Condemned or Not? As we continue the series of devotions, "Words of Christ," we hear Christ in a rather long conversation with Nicodemus from the Gospel of John, chapter 3.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 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. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
John 3:18-21, NKJV
Condemned or not? That is the question, is it not? In the end, the entire conversation that Jesus had with Nicodemus centers around that question. In this third devotion we are continuing a series of devotions called, "Words of Christ." As such we are focusing on the actual words that Christ spoke and not necessarily the event itself, which in this case is Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus. For other devotions from this section, check out my page, John 3.
Jesus makes a clear distinction between those who are condemned and those who are not by saying, "He who believes in Him is not condemned." That really is the issue. It is not enough to believe in God. To not be condemned, we must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. We must believe that He is, indeed, the Son of God who came to this earth and died a death of ignominy in our place. By receiving Him, we are not just believing that He came and died, but we are receiving Him as the One who has paid the debt of our sins before God. He, then, is our only Savior, Lord, and Master.
Jesus then goes on, "He who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." There it is. Jesus is the only begotten Son of God--the God Man. He is the only One who was qualified to take our place!
But, Jesus is not done. He quickly proceeds with these words: "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. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed."
There is the true heart of man. Men love evil and wickedness because, in their heart of hearts, they love sin. They do not mind the thought of salvation from a holy, righteous, and pure God, but they do not want to give up their sin. Truthfully, no one can make themselves sinless, but Christ so changes our hearts that we no longer love our sin. Our sin grieves us!
This principle is not at all hard to see in our culture today. What are people like? Why have the Ten Commandment been stripped from monument after monument in the United States? Why has prayer been banned in schools? Why can you worship idols and pagan gods, but you cannot worship the true God of all gods? Men love darkness because their deeds are evil!
Yet there is more. Jesus said, "But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." Jesus was speaking here, first of all, of himself. Secondarily, he is referring to those who, having received Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, have hearts that now love the light and not the darkness.
Condemned or not? Let us pray that Christ would dwell in our hearts and lives. Let us pray that he would change us from people who love darkness to people who love light. In Christ is our only hope, our only joy, and our only peace!
Go to Christ! He will save you now!
God Bless You,