20 May 2009

Not Condemned

So. John Piper... Wow.

I get Desiring God emailed to me each week or so. (sign up) One of my favorite scriptures is John 3:17. I even used to have it on my checks! Anywho, this week John Piper taught on a passage that included John 3:17. It was John 3:16-21. Here's the entire passage:

John 3:16-21
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.

So much of what Piper says is just amazing. It made me think on quite a few things. He said that just the act of Jesus coming makes division. Man is judged, or forgiven. Man accepts the Truth, or rejects it. Some believe, some do not. As a believer, don't you love the part: "whoever believes in him is not condemned,"(v18) but tremble for the lost at the other half of the same verse "whoever does not believe is condemned already."

Another part of this passage that made me wonder was "people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil." (v19) Claire and I were measuring the weather using different devices. I told her the barometer measures air pressure; the thermometer measures heat... I told her that there is no measure for cold. Cold is just an absence of heat. It is the same for good and evil. Evil is an absence of good. And also for lightness and dark. Brightness is measured by watts, but there is no measure for darkness; it is an absence of light. Verses 21 says "But whoever does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed." You just have visions of nasty things slinking in dark corners of garages and alleys and warehouses. Its like a child who tries to hide a lie so that their 'darkness' won't come into the light. The politician who tries to cover up a sin to prevent it from becoming common knowledge. In verse 22 it continues "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." Hopefully that is where we are, here together in this blog. I have seen God's work and I have felt his uplifting hand, and I want to bring it more into the public eye so that he can get more glory for it.

"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." Man, that is hard. Sometimes, no, most times it is easier to do the self-focused and sinful thing. It is hard to look at ourselves, compared to Christ, and see the ugliness and accept it as true instead of brushing it aside or trying to justify it or just comparing ourselves to others. But he is the standard.

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