“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
At first look, you could almost think that there is a contradiction between verses 17 and 19. Verse 17 says, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” This verse is clear that Jesus didn’t come into the world to “condemn the world.” However, the verse above says, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world…” John 8:12 makes it clear that Jesus is the “light of the world.”
Though a contradiction can seem to exist, it doesn’t exist because the verse above was simply pointing out that the light of Jesus is what condemned the darkness of sin. His righteousness exposed man’s unrighteousness. Jesus did come to “seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10), but His presence of light is what condemned darkness. There are three observations that the believer can learn from these verses that will help them to keep their spiritual priorities right.
First, the believer’s responsibility is to be a light. Jesus was the light who came to give everlasting life, and the believer should be a carrier of light to share the light of God’s gift of everlasting life. Your job as a believer is not to go around condemning people; your job as a believer is to give the Gospel to as many people as you can so they can have the gift of everlasting life. Don’t get off-focused on what others are doing wrong. Remember that the Gospel will fix every sin problem a person may have.
Second, true light exposes darkness. I often tell people that they don’t have to be spiritual policemen going around telling everyone they are wrong. What the believer needs to do is shine the light of truth, and the light of truth will expose any darkness. If every preacher will preach truth, the truth will expose the works of darkness. My friend, we must believe in the work of the Holy Spirit. It is amazing to me throughout the years of my ministry as I have preached truth that the Holy Spirit became specific to the believer living in darkness. I have heard people tell me that I preached on something when I know I never said what they said I said. What happened was that I preached truth, and the Holy Spirit did the work by exposing the darkness in the individual’s life. If you believe in the work of the Holy Spirit, you will then realize that if you proclaim truth that the light of truth will expose any darkness in one’s life.
Third, don’t cover the light because darkness has been exposed. Just because truth condemned someone of their sin doesn’t mean you should change what you say because darkness was exposed. Certainly, darkness doesn’t like light shining because light exposes darkness. You will find that there will be people who won’t like what you are saying when you shine the light of truth because the darkness of sin in their life is being exposed.
My friend, don’t let the voices that are living the life of darkness cause you to stop shining the light. You must realize that there are many who are living in darkness who need someone to shine the light of truth so they will know where to go in life. Don’t let the voices of darkness shame you into covering the light of truth. Just keep proclaiming the light of truth and you will find that many will come to the Light of Jesus Christ and find the joy of living in the light.