AUSTRALIAN BIBLE CHURCH August 5, 2012
A Presbyterian Church following the Bible without Qualification
and the Lord Jesus Christ without Compromise by Faith
JESUS CHRIST, THE CREATOR AND COURIER John 3:19-21
We have seen in John 1, the gloriously complete statement that in the beginning was the word, both with God and in fact God, just as appears in parallel in John 8:58. When you want to make clear which is the subject in a statement about this being that, you put the article with the subject, in this case "the word" so that we have the one Word, first introduced, and this is the one God, as always alone in the Bible, Old Testament or not. He became flesh, incorporated, incarnate, express, manifest and His glory matched, as that of an only begotten Son, since God incarnate is not a suggestion box but a defining reality.
In John 2 we see some of His works, and in John 3, what needs to be worked on any man, so that he might know God, without which man merely does not comprehend in his darkness (John 1:5). This is not renovation but regeneration, not alteration but transformation (cf. Romans 12:1-12). When we come to John 3:15, we find that Christ, like the raised up bronze serpent caught and killed, is to be raised up also, the sin figured by the serpent tied to and broken in Him, who died with it and for it, to bring spiritual health and healing not only to some, but available to all (as in I John 2:1ff., John 3:17-18). This prodigious occasion, long in the coming, announced for millenia from Eden, detailed in Isaiah, exposed in the Psalms, exhibited in the prophets brings many things to the light.
Some of these appear in our text, John 3:19-21.
Indeed, as we look through it, we find
1 THE ARRIVAL OF LIGHT 3:19 A
2 BLIGHT ON THE LIGHT 3:19 B - 3:20 A
3 THE NEGATIVE SHRINKING 3:20
4 THE POSITIVE PROCLAMATION 3:21
1 In the first, we find the objective fact that LIGHT as defined in John 1, has come into the world. It is definitive, manifesting, final and total for this world and (as in John 1:29) involves the Lamb of God "who takes away the sin of the world." It is on offer to one as to all, to the whole as to the part, and it is adequate and glorious, the very source of the light which lights every man, whatever he may do with it, the background light exposed to the uttermost, as the cause of darkness in that light: sin, deliberate or ignorant disobedience and unfaithfulness on the part of man. Suffering is not a mystery: savage unspirituality is the mystery, that man so clings to it, that it is a marvel the world is not totally immersed in its results, though it is now near it, with endless seeming divisions of nations, mini-wars, latent wars, blatant wars, smouldering wars, atomic based wars, religious wars and warning precisely as foretold (Matthew 24:8,15,22).
As in the Olympics, the time for exposure comes, and it has come, and it is once for all (Hebrews 9:12-28,10:10-14). There is nothing like the Olympics, they say: how much less is there anything like Christ. Check it out and see.
This light exposes all. It is thus not only
a) objective, but both
b) works internally and
c) does the same externally within and beyond man,
d) shows his thought and the creation matching
so that he can discover God's laws; and it is
e) illuminating, making all things clear without exception, so that it becomes a matter of
f) mystery yielding to clarity, charity beaming amid the ruins of the dark,
ready to restore..
2 In the second, BLIGHT ON THE LIGHT 3:19 B - 3:20 A
Dalliance in Darkness (preference)
Pre-occupation with evil (instead of divine principles and
Dabbling in Distortion, fear of light.
3 In the third, THE NEGATIVE SHRINKING 3:20
there is seen
Hatred of Exposure,
Loathing of Light,
Bounding from Brightness.
What you hate you tend to distort: except God gives you grace and hatred of it is its due, as evil. They hate the light of reality; they withdraw their sins like mice creeping into corners from the light: or if multiplying words, then denying facts, they distort the mouth of God or man, haunting lives they cannot create, their own or perhaps others, in terms of of morals they invent.
4 In the fourth, THE POSITIVE PROCLAMATION 3:21
you discover the very opposite. There is
Alliance with the Light
Delight in Exposure,
as when a man rejoices to run a race
Recognition of the Light
that is Lord, truth that dominates and merely strikes home at last when
defied, not truth but the heart defiled. Again, there is
Reliance, as on God Himself, not as a clutched symbol, but as Creator come to find, to pay, to pardon, to empower.
Answering all, failing in nothing, He has not only the answers but the care, and in each of His people He WORKS; and those who are His, these love to exhibit those works, freely wrought from the Lord, in His patient love. There is no hiding in abiding. There is no cringing in acceptance (Ephesians 1:6). There is a well-lit life in the service of Jesus Christ, whose light physically brings out the reality and colour of the universe. Spiritually and morally, it
displays the wonder of the gift of life to man when it neither
nor burns with misplaced passion, but delights in its Saviour,
bold for its sender, at liberty in its Lord (II Corinthians 3:17), proclaiming delightedly the resource and source which is provided (Matthew 28:18gk-20).
This He does, however repulsive and repellant may be the light-haters, their deeds like hidden manuscripts, when the motives and missions are revealed, founded on man, he in turn seen as founded on nothing, funded simply by revolt (Romans 1:17ff.). Praise God for the inward revolution, which brings peace, reality and restoration, regeneration its base and faith its contact. Light has come: we LOVE IT, and Him who not merely SHOWED it all, but DID all needed to bring us back, reconciled to God by the death of His Son (II Cor. 5:17ff.).