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The Love of God Conquers the Love of Darkness

November 24, 2019 Speaker: Albert Turner

Passage: John 3:16–3:21

Sunday’s message, on John 3:16-21, was called “The love of God conquers the Love of Darkness.”

The message can be heard here:

1) God’s glorious self-sacrificial love through Jesus (16—17)

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, so 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. 

What is the clear motive of God in sending Jesus to be slaughtered for mankind?

How do passages like 1 Tim 2:4; Luke 19:41-44; Jer 48:31 testify the love of God for all people, not just believers?

Take some time to pray and ask God to give you His heart of love for those around you who do not know Him.

2) Man’s love of darkness

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 one and only Son of God. 
19 And this is the verdict: 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. 

Read Romans 1:18-23. What do God’s wrath in Rom 1:18 and God’s condemnation in John 3:18 share in common? What do these passages reveal about man’s true dilemma and God’s response to being rejected?

3) God’s overwhelming response

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.”

This is a difficult verse. But consider the following...

In John’s writing “light” is the antithesis of “darkness”. As sin and falsehood are associated with “darkness”, so goodness and truth are associated with “light.

But in V.21 what is it that separates those who love darkness from those who come “to the light”? First, recall that Jesus has just told Nicodemus in John 3:3 that anyone who would enter the kingdom of Heaven must be born again. And He may intimate in John 3:8 that this must be a sovereign work of the Spirit. Now, in v.21 Jesus tells him that anyone who comes to the light does so because his works “have been carried out in God”.

What does “in God” mean? Consider that God’s sovereign power in our salvation is a strong theme in John. For example, in John 6:44 only those drawn by the Father come to Jesus. In John 6:70 Jesus chooses the twelve. In John 15:5 Jesus will tell us that apart from Him we can accomplish nothing.

Now consider another translation of verse 3:21: “But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to beaccomplished by God."

What I believe this passage seems to be helping us see is the need for God’s overwhelming grace to conquer our deadness. We come to Jesus because of what has been accomplished by God”. Godhas made us new. God has taken away our love of darkness.

Like babies who have no power to “birth” themselves, but are the miraculous work of God who gives life through parents, so we too have been re-born through the miraculous work of God and not ourselves.

Consider God’s love that worked to save you from loving only darkness. Now consider those areas of your life where you still live in struggle with sin. If God, in His love, could bring new life from death, can He not bring new power to your current battles?

Take some time to bring those battles to the One who loves you and cry out to Him for new strength