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Light IS Come
By David A. DePra
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 hates the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that does truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (John 3:16-21)
Light IS come into the world. Did you know that? That Light, of course, is Jesus Christ. Jesus was God’s Word – the Living Word – about Himself to us. In the Person of Jesus, John tells us, is proclaimed the Truth that "God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all." (I John 1:5)
John often uses the metaphors of light and darkness in his gospel, and in his epistles. He uses light to describe Jesus, God, life eternal, and the Truth. He uses darkness to describe unbelief, deception, and the unsaved condition.
John’s use of light and darkness carry some invaluable teaching for us. He uses these metaphors to show us our accountability to God, as well as to reveal much about the nature and character of God Himself.
Light IS Come
John writes in his gospel, "Light is come into the world…"You will notice that there is no mention of God asking anyone’s permission to send His Light into the world. No. John simply says, "Light IS come."
What we have here is a picture of God invading the darkness of this old creation with the Light of His Son – first with the physical presence of Jesus Himself, and then, of course, the effect of Jesus on all of us. This is done solely by the grace and initiative of God. God choose to pierce the darkness with the Light.
John tells us WHY. He said that the reason God sent Jesus was so that men might believe and be saved. It was because, "God so loved the world, that He sent…..the Light." The point is, we have a God that loves humanity so much that He takes the initiative to invade our world with light, even though we don’t know enough to invite Him to do so.
Now notice: God doesn’t ask for an invitation to bring Light into this world. We have nothing to do with whether God brings the Light – that choice is NOT ours. God does this by His grace, because He loves us: "Light IS come…." No one dragged it down from heaven.
Now notice something else, just as important: Even though it isn’t our choice as to whether the Light is come, it is nevertheless a fact that once the Light IS come, we must choose. We must choose what to do with the Light. Our options are but two: We must choose the Light, or choose the darkness.
We would never have this choice unless God sent the Light. In that case, we’d just have the darkness. But once Light is come, we not only have a choice that we can make, but we have a choice we MUST make. It is a choice which cannot go away.
Light illuminates. And once it does, there is no point to saying that I have NOT seen. I have seen – like it or not. And because I have seen, there is no way to go back to the condition of ignorance. I am no longer ignorant. I am no longer totally in the dark. The Light is come and I have to deal with it.
What we see here is that God make no one choose the Light. No. But He brings the Light. And then we must choose light or darkness.
Jesus Christ, who is the Light of the world, had this same effect upon everyone. Every place He went, and every teaching He gave, pushed people to the place of choice. Once people heard Jesus, it was no longer possible for them to say they were the same as before. Jesus has the same effect today. Once we see the Truth about Jesus, we MUST choose what to do with Him.
There are many people, even professing Christians, who try to live in a "gray area." They want to avoid the issue. They want Jesus, but on their own terms. The reality is, however, that Jesus will not permit them to live in that gray area forever. He will push them to make a choice: Light or darkness.
This, of course, is the mercy and love of God. He continually seeks to bring us to where we will embrace the Light. But because He will not stop seeking to push us to this choice, it also means that the same grace God intends for our salvation, will harden us if we reject it.
We need to see this. The Light IS come, is coming, and will not cease coming. And all of that applies to each of us personally. God will not stop. He will see to it that we choose -- one way or another. Of course, God intends all of it for our salvation, illumination, and freedom. But if we reject His grace, then what God intended for our good, will harden us. We will cause it to do that – by our continual resistance to Him.
John lays it out plainly. He says, "This is the condemnation, that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil."
Now ask: WHAT is the condemnation? THIS is the condemnation: That Light IS come into the world – the world which "God so loved" – but people loved the darkness RATHER than the Light.
John is talking here about accountability. Once the Light is come, there is no longer any possibility of ignorance. I must choose – one way or the other. And if I choose darkness, I am without excuse, because I had the Light.
John is clearly pointing out that we have a free will. There is no thought here of God deliberately choosing to send Light to some, while deliberately keeping others in darkness. No. John is saying that Light is come into the world – into a world where some will love darkness rather than the Light, and into a world where some will come to the Light.
Thus, what we have here, in a nutshell, is the gospel of grace. God takes the initiative to send His Light – in the Person of Jesus – into this world. He doesn’t wait for an invitation, and He doesn’t ask permission. He simply does it because He "so loved the world." But once that Light is come, there IS a choice: To believe or not believe.
You will notice that those who do NOT believe are said to "love darkness RATHER than Light." This is important – for you cannot love darkness RATHER than Light unless you had some Light. If you never had Light, it might be said that you "loved darkness." But it could not be said that you "loved darkness RATHER than Light."
So what we are talking about here are individuals to whom God does give Light. These are not folks from whom Light is withheld. No. They are those who make a choice – over a lifetime of facing that Light – to love darkness RATHER than Light. And according to John, THAT is the condemnation – the grounds for justly condemning them.
The Bible never speaks of those who never had any Light as being condemned. No. They are "the lost." There is a big difference. The lost don’t know where they are. Of course not. They are in the dark. But the condemned DO KNOW where they are – or at least COULD know. That’s because they HAD light – and rejected it.
And why do those who "love darkness rather than light" make that choice? John says, "Because their deeds are evil." In other words, they don’t want to step into the Light, lest they be exposed for what they are. Namely, sinners.
It always comes back to that. In the final analysis, our choice boils down to whether we are going to affirm the rebellion of Adam, by staying in the darkness, or whether we are going to come into the Light. If we choose to love darkness rather than light, God will judge us worthy of our choice – and we will be given eternal darkness. But if we come to the Light then we will have Light forever.
We have just read how if we "love darkness rather than Light" – that this is the grounds for our condemnation. We had Light. But we loved darkness instead.
Incidentally, this is not talking about "losing my salvation." I can’t lose my salvation. Rather, John is talking about what I do with a revelation about salvation. Seeing Jesus is my Savior is LIGHT. But Light, in and of itself, it is not yet salvation. Seeing Christ is my Savior is not yet embracing Him as such. Those who love darkness rather than Light see Jesus is their Savior, but opt for the darkness.
God, of course, desires that all men be saved and come to a knowledge of the Truth. (I Tim. 2:5) Thus, when He brings the Light to us, we can be sure that it is for the purpose of ILLUMINATION, and not condemnation.
Illumination spells freedom. Because it is illumination about God. When we see the Truth about God it sets us free from all of the lies about Him. Lies which paint Him as mean, angry, and eager to punish. That is not God. God is holy and just, but does everything in LOVE. God is always redemptive.
When we think about stepping into the Light of God, sometimes that can seem scary. After all, God is going to see everything that is bad about us! Well, I’ve got news: He already sees it all. And probably in a light which makes it much worse than we can imagine. Yet despite all of that, He loves us.
We need to understand that the Light is not for God. The Light is for US. He already knows us. We need to see and know Him. In the Light we see God. And in the Light of God, we see ourselves. That makes everything ok, because He is the Light of love and forgiveness.
The Light is come, not to bring condemnation, but to bring illumination. John wrote, "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." But a moment later he wrote, "This is the condemnation, that Light is come into the world, but men loved darkness, rather than light."
What could be more clear? What we see here is a foundational Biblical Truth: God brings Light to all. Those who embrace it and are illuminated, escape condemnation and enter into life. Those who reject the Light have written their own condemnation. They have no other options.
How Do I Embrace the Light?
If Light is come into MY world, then God has brought it. The fact He has brought it has nothing to do with any merit, or invitation, on my part. But the fact that He has brought it leaves me facing a choice from which I cannot turn. The Light God brings will carry, not only the Truth about Jesus, but will put before me the same choice which was put before Adam: God or myself. Those who choose God are saved. Those who choose themselves are condemned.
The Light makes this choice possible. Without it, there is no choice possible, because there is only darkness. Thus, the invasion of light into darkness does not, in and of itself, automatically save anyone. But it does show us how to be saved. It gives us a choice.
How do I embrace the Light? There is only one way: By embracing the Light! I have to simply open myself up to God – unconditionally. I have to abandon myself to Jesus. I have to step into the Light and leave the consequences to Him. This is faith. It is not complicated. And if God is giving you light, and you want to embrace it, you can ask Him to show you how to do this.*
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