John Chapter 3 Part 1, The Problem is with Man

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February 4, 2014 by directorfsm

Recently I began holding regular Sunday evening services at the local county jail. A true blessing of God and one that hold great responsibility. The following is a copy of the sermon I preached over the first two Sunday evenings.

The most recognized verse in the New Testament is probably John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For many years I understood that Sin was a bad thing and if I just believed Christ died for my sins all would be ok. Much like some of today’s water downed versions God’s Holy Word This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life (The Message) my understanding of man’s sin was greatly lacking.

It was not until I read the follow on verses to John 3:16 (17-21) that I understood how low, how wicked how disgusting my sin and yours truly was.

 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Let us take some time now and look at these verses individually.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

So why did God’s Son come? Let’s look at the two key words in this verse.

 Condemn or Krino (kree-no)

*to pronounce judgment, to subject to censure

*pass judgment on the deeds and words of others

*to preside over with the power of giving judicial decisions, because it was the prerogative of kings and rulers to pass judgment

Saved or Sozo (Sode-zo)

*to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue

*to save in the technical biblical sense

*to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction

So why did Jesus come; well we just read that it was not to convict or doom folks He came to save them and more.

I have listed six reasons I believe are most important to Christ’s coming. Let us explore them together:

1. He came because God promised He would. We read of that promised ‘seed’ who would destroy the effects of sin (Gen 3:15 )

There we find two “seeds”, or descendants, the seed of The Serpent and the seed of The Woman. There is to be enmity between these two classes, enmity meaning strife, contention, hostility and war. It is clear then that they represent opposites in conflict. And like all warring parties they hate each other.

Let me ask you a question, would you believe in a god who breaks his word? Would you believe and trust in a God who could not fulfill His promises? If one of the first promises we read about in the Bible is a lie or broken what good is the rest of the book? But though many, many have tried no one came prove a single blatant lie of the Bible.

 2. He came to fulfill the Law Matthew 5:17 – “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but fulfill.”

Anyone ever heard someone say I’m a New Testament Christian. Warning bells should go off at that statement. It maybe some innocent comment; a naïve way of saying I am washed in the Blood or it maybe someone professing this neo orthodox idea that the Old Testament is no longer applicable in any way and should either be discounted or left to one’s own interpretation.

Those people are WRONG! They need to really the book, read 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Now do not leave here saying Brother Mike said all the OT laws are still valid. If you go and ask the CO’s for a calf to slaughter you are likely to get a checkup from the neck up instead.

 3. He came to call Sinners to repentance Matt 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

John MacArthur said about this: Repentance is no more a meritorious work than its counterpart, faith. Think about that. Just like we have no part in saving faith neither do we in repentance. It is the work of God alone.

It is an inward response. Genuine repentance pleads with the Lord to forgive and deliver from the burden of sin and the fear of judgment and hell. It is the attitude of the publican who, fearful of even looking toward heaven, smote his breast and cried, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” (Luke 18:13). Repentance is not merely behavior reform. But because true repentance involves a change of heart and purpose, it inevitably results in a change of behavior.

A side note: I am often asked can we tell if someone is truly saved. My answer in most cases is Yes; God’s word is full of examples of the outward expression of the inward man we can look for, but that is a different sermon.

 4. He came to Fight; Matthew 10:34-36 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

God is love of that there can be no question. But that same God is no whamsy pansy wuss; that many would have you believe. Read the accounts of God judgments upon Israel and her enemies in the OT, or of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 and I am sure there are more than a few vendors from the temple of Israel that wish He was not so tough. He is a mighty God. He is more than capable of taking on all comers.

 5. He came as a Saviour; Matthew 18:11 – “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”

We will study this in depth in the following weeks, needless to say as the verse says He came to save.

 6. He came to serve Matthew 20:27-28 – “And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

The first characteristic needed to being a good servant is humility; and the first characteristic of a good Christian is being willing to serve (1 Samuel 3:4)

Phil 2:7-9 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Think about that for a moment the Son of God, the second person of the trinity, all knowing, powerful and everywhere humbled himself so much that He took on the flesh of man. He left the throne on high to come to this cursed planet to become a servant for you and me. That folks should make you stand in reverence and wonder. Stand in wonder trying to figure out why He would come to serve a wretch like you and me. Stand in reverence when we realize there is no good reason apart from His love. What would you do for a loved one? How low would you humble yourself?

 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Let’s look at this word condemned again for a moment. It is a judicial term, a legal term that we still use today. Inmates on death row are condemned to die. So true is the fate of sinners Rom 6:23a For the wages of sin is death;

But upon their believing, the process is comes to a standstill, judgment is stopped, and he is not condemned. This means more than a stay; he is not condemned, that is, he is acquitted and his record wiped clean.

Unlike someone who through modern DNA evidence is found innocent and his record cleared we the accused sinner, are not innocent, we cannot plead not guilty to the indictment. We are guilty and our sins are our own fault. We have no one to blame but ourselves, we have what I call SOS Disease, that is Stuck on Stupid Disease.

But we can plead a noli prosequi or do not prosecute, upon the indictment, as Paul states, Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Like the world all born again believers will be Judged (2 Cor 5:10) but unlike the world we will not be condemned; 1 Cor 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Ok, here is where it gets scary. How many times have I heard from unbelievers that they think Christianity is no good because how can a “loving God” punish all mankind for Adam and Eve’s screw up?

Let look at what Christ says next:

19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Do you see it? Do you see what the mighty Savior says? Who condemns mankind, God? No man himself does, men loved darkness rather than light.

There is no one in this room, no one anywhere in the world that would not have done the exact same thing as Adam and Eve. Some of us type A personalities would have led a charge to that tree without the serpent’s help.

Condemnation = Krisis – Kree-sis This is the sentence of condemnation, damnatory judgment, condemnation and punishment That light (Christ/Salvation/Regeneration) has come

BUT!!! Men love darkness: Darkness = Skot-os of ignorance respecting divine things and human duties, and the accompanying ungodliness and immorality

Deeds = Ergon – Er-gone business, employment, that which any one is occupied that which one undertakes to do, an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasized in opp. to that which is less than work the very nature of and desire of man (his work habits) are evil.

AMPLIFIED 19 The [basis of the] judgment (indictment, the test by which men are judged, the ground for the sentence) lies in this: the Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works (deeds) were evil.

I would like to make 4 points about this verse.

 1. Our Rebellion against God is unwavering:

Gen 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me

Rom 10 -12 As it is written , There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth , there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way , they are together become unprofitable ; there is none that doeth good, no, not one

 2. In this state of rebellion all man’s acts are sin

Mark 7:20-23 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Romans 14:23 says, “Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” This is a radical indictment of all natural “virtue” that does not flow from a heart humbly relying on God’s grace.

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is , in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

 3. Because of Sin man cannot see the light (God)

Psalm 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

Rom 8:7-8 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be . 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

2 Cor 4:4-6 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

 4. Sin deserves Eternal Punishment

Sin all sin not matter how “big” or “small is evil and deserves eternal punishment. I love the comment Geoffrey Thomas, pastor of Alfred Place Baptist Church in Wales for over forty years; he called the depravity of our sin “maggot dung”. That my friends is pretty low.

Then many of us have heard someone say “but how can your God allow bad things to happen to good people?” Ask them who standard of “good people” they are referring to the worlds or God’s?

Job 4: 8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.

Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Rom 6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death

Rom 6:23a For the wages of sin is death;

20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

Have you ever known someone like this? Maybe if more of us looked more closely in the mirror we would see the truth. Nah!

We love the dark side; we crave the excitement the adrenalin rush of living on the edge. We hate the thought of being caught convicted or exposed.

Reprove here means:

to convict, generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted

by conviction to bring to the light, to expose to find fault with,

to reprehend severely, chide, admonish, reprove

to call to account, show one his fault, demand an explanation

Why does man not go toward the light on his own accord? Because his lies, tricks, his evil intent would be exposed to God and the world. Little does he understand God already knows and sees all his faults. And truth be told most of the world does too!

21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Here Doeth – Poieo= poy-eh-o; means to act rightly, do well; to carry out, to execute and is this case “truth”.

What truth? Why the truth that is found and taught in the Holy Bible. The truth of God with His purpose and plan of redemption through Christ. The truth that specifies the duties of man, opposes the superstitions of the Gentiles, the inventions (made up laws) of the Jews, and the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among supposed Christians.

An example of the later was an article in written by a “priest” in Mobile, AL recently. In it he compared God to a Jazz impressionist just kinda going with the flow. He claims God has no plan instead He (God) has a Nike attitude. You know He God Just Does It, whatever strikes His fancy at that moment. How corrupt a thought, how false a claim how lost a man is he. God has a plan, He has had said plan since before the foundations of the world. It is clearly defined and stated in the Bible yet so many today make up their own God and call it Christianity.

The last key word here is Manifest = Paneroo – fan-er-o-o meaning expose to view, make manifest, to show one’s self, appear to become known, to be plainly recognized, thoroughly understood who and what one is.

In stark opposition to the man in Verse 20 the man here in Verse 21 knows he will be exposed he wants to be exposed. Why, but for the Glory of God. The transformed life he leads is on display for all so that they may understand but for the grace of God go I.

Let Us Pray.

One thought on “John Chapter 3 Part 1, The Problem is with Man

  1. directorfsm says:

    Jonah, We believe the Word is powerful and speaks for itself. We make a conscience effort not to embellish it unless that “pop” adds to the glory of God.

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