John 3:18-21 (NASB)
(18) “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (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. (20) “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (21) “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
To believe in God is not to be judged. If an individual does not believe, then they are judged. This means the individual does not believe in the Name of the only begotten Son of God. What brings judgment? Light has come into the world, and humanity loves the darkness rather than the Light. The reason for this being that the individual fears the light because they evil deeds will be exposed. To practice truth brings the individual to the Light. They are not ashamed of their deeds because their deeds are good.
From the root word, condemn. Act of pronouncing someone guilty after weighing the evidence.
In the Old Testament, the word appears first in the context of a court of law http://ref.ly/Ex22.9. The judge hears a charge against a thief and condemns the culprit. Another judicial instance appears in http://ref.ly/Dt25.1 where the wicked are condemned. In http://ref.ly/Ps94.20f and verse 21, the psalmist accuses corrupt judges that condemn the innocent.
The word “condemn” is also used in making every day personal judgments as in the book of Job. Feeling helpless before God’s power and righteousness, Job knew that no matter how he tried to defend himself, his own mouth would condemn him http://ref.ly/Jb9.20. He begged God not to condemn him but to explain why He was making him suffer. Job 10:2.
In the New Testament, there are several Greek words, which are translated “condemn” and “condemnation” with a progression of meaning from just making a distinction to making an unfavorable judgment. The three-way usage of the word in the OT continued in the NT. The law court context is seen in Jesus’ prediction of His coming trial in Jerusalem http://ref.ly/Mt20.18. Notice its use in a remark of one of the men crucified with Jesus http://ref.ly/Lk23.40. Note also http://ref.ly/Mk14.64 where the final vote is cast concerning Jesus being crucified. God condemned sin in human nature by sending His own Son http://ref.ly/Ro8.3.
NT usage of “condemn” is unique in its reference to the final judgment, especially in http://ref.ly/Jn3.17-19. A similar teaching appears in http://ref.ly/Jn5.24. Paul felt that avoiding that final condemnation was a reason for accepting the Lord’s chastening in this life http://ref.ly/1Co11.32.
To understand this passage means that we have to view it from verse 17. The Butler Commentary makes the following comments on this passage starting with verse 17 through verse 21.
The coming of Christ http://ref.ly/Jn3.17 . The subject is the Incarnation of Christ.
First Dispatcher of the coming.
God the Father sent God the Son. God gave His Son. John 3:16. Here it is “sent”. The word “gave” speaks of Christ’s coming in relationship to God the Father. Christ repeatedly stated that He was in the world because He was sent by His Heavenly Father.
Second Design of the coming.
Jesus was not sent to condemn the world. The world was already condemned. Through Jesus’ coming, the world might be saved through Jesus Christ. “The design of God in sending Christ into the world was the salvation of the soul of man.” [Ibid.]
The categories of men. http://ref.ly/Jn3.18. Humanity puts individuals into many categories. The Gospel puts humanity into two categories: believers and unbelievers. Faith determines whether you are a believer or not believe. This determines where you fit. The nature of the categories. Either you are condemned already or not condemned. These deal with our eternal standing before God. Unbelievers will be condemned. Believers will not be condemned.
The condemnation of Humanity
John 3:19 (NASB)
(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.
This condemnation has come into the world. Jesus had brought spiritual light into the world. The world has chosen not to accept this light because their deeds are evil. How else can this be explained? It is simple and to the point.
This point has been made earlier, but it bears being repeated. Those who were exposed to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ refused to accept the spiritual offer made through Jesus Christ. They had the opportunity believe in Jesus Christ. Humanity is severely condemned in this verse.