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John 3:16 - 22

Discussion in 'Christian Scriptures' started by dms1972, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. dms1972

    dms1972 Well-Known Member Supporter

    It speaks here (v19)about those "who loved darkness and came not into the light because their deeds were evil"

    Maybe I don't understand these verses.

    Can these people be saved?
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  2. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

    This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
    John 3:19-20

    Isn't v. 19 a general statement? His people (the Jews) was like that.

    There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
    John 1:9-13

    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  3. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

    United States
    John 3

    19And this is the verdict: The Light (Jesus) has come into the world, but men loved the darkness (evil) rather than the Light (Jesus) because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the Light (Jesus), and does not come into the Light (Jesus) for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever practices the truth comes into the Light (Jesus), so that it may be seen clearly that what he has done has been accomplished in God (Jesus).”
  4. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

    United States
    Hello @dms1972, the Lord (in v19-20), continues on with what He began to teach us in John 3:18, by speaking of unbelievers who love the darkness and chose to remain in it (because they are afraid that they/their sinful deeds will be exposed by the light). For them, who reject the light (~reject the Savior~), there no longer remains a sacrifice for their sins (so in this sense, they cannot be saved .. Hebrews 10:26-27).

    These are contrasted (in v21) who those of us who want our deeds to be seen by others (like the light from a city on a hill), for the sake of the saints to be (if you will, IOW, for the sake of those who are still living in darkness, but who will not remain there :amen:), and for God's glory (because these works, as v21 makes plain, were wrought in God .. cf Ephesians 2:10).

    Perhaps you would enjoy reading what Dr. Morris has to say about all of this from his excellent commentary on the Gospel of John? If so, here you go :)

    19 Faced with the light (see on John 1:4) that has come into the world people may prefer the darkness. John is not saying that God has decreed that people who do such and such things are condemned. It is not God’s sentence with which he is concerned here. He is telling us rather how the process works.

    People choose the darkness and their condemnation lies in that very fact.

    They shut themselves up to darkness; they choose to live in darkness; they cut themselves off from the light. Why? “Because their deeds were evil.”

    Immersed in wrongdoing, they have no wish to be disturbed. They refuse to be shaken out of their comfortable sinfulness. So they reject the light that comes to them and set their love (aorist tense) on darkness. Thereby they condemn themselves.

    There is a certain emphasis on “light” in this section. In characteristic fashion John makes the concept prominent by repeating the word (it occurs five times in vv. 19–21). We should probably give it a twofold meaning in this verse. There is the usual metaphorical meaning whereby “light” stands for “good” over against “darkness,” which means “evil.” But in this Gospel Christ is the light (1:9; 8:12; 9:5), and John is here speaking of Christ’s coming to this world. The supreme condemnation of the people of his day, John says, was that when Christ, the Light of the world, came to them, they rejected him. They loved the darkness.

    This is a place where the teaching of the Qumran scrolls diverges from that of this Gospel. In the scrolls there is a rigid and hopeless determinism. The men of darkness belong to the spirit of error. Their fate deprives them of any power of choice. Willy-nilly they belong to the spirit of error. But John is concerned with meaningful choice, not blind fate. People preferred darkness to light. It was not forced on them; they themselves chose darkness. And in that lies their condemnation.

    20 John amplifies his explanation. Why did those who do evil not come to the light? Because all who make a practice of wrongdoing hate the light. John does not hesitate to use the strong term “hates,” a verb he employs 12 times, almost a third of all its New Testament occurrences. This is accounted for largely because he so often sees the sinful world as hating God or Christ or, as here, what they stand for. The strife between good and evil is no tepid affair, but one that elicits the bitter hatred of the forces of evil.

    One reason for this is brought out here. To come to the light means to have one’s darkness shown for what it is, and to have it rebuked for what it is. No one likes this uncomfortable process, persistent wrongdoers least of all. The fear of salutary reproof keeps them away from the light. There is a moral basis behind much unbelief. ~Morris, L. (1995). The Gospel according to John (pp. 206–207).
    God bless you!

    p.s. - here's what he (Dr. Morris) has to say about v21 as well (in case you are interested).

    21 Not so “whoever lives by the truth” (for “truth” see Additional Note D, pp. 259–62). More literally this means “he that does the truth,” an unusual expression.

    We generally speak of “telling the truth.” It may be that John’s choice of verb is partly due to the need for a contrast with “does evil” (v. 20). But there are actions that are true as well as words. Anyone who habitually performs the actions that can be described as true comes to the light. The deeds of such a person are not those that must be reproved. They are “done through God” (more exactly “in God,” as NRSV), and the light will make this clear to all.

    John does not, of course, mean that some people by nature do what is right. He is not teaching salvation by works or by nature. In this very chapter he has reported the words of Jesus that emphasize that not good works, but rebirth, is the way to God.

    The person that John has in mind here is the one who responds to the Gospel invitation, the one who has life in Christ (John 3:15). Perhaps we could bring out his meaning by saying that the truth conveyed elsewhere in the New Testament by the doctrine of election underlies this verse. It is only the person on whom God has laid his hand who can truly say that his works are “wrought in God.” And that person will not avoid the light!

    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  5. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Remember that this is a continuation of John's thesis beginning with Chapter 1, verse 1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and was God." He describes two kinds of people in these chapters, his words concerning them are to describe them. (Actually, the whole book is, in a sense) For example, "The Light", Jesus himself in 3:18 says that they are already condemned because they do not believe. This describes all of us before God changes us.

    Yes, God can save anyone he chooses.
  6. dms1972

    dms1972 Well-Known Member Supporter

    What I am thinking of is - are we not all unbelievers at one time in our lives?
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  7. Danthemailman

    Danthemailman Well-Known Member

    United States
    John 3:19 - And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. This is DESCRIPTIVE of unbelievers in CONTRAST with verse 21, which is DESCRIPTIVE of believers. But he who practices the truth comes to the light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. Evil is reflected in fleeing from the light and evil deeds are done in darkness, while those who practice the truth come to the light and good deeds are wrought in God.
  8. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

    United States
    I know (and, of course, the answer to that question is "yes" .. e.g. Romans 3:9-12; Ephesians 2:1-3).

    What I was hoping to demonstrate was that your thought was not the point that the Lord was making in the passage that you posited for us from John 3 (consider again carefully what Dr. Morris wrote, and some of the insights that others in this thread have given to you too).

    'Some' will come to saving faith in Christ (a remnant), but 'most' will continue on in their worldly existence, barely (if ever) giving a thought to the sin that characterizes their lives and separates them from God.

    You know this, yes?

    That ANY of us come to true, saving faith, considering what the Bible has to say about us outside of Christ/about our fallen, sinful nature, is what is TRULY miraculous. Perhaps this is why the Bible tells us that the holy angels rejoice and long to look into such things, the miracle of salvation, that is, the miracle that results in our choosing to come to Christ to be saved by Him :)

    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  9. Acts29

    Acts29 Member

    United States
    Can they be saved? Yes, but it will cost them severely.

    God does not speak as man speaks for He is eternal. Most of what Jesus said in the gospels is prophecy, including this John 3:16-22 passage when the Son is given. See also Isaiah 9:6. This prophecy is about the 7th Trumpet, Revelation 11-12, when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of Christ. His first action is to save the children of Israel who are about to die. Jesus is immediately caught back up to heaven to cast out Satan who will pursue the Gentile Church. At that point, people will either repent and turn to Jesus and get beheaded by the beast, or they will reject the Light and perish forever.
  10. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

    United States
    In Relationship
    Those who love darkness more than light because their deeds are evil refers to all of us. All human beings are sinners, all of us are alienated from God, estranged from God, and are inwardly broken, fallen, and sinful.

    We are all of us condemned as sinners by God's Law. The Law tells us what is good and just, but we do not do it. Thus we are unrighteous and wicked.

    Christ came to save sinners. So yes, not only can these people be saved. These ARE the people that Jesus came to save. It's you and me. That's the Gospel.