John 3:19-21 ESV
“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.”
Jesus Christ, God the Son, is the Light who came into the world. He came bearing the light of the gospel, of truth and of righteousness. And he was crucified on a cross in order to put our sins to death with him so that we would die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. For, by his stripes we are healed (1 Pet 2:24; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
By God-given faith in Jesus Christ, which leaves our lives of sin behind us, which submits to Christ as Lord, and which follows him in obedience to his ways, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin in order that we might be delivered from the control of sin over our lives and in order that Jesus might free us from our bondage to sin, so we’d be slaves of his righteousness.
Now, by the Spirit, we no longer walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit and in righteousness and holiness. Sin is no longer our master, but Jesus is our only Lord. It doesn’t mean we suddenly became completely sinless, but that we are no longer making sin our practice, but righteousness is what we practice.
But this dying with Christ to sin and living to him and to his righteousness in obedience to our Lord is not a one-time experience in our lives. This is something that is to be lived out in our lives every day of the week in the power and strength and wisdom of God’s Spirit who now lives within us.
For, the Scriptures teach that if we walk (conduct our lives) according to the flesh that we will die in our sins. And they teach that if we make sin our practice that we will not inherit eternal life. And they teach that if we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction, but if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life.
[Rom 8:1-17; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; Lu 9:23-26; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 6:1-23; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
The darkness is the opposite of the Light, and it is the absence of light, i.e., it is opposite of and is absent of Jesus Christ and of his gospel, and of dying with Christ to sin and of living to Christ and to his righteousness in the power of God. For, it is all about self and sin and living in sin and carrying on in wickedness and in sexual immorality and lies and cheating, etc.
And those who are still of the flesh, and not of the Spirit, hate the light, and they prefer the darkness. And this includes many professers of faith in Jesus Christ, too, who have bought into a cheap grace gospel which is telling them that they can believe in Jesus, have heaven guaranteed them, but that they don’t have to forsake their sins or submit to Christ as Lord and obey him.
And many people are following after this false light, this false gospel, which is of the darkness but is being disguised as the light, because they want to continue in their sin while they also want the assurance that they won’t be judged for their sin and that they won’t go to hell when they die. But what they are believing is a lie, and if they continue it, they will go to hell.
For the light says we must die with Christ to sin daily, deny self, and follow Jesus in obedience and in surrender to his Lordship. But the darkness says we can ignore what that says and that there is a “better light” out there that we might like better, for it does not make us leave the darkness, but it provides an alternative light for us to find our way around in the darkness.
Thus, those who want the best of both worlds are following after this false light, which is really darkness, for they want to continue to practice their evil deeds, only now without guilt or fear of punishment. And many of them are addicted to some type of sexual deviant behavior which includes addiction to pornography but is not limited to just that.
So, they don’t want to come into the light, into the truth of righteousness and holiness, for the light will expose their evil deeds for what they are, and the light will tell them the truth about their sin and what will happen to them if they choose to continue living in that sin and if they refuse to repent and to follow Jesus in obedience. And they don’t want to hear that.
They like being delusional and believing the lie because the lie makes them feel good and the truth makes them feel bad. And they don’t want to feel bad, so they don’t want to hear the truth. So they will call the truth “meanness.” And they will attack those who are trying to tell them the truth, because they don’t want to hear anything that reminds them of their sins.
But whoever does what is true comes into the light. Those who are walking in the truth of the gospel, who are walking no longer according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, they want to hear the truth. They love God’s word, even if it sometimes confronts them about things in their lives that need to be changed, because they want to live holy lives pleasing to God.
We love our Lord and so we walk in his truth because we love him and because we are so grateful to him for setting us free from our bondage to sin so that we can now walk in the fulness of his light and truth. We want to know when we are doing wrong so we can make it right. We want to keep changing and growing in the Lord and in his righteousness.
We are sensitized to the voice of the Holy Spirit because we want to hear God speaking to our hearts, and we want to follow in his ways and in his truth. Yes, repentance, submission, and obedience to our Lord are part of God-given (divinely persuaded) faith in Jesus Christ, so they are required for salvation and for eternal life with God.
But when we love our Lord we want to obey him because we love him. And we want to do the works which he prepared in advance that we should walk in them, as his workmanship. So, we don’t fear the light. We love the light. And because we love the light, we fear for those who have refused to come into the light, that they are headed to hell if they do not repent.
Draw Me Close To You
Draw me close to You
Never let me go
I lay it all down again
To hear You say that I’m Your friend
You are my desire
And no one else will do
‘Cause nothing else can take Your place
To feel the warmth of Your embrace
Help me find a way
Bring me back to You
You’re all I want
You’re all I’ve ever needed
You’re all I want
Help me know You are near
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