Soaking Up Son Light2
Soaking Up Son Light
Text: John 3:16-21 (NIV)
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,f that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.g 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”h
I. Introduction: In God's Smuggler, Brother Andrew tells in the first couple of chapters the story of his early life--one section of which dealt with his hell-for-leather days in the Dutch army in Indonesia. While serving in that area, fighting against Sukarno in the late 1940s he bought a young ape, a gibbon, who took to him, and Andy treated him as a pet in the barracks. He hadn't had the gibbon for many weeks before he noticed that when he touched it in some areas around the waist it seemed to hurt him. So he examined the gibbon more closely and found a raised welt that went around his waist. He carefully laid the animal down on his bed and pulled back the matted hair from this welt until he could see what was causing the problem. He discovered that evidently when the gibbon had been a baby someone had tied a piece of wire around his middle and had never taken it off As the monkey grew larger the wire became embedded in his flesh. Obviously, it must have caused him a great deal of discomfort. So that evening Andrew began the operation, taking his razor and shaving off all the monkey's hair in a three-inch-wide swath around his middle. While the other boys in the barracks looked on, he cut ever so gently into the tender flesh until he exposed the wire. The gibbon lay there with the most amazing patience. Even when he obviously was hurting him the gibbon looked up with eyes that seemed to say, "I understand," until at long last he was able to get down to the wire, cut it, and pull it away. Instantly, as soon as the operation was over, the gibbon jumped up, did a cartwheel, danced around his shoulders, and pulled Andy's hair in joyful glee to the delight of all the boys in the barracks. "After that, my gibbon and I were inseparable. I think I identified with him as strongly as he with me. I think I saw in the wire that had bound him a kind of parallel to the chain of guilt still so tight around myself--and in his release, the thing I too longed for."
--James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 68.
Appreciate The Offer of Salvation: Accept Life (vv. 16-17)
A. God’s Driving Passion (v.16)
1. A Passion Displaying Love
2. A Passion Demanding Sacrifice
3. A Passion Desiring Life
B. God’s Rescue Mission (v.17)
1. Desiring Not Our Condemnation
2. Designed For Our Salvation
II. Avoid The Danger of Condemnation: Actively Trust (vv. 18-19)
A. An Active Faith Avoids Condemnation (v.18a)
1. Faith that is Decisive
2. Faith that offers Freedom
B. An Absent Faith Assures Condemnation (vv.18b-19)
1. Rejecting The Son
2. Rejecting The Light
III. Address The Need for of Illumination: Absorb Light (vv. 20-21)
A. Embracing Sin Assures us Darkness: Apart from the Son (v.21)
1. Will Not Renounce Sin
2. Will Not Risk Exposure
You get tremendous insights into a person's motivations and problems by what they want to hide.
-- Fred Smith, Leadership, Vol. 2, no. 4.
3. Will Not Risk Reproof
B. Embracing Light Assures Deliverance: Awash in the Son (v.22)
1. Doing Right
2. Desiring Scrutiny
3. Demonstrating Works
Conclusion: As an 18-year-old Nova Scotian farm boy, I wanted adventure, so I decided to join the Navy. When I reported to the naval base in Halifax for my interview, I took a cab that dropped me off at the front gate.
Explaining to the guard at the gate why I was there, he looked at me and said, "What is your sin?"
Being a good Baptist, I knew what sin was. But I just stood there, my mind completely blank except to think, what do my sins have to do with me joining the Navy? The guard repeated the question once again and I said nothing. Finally, in a much louder voice, the guard said, "What is your SIN--your Social Insurance Number?"
Red-faced, I quickly pulled out my wallet and gave him the information on my new I.D. card.
As things turned out, I didn't join the Navy at that time. However, fifteen years later in British Columbia, I was able to tell military families all about sin--as a Navy chaplain.
-- Quincy Collins, Christian Reader, Vol. 34.
f Or his only begotten Son
g Or God~s only begotten Son
h Some interpreters end the quotation after verse 15.