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William Barclay

William Barclay's Daily Study Bible - John 3:17-21

3:17-21 For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned, but he who does not believe already stands condemned. And this is the reason of this condemnation--the light came into the world and men loved the darkness rather than the light, for their deeds were evil. Every one of whose deeds are depraved hates the light, and does not come to the light, but his deeds stand convicted. But he who... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - John 3:19

And this is the condemnation ,.... Of him that believes not in Christ; that is, this is the matter and cause of his condemnation, and by which it is aggravated, and appears to be just: that light is come into the world : by which is meant, not natural or corporeal light; though natural darkness is, by some, preferred to this, being more convenient for their evil works; as by thieves, murderers, and adulterers: nor is the light of nature designed, with which every man is enlightened that... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - John 3:20

For every one that doth evil, hateth the light ,.... Every man, the series of whose life and conversation is evil, hates Christ and his Gospel, cause they make manifest his evil deeds, convict him of them, and rebuke him for them: neither cometh to the light ; to hear Christ preach, or preached; to attend on the Gospel ministration and means of grace: lest his deeds should be reproved ; or discovered, and made manifest, and he be brought to shame, and laid under blame, and advised to... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - John 3:21

But he that doth truth ,.... That which is true, right and good: "he whose work is just", as the Ethiopic version renders it; or, "he that does that which is right", so the Persic; that which is according to the will of God, and from a principle of love to him, and with a view to his glory: cometh to the light ; to Christ, and to his word, and ordinances: that his deeds may be made manifest ; being brought to the light, to the test, and standard, whether they, are right, or wrong;... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - John 3:19

This is the condemnation - That is, this is the reason why any shall be found finally to perish, not that they came into the world with a perverted and corrupt nature, which is true; nor that they lived many years in the practice of sin, which is also true; but because they refused to receive the salvation which God sent to them. Light is come - That is, Jesus, the Sun of righteousness, the fountain of light and life; diffusing his benign influences every where, and favoring men with a... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - John 3:20

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light - He who doth vile or abominable things: alluding to the subject mentioned in the preceding verse. The word φαυλος , evil or vile, is supposed by some to come from the Hebrew פלס phalas , to roll, and so cover oneself in dust or ashes, which was practised in token of humiliation and grief, not only by the more eastern nations, see Job 42:6 , but also by the Greeks and Trojans, as appears from Homer, Iliad xviii. l. 26; xxii. l. 414;... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - John 3:21

Wrought in God - In his presence, and through his assistance. This is the end of our Lord's discourse to Nicodemus; and though we are not informed here of any good effects produced by it, yet we learn from other scriptures that it had produced the most blessed effects in his mind, and that from this time he became a disciple of Christ. He publicly defended our Lord in the Sanhedrin, of which he was probably a member, John 7:50 , and, with Joseph of Arimathea, gave him an honorable funeral,... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - John 3:19

Verse 19 19.And this is the condemnation He meets the murmurs and complaints, by which wicked men are wont to censure — what they imagine to be the excessive rigour of God, when he acts towards them with greater severity than they expected. All think it harsh that they who do not believe in Christ should be devoted to destruction. That no man may ascribe his condemnation to Christ, he shows that every man ought to impute the blame to himself. The reason is, that unbelief is a testimony of a bad... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - John 3:20

Verse 20 20.For whosoever doeth what is evil. The meaning is, that the light is hateful to them for no other reason than because they are wicked and desire to conceal their sins, as far as lies in their power. Hence it follows that, by rejecting the remedy, they may be said purposely to cherish the ground of their condemnation. We are greatly mistaken, therefore, if we suppose that they who are enraged against the Gospel are actuated by godly zeal, when, on the contrary, they abhor and shun the... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - John 3:21

Verse 21 21.But he who doeth truth This appears to be an improper and absurd statement, unless you choose to admit that some are upright and true, before they have been renewed by the Spirit of God, which does not at all agree with the uniform doctrine of Scripture; for we know that faith is the root from which the fruits of good works spring. To solve this difficulty, Augustine says, that to do truth means “to acknowledge that we are miserable and destitute of all power of doing good;” and,... read more

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