By our GUEST BLOGGER
… that we … may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
God’s Word commands us to join ourselves to a local fellowship of believers, to submit ourselves to elders and to obey God’s commands to live out the Christian life in relation to one another. God commands this for His glory, for our good, and for the effectiveness, growth and building up of His Church.
One of the dangers of disobeying this command is a tendency to become an onlooker. I know because I’ve done it myself. Rather than taking my God-ordained position within the body, under the authority and care of elders, at times I have remained on the edge, looking in from the outside. From this vantage point I have had a clear perspective from which to observe flaws and failings, theological errors and practical mistakes, the shortcomings of the people and the weaknesses of the leaders.
By placing myself outside of the body, and beyond the authority of elders, there was nothing constructive about my observations - even when they were accurate they benefited no one, because I was not a fellow builder, merely an onlooker commenting on the weaknesses of those who were doing the work.
John 3:19 - "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.”
Why do the people we love the most seem to have the greatest ability to paralyze us with regards to speaking of the truths of the Gospel?
Words get stuck in our throat and we feel incredibly awkward.
Why is it so hard to speak to them of Jesus?
Well, this we know: “the Light has come into the world” (John 3:19)
Jesus is the “true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.” (John 1:9)
He is the Light, He has come into the world, every person is enlightened by this Light.
So why won’t they hear of Him?
Could it be the next verse:
John 3:20 - "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”
He is the Light, and they don’t want anything to do with the Light, they shun the Light, they resist any talk of the Light.
Verse 20 says this about them: "… everyone who does evil hates the Light …”
That sounds harsh, doesn’t it?
Surely members of your family don’t actually hate the Light?
They're more ambivalent, or merely polite about it.
Well, just ask the simple question: “do they do evil?”
Sin is evil, and they do sin, right?
To sin is to break God’s commands, and they take His name vainly, they steal, they lust, they lie, they break God’s law.
Romans 3:23 – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Sin is evil, they do sin, so, yes, they do evil.
And everyone who sins i.e. does evil, hates the Light.
Sadly confirming why your dear one,
"… does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:20)
Scripture is accurate in describing all of us when we are still in our sin as God’s enemies:
Romans 5:10 –
“ … while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son,”
Romans 5:1 makes that great declaration of peace, our VS Day (Victory over Sin) –
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”
“Peace”? Peace now, because before, I hated all that had to do with God and His Light, the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
We were not at peace - when we are in Christ, that war ends, for Christ is our peace.
This is why things get tense when you mention Jesus.
They don't want to know.
Things were no different for Him,
"If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19)