate you and your deeds!

Then soon, you will love the Light!

And believe in the Light!

And be saved by that Light!

Oh yes, that Light is Jesus! "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12

To which I say, "Shine Jesus, shine!"

To which He answers, "For evermore!"

Amen!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

I have decided.

I'm hanging around the light!

I'm walking in the Light!

I'm going to a City of Light, not Paris either!

Heaven!

"And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever." Revelation 22:5

Light or darkness!

What a choice!

                      

Our prayer is that this verse-by-verse Bible Study will help us all to live lives that are more pure and godly! After all, the Text certainly teaches us how!

 

 

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