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 hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God (John 3:19-21)
Jesus’ discussion with Nicodemus, that there is a “new birth” ended on the related topic of the final judgment of all men at the throne of God. Being “born from above”is the only way possible for men to escape the condemnation that they are already under, as well as the ultimate and final damnation we all deserve. All men are sinners and liable to judgment.
The basis for condemnation? Why will so many be condemned forever, to spend eternity being ruined and estranged from all of the comforts and beauty that God has prepared for man? Jesus , the one to whom God the Father has committed all judgment to, condenses the issue down to one charge;
That when the light came to us from God, men preferred darkness instead, rejecting Jesus, and all that he did and stood for. They don’t accept his revelation of man’s heart , and of man’s need, and most of all they abhor the message of the Cross and all that it implies.
This is the very meaning of evil. Not so much the magnitude of harmful works or words. Nor is evil defined by the extent of the damage done by our sins. Rather, Evil as defined by Jesus is the adamant refusal of God’s light, the willful shutting out of the heart God’s truth. Evil is the preference towards darkness over light, the opting for lies ,fantasies, and self-serving illusions rather than for Divine truth, as revealed particularly in Jesus.
What does the gospel mean by the expression ‘the Truth’?
Truth is not a general word, as we now use it, such as the truth of Algebra, physics, history, geomoetry….etc. . When the apostles spoke of the truth, they were referring to the only genuine revelation of Spiritual reality; ie who God is, who and what man is, the plight of man, and the God appointed answer to our dilemma, the nature of sin and redemption.
Truth is the eternal reality as revealed by Jesus, who said of himself, “I am the Truth”.
How could we know these things other than by revelation? God has so created the world, that he has made it possible for men to discover physical realities,such as the laws of chemistry, geometry and mathematics. But how science isn’t the answer to every question.
The answers to the questions such as ‘Who am I? Why was I created? Why is there evil and suffering?’, require Divine revelation. The Lord Jesus is the fullest revelation of the Invisible God. He is the Truth. God raised him from the dead to certify Him. His evaluation of the human condition is the truth. Likewise His work to remedy it, and his promises and warning to those who accept or reject Him, this is what is meant as ‘the truth’.
“Doing Truth” means fully accepting Jesus’ revelation and acting upon it. “He that doeth truth comes to the light…”, that is, He takes Jesus seriously, admits that he is right, and is willing to see himself and have others see him, as God sees him. No more pretense, no more hiding or play acting, simply accepting the implication of the cross, that “I am a sinner, for whom Jesus died“.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God .
It is living with the acceptance that everything I do or have done has been “in the sight of God” anyway, so I may as well be real about it. God sees me, and I am glad of it! He sees all of me, the ‘good’ the bad and the ugly, but He made provision for me on Calvary, because I need it! Hypocrisy is shortsighted because sooner or later all is coming out into the open.
“Doing Truth” involves confessing our sins, justifying God, and being willing to live in the light of God’s exposure. It is dropping the fig leaves of a contrived self righteousness, and allowing Jesus’ blood to wash away our sins. It is the willingness to live our lives openly in the community of Truth, among the body of Christ who love the truth also.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.(I John 1:7-10)
Paul would echo Jesus, when in 2 Thess 2 when he warned of those who,
…with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.( 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)
It comes down to what people love and hate doesn’t it?
We are warned that there are only two categories of people. Those who “love the darkness”, who actually fancy the lies, the obfuscation, the cloud of denial that they are sinners before their Creator, in danger of judgment, and in need of redemption. They gravitate to any theory or religious system which allows them to evade the Truth.
The ones who love the darkness simply have to believe the lie. It is what they resonate with, it is in them, and therefore they gravitate towards it. If there wasn’t a Benny Hinn or a Ken Copeland or the other heretics plaguing the church, someone would have to invent them, because the constituency for them is already there.They love the lie, therefore they will have the lie, sooner or later.
There are also those who “receive the love of the truth”. They love the church or preacher who shows them their sins, they admit the claims of the gospel, that we are all sinners, in need of forgiveness and justification.
The Truth has transformed them, it resonates with them. They have been born again of it, therefore they have an inward affinity to the Truth, feeding their souls with it, living in it, promoting it at any cost. Jesus said, “…All who are of the truth shall hear my voice…”(John 18:37).
Are you “of the Truth”?