16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, 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. 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 only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: 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. 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.”

Disbelieving Christ has been the problem since the beginning.

In Genesis 2:15-17 God put the man in the garden and gave him some instruction. He said, You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” This is a pretty big deal. There were plenty of good trees to eat from, but eat from that tree and you die. Did they believe God? Genesis 3:1-6 gives us the answer. Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

Disbelieving Christ condemns us to both spiritual and physical death.

but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God (John 3:18b).  We’re told in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. This is life’s greatest dilemma.  We’re all going to die. 

The remedy to condemnation is belief in Christ.

18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned…  (John 3:18a).

Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, but truth brings judgment because it exposes the lies.

19 And this is the judgment: 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.

Disbelief in Christ results in justice, but belief in Christ results in grace.


God’ Grace

(light/ truth)
+
Belief


= Eternal Life


God’s Justice

(darkness/ lies)
+
Belief


= Judgment

The work of God’s grace opens our eyes to believe and follow Christ.

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 (John 3:21).”