As many of you know one of my life verses is John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
I had finished reading a few weeks before Jonathan Edwards classic Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. It had shaken me to my core for I was just beginning to understand the true sovereignty of God. My current studies had me in John Chapter 3 and at the about the same time I reached v.16 a friend gave me a copy of John MacArthur’s book Why One Way. These three writings forever changed my theology on man and God. I understood from from that time forward that the only thing natural man has to offer God is sin.
It is hard not to include v.16-18 as the set the pretext for our main text today. Of course everyone, even most unbelievers know about John 3:16, God’s Love for the world and the Apostle Jon insures we understand just how much God loved us in v.17 and the requirements if you will to receive the free gift of that love in v.18. All is good here folks love to speak about this “Good News”, God’s Love, the Joyful Union of God’s children.
Then we get to the ugly stuff. In v.19 John makes it plain that man’s sinful ways condemn him before a Holy God; for God did indeed send His only begotten Son (light) to save mankind but mankind prefers darkness and evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. – No One likes to be called out for their wrongdoings whether those were intentional or accidental mistakes. How much more so those who deny the Christ, who purposely do evil always try and hide from others but there is no hiding from God.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. – The exact opposite is true for those who practice righteousness. Their deeds are always open for public scrutiny because they are done for and with God’s help.
In my studies back in day, of these verses v19-21 I found that the Greek word translated as “evil,” is phaula, which also means “worthless,” “base,” or “no good.” Now I am not sure about you but the last thing I want to be called or even considered is a worthless no good person. Yet that is exactly how God looks upon those who refuse His free gift of Grace, eternal Life through Christ Jesus. Their works, even if mankind looks upon them as ‘good” are worthless and no good in the kingdom of God.
Unlike some who may not be converted, (saved) I was convinced I already was, this caused me as noted above, to reconsider my relationship with God. Was it all about me and satisfying my needs using God or as (I later learned) and the Westminster Shorter Catechism says :
Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
a. Ps. 86:9. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. Isa. 60:21. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. Rom. 11:36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. 1 Cor. 6:20. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Cor. 10:31. Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Rev. 4:11. Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
b. Ps. 16:5–11. The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Ps. 144:15. Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD. Isa. 12:2. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Luke 2:10. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. Phil. 4:4. Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Rev. 21:3–4. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
putting God first and not me.
For those who are not believers, who think “Christianity” is a hoax may I suggest reading any one (or more of the following books: The 10 Best Books for Skeptics of Christianity. I have read #1,4,6 and 8 but all of them lead the reader to draw the own conclusions. Numbers 4 and 6 especially; were written by two men who set out to disprove the bible and “Christianity” as basically nothing more than a crutch. What they found was so much more.